November 26, 2013

by Stephen Jan in whitestone, NY

odometer: 306,651


After Team Last Responders acquires a vehicle, the first order of business isn’t to check engine oil, transmission fluid and electrical wiring - it’s to paint the ambulance and bless it with adventure paint. Last week, the team and a platoon of additional volunteers armed themselves with Rustoleum spray cans and turned good ole Eighty Eight, into Eighty Eight Prime.

Although Miracle Mile Harley-Davidson was generous enough to lend us parking space for the vehicle, they had enough business sense to know that a bunch of rowdy Last Responders spray painting an ambulance on their car lot to the beat of Ken’s ukulele music on a Saturday afternoon didn’t exactly set the right image for their weekend customers. Fortunately, Timbuktu Adventure Ninja Dennis saved the day and invited us over to his driveway for the task.


Those that have followed us since the last journey will notice that the color combination is EXACTLY THE SAME as the one for the Timbuktu Challenge: Red, Yellow Green. The reason for this isn’t because we lack imagination. It also has nothing to do with the fact that we had left over spray paint from our last paint job. Believe it or not, it just so happens that Bolivia’s national colors and Mali’s national colors are both red, yellow, green! Although the colors are the same, the meaning of each color slightly differs.



  • Green: Fertility of the land
  • Gold: Purity and mineral wealth
  • Red: Bloodshed spilt for independence from the French



  • Red: Blood shed by heroes for the birth and preservation of the Republic
  • Yellow: Bolivia’s wealth and resources
  • Green: Wealth of Bolivia’s nature and hope, as a principle of the society

In the spirit of flags and colors, i speculated that if Last Responders had a red, green, yellow flag, it’d look like:

Last Responders


  • Red: Stopping…Stopping at stop signs, gas stations, borders, breakdowns….
  • Yellow: Sand… Mongolian Sand, Saharan Sand, Gobi Sand, Beach Sand, Mauritanian Sand…
  • Green: Peas…green peas with my daily diet of top ramen

Here it is, Eighty-Eight Prime: