While I am sure my friend Jeff enjoys living in the 21st century, I think he would have done fine no matter when he was born. If I had a wagon train to run, or a castle to protect I’d probably seek Jeff out to get shit done. Jeff had been living in Santa Cruz for awhile, working on a printing and design company with his friend Sam and living the good life. At some point he was stricken with wanderlust and instead of just blogging pictures of mountains from his desk at work (like me) Jeff packed up and hit the road. We’d see him every so often and he would regale us with stories of spots ridden, odd-jobs completed and the roads he had traveled. Recently Jeff purchased, gutted and refurbished an old trailer and now he is the most comfortable nomad I know. When he stopped in Santa Cruz a few weeks back I knocked on his door and asked him a few questions.
Name, age and where you currently hang your hat:
Jeffrey Herbertson, 23 years sore, my hat sits shotgun as soon as my helmet comes out.
Model, year and dimensions of the trailer:
The rig is a 21foot, 1996, AEROLITE, 21RBD.
Your blog details a lot of the work you did on the trailer but do you want to give us a quick rundown on the things you have done and the state you found her in?
I think my big mistake was checking craigslist for trailers in the first place. It was about a two day window in which I went from dreaming up a scheme to put rent in the gas tank, to actually owning a trailer full of dead mice and mildew creatures. I say it was a mistake because excitement and opportunity happen much quicker than wiring and epoxy primer. The trailer was actually in really roadworthy shape. It had been bought and never really used, except as a storage unit/paintball bunker/mouse castle. Once I decided my truck was able to pull it, the strip down and build back up process was a really fun pain in the neck. I left the floor plan really similar to how it was originally laid out, I mostly just replaced cardboard and formica with wood and aluminum.
Any significance to the address 329?
Yes, 3-29 was the birthday of my riding buddy Thomas Lancaster who died a couple years ago. I thought that if I was gonna put much into a address that was a statement of where I’m trying to be, it should bring whatever it could of his legacy to riding spots that he never got to shred.
What’s your plan for the summer?
Ride and roll, I’m gonna be all over the place. The next destination is Woodward West via a extremely indirect route. I’m gonna be instructing the MTB program down there between the different competitions and riding spots that I’m gonna make it to.
Do you ever run into sketchy situations parking the rig? Unfriendly neighbors? Wild animal encounters?
Haha yes. In general my neighbors have been great. I’ve had a few people ask if I’ll stick around cause the trailer is nice to look at. But there’s some sketchy folks around for sure, I’ve woken up to a couple funny situations including someone using the shadow of my trailer to spray-paint a van at 3:00 am. Ironically it seems like I have better luck parking in worse looking spots because a trailer in a sketchy location is less approachable than one on the beach.
What’s your favorite mod on the trailer?
That’s a tough one, I think I’m most proud of my coffee set up. When I started re-building the inside I had a goal of not adding any plastic. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was gonna be. Without that goal my coffee system would never be what it turned out to be. Coffee has a very special place in my heart.
What’s the best part about owning the trailer?
It might be that there’s a couch at the trails that doesn’t smell like a bum nap. But its probably just having a bed and a fridge full of cold beer where ever you end up. Plus, most people refuse to believe it but, chicks dig trailers.
When will we see ya again in Santa Cruz?
Two weeks hopefully! I’m gonna stop through on my way down to Woodward for a few days, you know where to find me.