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  • Jim

The origins of Hermes: before the adventures could begin

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

Hermes: the ancient Greek god of travel, wealth, luck, fertility, and sleep (amongst other things). And he also happens to be the narrator in the Tony Award winning Broadway musical, Hadestown, one of our shared favorites. Jessica and I tend to have differing perspectives, and we'd been brainstorming for days. But when the idea of Hermes came to the surface, we both almost instantly fell in love. A nod to a shared interest AND an extremely appropriate reference with Hermes various Olympic responsibilities.

Before Hermes, there was Uncle Rico

The Winnebago Revel, was not our first foray into van-living. Right before the COVID-19 pandemic sent everyone into lockdown, we got our first van, loving called Uncle Rico.

Uncle Rico (after the character in Napoleon Dynamite) was a DIY-converted GMC Savana.

Jessica jokingly referenced to him as a “Hey kid, want some candy” sort of van. He was great travel companion and offered us our first glimpse into owning a camper van. In our first major trip, Uncle Rico took us more than 6,000 miles, through 19 states and 10 National Parks. We’d fully caught the van-life bug.

But he was a “starter” van. We were crouched and (at times) cramped, and spent WAY too much time trying to resolve the electrical demons created in Uncle Rico’s conversion by previous owners.

We knew we still wanted a van, but we needed something a bit more substantial.

Enter the Winnebago Revel. Still a van. Still small enough to (mostly) fit in a “regular” parking space. With A/C that could (actually) run on lithium batteries to keep the dogs comfortable, 4WD to ensure we could still reach our favorite off-grid camping and hiking spots….and a bathroom (that’s a story for another day). It ticked the box on all of our “must haves.” Now that the decision was made on what we wanted, the search was on.

And boy, what a search it was.

In the midst of the pandemic, there was not a Revel on any lot. Anywhere. The search went nationwide. I called seemingly every dealer in the country. He asked about price, delivery date, deposit. Average wait time: 6 months. And this was BEFORE all of the supply-chain issues caused by the pandemic hit their peak. So those were only adding further delays to delivery schedules. It seemed like everyone, everywhere wanted a camper van. So, weighing our options, we decided to put a deposit down with a local Seattle-area dealer, but I still told everyone else we called, “if one comes available, let us know.”

And wouldn’t you know it, several weeks later, while we were busy researching modifications and getting all our accessories ordered for a planned June 2021 delivery, we got a call from Mick at Winnebago Motor Homes in Rockford, Illinois. “I have one here. It’s the color you want. Options you want. And price range you want.“ <Insert quick decision-making and excitement> “We’ll take it!”

A couple of weeks later, we were on a plane to Chicago to get Hermes and taking our first road trip back to Seattle. And since then, he’s been everything we hoped for and more.

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