Last Thursday, Ken Corbran of West Haven, Utah, Eric Halbritter of South Ogden, Utah and David Van Assche of Williston, North Dakota boarded a plane in Salt Lake City and flew to Little Rock. From there, they were driven to Midway and Nightmares Auto Repair.
With the help of Dale Race and others, an abandoned 1976 Dodge van was rebuilt over the next four days and Corbran, Halbritter and Assche left Monday morning for Las Vegas, where they spent the Fourth of July, and travel back to Utah and Kenventure 2018 will come to an end.
Corbran and Halbritter have done seven Kenventures, which, as Corbran will tell you, is all about experiencing a journey, meeting people and building relationships.
It also includes modifying a vehicle that will get them back to Utah.
This was Van Assche’s first trip with Corbran and Halbritter, who stayed in Van Assche’s bed and breakfast last year, while on a Kenventure.
The destination is chosen at random each year on St. Patrick’s Day when darts are thrown at a spinning map of the U.S. The crowd on hand at Corbran’s Utah home then vote on the destination from a list of three. Corbran said Paris won this year by a landslide.
The abandoned Dodge van was found by Corbran’s father Joe earlier this year as he was traveling from Arizona back to New York state.
In between fixing up the van, the three men were treated to a dinner in a Paris home, stayed at a bed and breakfast in Paris, attend Sunday services at Midway Assembly of God Church and got to visit with some people. The three men said they were impressed with the people of the area, their hospitality and generosity. For example, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts in Paris donated items used in fixing the van.
They also live-posted videos from the area on the Kenventure page on Facebook. Corbran will edit video shot on this year’s trip into a program of one or more episode that will be posted to Facebook.
At a dinner party Friday night in Paris, catered by Cottontown Smokehouse, the three were given a goodie bag by Paris Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tonya Baumgartner and presented with a proclamation by Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers naming June 29 as Kenventure Day in Paris.
All three came away from Paris and north Logan County very impressed.
“I’ve had a hard time taking it all in,” Corbran said. “Everyone has been welcoming. It’s been amazing. Paris and the area and the people have really been great.”