'Hippie' van trek far out

By: Ian Tennant

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 03:48 pm

From left to right, Kim Jordan, Linda Oddan, Sheryl Snider and Wendy Shingoose pose by Shingoose's
From left to right, Kim Jordan, Linda Oddan, Sheryl Snider and Wendy Shingoose pose by Shingoose's "hippie" van before leaving Yuma, Ariz., on May 6.
Submitted photo

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When Wendy Shingoose saw the “hippie” van while vacationing in Yuma, Ariz., she knew she had to have it.

The owner of Image Hair in Okotoks fell in love with the 1970 Volkswagen van painted in shades of green, blue, pink and purple and bearing familiar slogans like “Make love not war”, “Give peace a chance”, “Age of Aquarius”, and “Groovy kind of love”.

It was March and Shingoose was sitting in a Yuma pub when she saw the brightly coloured vehicle in the parking lot. “‘I have to have that van,’” she recalls thinking.

She returned to Okotoks, contacted the owner and after some negotiations Shingoose bought the van for around $6,000 (Can.).

She then contacted a mechanic in Yuma, feeling lucky to have found one with vast experience working on Volkswagens.

“‘You are driving to where?’” Shingoose remembers the incredulous mechanic asking. “To Canada,” she replied.

Once Shingoose had the van ready to roll, her sister Sheryl Snider, and pals Kim Jordan and Linda Oddan signed on for the road trip of more than 2,500 kilometres. They left Yuma on May 6 and arrived in Okotoks on May 11.

“It was just the funnest trip with all of us girls,” said a smiling Shingoose.

The ladies dressed the part as well, sporting headbands, beads, tie-dye blouses, and bell bottoms.

Although Shingoose doesn’t consider herself a “hippie” — she’s more of an “easy-going gal” — she said the van full of friends had a blast pretending to be hippies as they drove to Canada.

“Everybody just thought we were hippie chicks,” she said. “It was so funny.”

In Salt Lake City, Utah, they returned to the van to see a note on the windshield that said: “The Mother Ship came in and brought my kind of people.”

Shingoose said they didn’t have one negative reaction during their five-day excursion, even when the small van inched its way up hills, slowing down traffic.

“We never had to worry about traffic jams because we were the traffic jam,” joked Shingoose.

The hairstylist also found herself being a source of inspiration for other women.

“So many women said, ‘I wish I could do that.’ Well, you know what, you only live once,” Shingoose said. “You can do it.”


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