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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Voyaging from adventure to adventure

Idle in the parking lot, ski goggles hang on the rear-view window and there is a coffee mug sitting in the cup holder. Powder skis lie on the floor and a pillow rests on the left couch.

A 1978 Alaskan Camper atop a mint green truck sits in a parking lot ready to head toward its next destination. The camper was purchased in Sun Valley, Idaho, through a private transaction. The truck was sold in a government forest service auction.   

Within a month, Blaine Gallivan assembled these two parts to create a vehicle with the sole purpose of adventuring. 

Gallivan is a 23-year-old from Jackson, Wyoming, but currently lives in Bellingham.  He describes himself as a true mountain kid that loves to surf, ski and adventure. 

About a year ago it occurred to him that he needed a more mobile lifestyle to pursue the hobbies he loves, which led him to research options for a camper.

“It’s just that I love to travel and skiing is one of the ways I’m able to get out there and see some of the world,” Gallivan said.SKI VAN JFT online

He heard that Alaskan campers were the best and the warmest, so his goal was to find an original of these.

One month later, he looked into government auctions because he heard he could get well-maintained trucks for cheap.   

“I lucked out and got a pretty good deal on the camper,” Gallivan said.

With 70,000 miles on the truck, Gallivan said he was grateful for winning the vehicle online.  He accepted the deal without seeing the truck in person. After driving it back to Wyoming, he found out it didn’t fit his old-school Alaskan Camper, and he proceeded to get special welding done to make it fit.

“Now it’s one nice tight package,” Gallivan said.

The rig has traveled to many destinations. It has trekked through the trails of Colorado woods, as it was once a forester truck.  Still embedded on the side of the passenger door is a weathered image of the government stamp that reads, “For official use only.”

The most recent trip was to La Push, Washington where Gallivan and his friends went on a surfing trip. He is able to take it on plenty of trips, but Gallivan’s real love is skiing. He said it is his passion and that is what he plans to use the truck for.

In October 2014, Gallivan welcomed this rig into his life. Ever since, he has put the vehicle to good use.

“A lot of this winter I lived in it because I was going on a lot of trips,” he said. “It was like a home away from home.”

Currently the truck is parked at his friend’s house in Bellingham and although he doesn’t live in it, it’s fully equipped for him if he wants to, Gallivan said.

Now, living in Bellingham, Gallivan said he has new territory to discover.  He has skied Mount Hood and Crystal, but not yet Mount Baker.

He has been a Big Mountain Competitor for the past few years, competing in different circuits across the world. Through skiing, he has traveled to South America, New Zealand, Colorado, Montana and other places in the Pacific Northwest. 

“Whatever your passion is, you have to be willing to chase it,” said Gallivan. “And sacrifice certain things to have it be a part of your life.”

Gallivan suggests other adventurers be creative in their outdoor excursions.

“Don’t be afraid to try something different,” he said.


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