Miles and Miles of Trains

Last December 2017 I drove a new VW along a small portion of the same route I’d driven my 1971 VW bus in 2010.

What a trip along memory lane!

The route was between Flagstaff and Kingman in AZ, driving on I-40 and parts of old Route 66, and then later continuing into California passing Needles and up to Bakersfield.

Back in 2010 I had posted this video on youtube …. of driving beside one of those long long trains in eastern CA, alongside the old Route 66 ….

 

and had written about it on this blog

In 2017, it was many years since I had seen trains like that …. and a long time since I’d driven my VW bus on such a long trip.

Imagine my delight then when I stopped in Flagstaff for lunch on 6th December and saw this train approaching from the east  ….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

it’s heading westwards to California!

and then a second train appears from the left (west) ….. and now passes by the first train  – wow!!!!

My lucky day – I get to see not one but two magnificent trains passing each other  as you see here in my video

and then a double icing on the top …. there in the parking lot beside the railroad track sits a pretty VW bus ….

 

and one that has an important purpose !!!

A few days later I write about it here on our Facebook page ….

.. and after all these weeks I am now writing here too.

I’ll also add a second video of the trains to our youtube channel – first one in ages!

We hope you enjoy these photos, videos and posts ….. Let’s us know what you think, won’t you please.

Are you a fan of trains, as well as vintage VWs?
Do add your stories in our comment box below or simply like this post if you enjoyed these pictures and videos.
Cheers!

 

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VW bus video tells history of the splitty

This is a cute video!
Jian Zhi Chen is quite the animator. Wherever you are Jian Zhi Chen – THANK YOU from all of us VW fans 🙂

You can also watch this on our facebook page at TheYesWeCanCamperVan– remember to like our page!
Thx ❤

 

Another fun weekend camping near Guerneville, CA

Our third time camping with fellow VW CamperFamily friends at our annual May weekend event at Schoolhouse Canyon Park near Guerneville.
It was as lovely as ever. Will post more pictures soon, especially those taken around the camp fire!

 

Days 2-3: 16-17 December 2009 at Heart Song House, Ashland

Remembering this moment all those years ago in December 2009, as I read about Pamala Joy today after meeting online another Ashland lady and new Vintage VW friend 🙂
Life is made up of wonderful moments of synchronicity and sometimes we notice them !

The 'YesWeCan' Journey ... driving, exploring, making others smile and educating while we go!

Past two days have been resting at Earth Song House, enjoying Ashland and test driving the VW Westfalia.

Pamala Joy, my host, and I have discovered some areas of mutual interest and connection: we both care for the environment, reduce our use of water and electricity, and we also both trained with Chloe Wordsworth in holographic repatterning.

Pamala has won several awards for her volunteering work in feeding about 1000 people in need in Southern Oregon. She founded the Food Angels, an organization that now has 60 volunteers who pack and deliver food to homes in the area. I filmed Gretchen, a volunteer, talking about their work and the kinds of fresh foods that they provide.

In season were persimmons, a delicious fruit. The day before I had seen boxes of them delivered. To see the video of Gretchen go to our Facebook Fan Page for the YesWeCan…

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An afternoon out in the sun after a wet, wet winter

Beautiful scenery around Clear Lake, and quiet roads make for wonderful VW touring country, though to get here you will probably encounter a few challenging gradients and tight hairpin bends 🙂

As you can see the result is well worth the effort!

 

Dexter and Mt Konocti, Lake County, Northern California, May 2017

Generosity of heart

There are times when I am driving my VW bus that I get a bit frazzled. It might be that the weather’s too hot and I wish these old vintage buses had a fan, or it might be I am trying to turn round in a tight space and I wish I had power steering, or it could be that the battery is behaving badly and I have to do a push start, yet most of the time I have been very lucky and Dexter, aka “The YesWeCan CamperVan“, behaves very well indeed.

Yet on the odd occasion when I have really needed help, a kind VW soul has always turned up, like a knight in shining armour, yes really. You only have to look at the THANKS page to see that’s true.

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My latest encounter with a generous heart, was at the very top of California about a month ago, as I was bringing a “new to me” VW bus down from Oregon. I had been worried that the seat belt was inoperable because it was rusted in and could not be adjusted. Here I was driving hundreds of miles south on Interstate 5, with no seat belt, and as I approached the town on Yreka, the concern resurfaced. It was a significant moment because way back in Dec 2009, Yreka had been my first stop on my first day of taking Dexter home to Massachusetts. So I checked the time and I thought I’d make a brief stop for old time’s sake. Seeing a VW from the highway, I decided to head in that direction in the hope there might be a VW shop and that they might have a spare belt. The young man excitedly told me he had just purchased his first VW, a beetle, but his was just a private garage, and that I should try a VW mechanic further along the same road. When I found David Medeiros, he was working on a Westy. He didn’t have a spare seat belt so he looked at my driver’s seat to see if he could slide it back, which would make the extra room I needed for the belt to fit. Using a hammer and screwdriver he worked for a while but the seat was too was rusted into the runners and impossible to loosen. Try as he might, it would not break free.

David wouldn’t accept any payment for his time. After swapping a few VW stories and looking at the nice bus he was working on, I said cheerio and got on my way.

David’s generosity of spirit made me feel a whole lot better,  and afterwards I found I was much less concerned about having no seatbelt.  I wanted to add his name and address here. If you are ever passing near Yreka, CA, and are in need of an experienced VW mechanic and a good person, give David a call:

David Medeiros,  D & D Auto House,
1488 Fairlane Road, Yreka, CA.
1-530-331-3303

Yreka VW mech David Medeiros

 

Camping in the Redwoods – Part 2 – enjoying Bus City 2014

Remember that start mileage from Part 1 of this story?

Here’s the arrival reading, showing we drove only 112 miles to Schoolhouse Canyon Campground. A tiny trip for The YesWeCan CamperVan

Why then did it seem longer? Probably all those stops (Petaluma for Tillamook buses, Sebastopol for Citibank, Bodega & Bodega Bay to see where Hitchcock filmed his thriller “The Birds”, the Russian River view and Guerneville, peaking at the women’s festival, Community Church and Radio station, stopping at ATM Bank of America for camping fees, and shopping at Safeway for beer and early morning coffee).

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We knew we were in for a treat in Guerneville, when we met the Safeway store security guard at 5.30am Saturday and she told us if we needed any help at the checkout, we just had to oink the pig. “It’s the best way to get attention from the people filling the shelves”, she said. Okay!!!!  Oink, Oink!!

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Gotta say, this reminded us of the other pig in a store way back in 2009, some 25,000 miles ago, at the very start of our travels in The YesWeCan CamperVan (read that story here – photo caption ‘Pigs do fly in California’).

Anyhow, back to Guerneville ….. after a short drive out of town, past Korbel, we eventually arrive at the Schoolhouse Canyon Campground.  The VW Camper Family’s 6th Annual “Bus City” is in full swing. VW’s camped all over under huge redwood trees. Which spot to choose, we wonder?

And then a friendly wave beckons, and we move into this welcoming space, with two beautiful vanagons and a Toyota Forerunner (just like the one Carole drove in 2000 on her first ever coast to coast drive across America).

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Three very nice women, Ginny, Connie and Barbara, welcome us.

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And then we notice other members of their VW family … these little chihuahuas…..

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with a VW bus all of their own, which they happily share with a couple of bigger dogs, too …

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The next door neighbour, Thom, is from the same area as us. His recently acquired canoe made his bay window look quite the adventure wagon 🙂

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Thom’s wife, Amy, created a banner for “Bus City 2014” which she asked us all to sign …. I think many forgot!

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Carole left me to chill out and rest in the shade of the redwood trees ….

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while she went over to the picnic table ….

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to see if she could help with breakfast preparation.

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She brought strong cheddar cheese, a great addition to eggs.

 

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Had not quite imagined frozen eggs though.
Dang, those vanagon fridges must be powerful!
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Nothing beats VW camping gals! After a little thaw, the scramble is looking pretty good and the end result is yummy!

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After this proteinaceous breakfast and warm company, Carole toddled off to look for the creator of this event (now in it’s 6th year). She’d met Big Blue online in 2010 and couldn’t wait to meet him in person.

“Big Blue” was easy to spot

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What a great plate !!!

Also love that riviera pop top ….

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Quite a few more pop-tops around in the Redwoods ….

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and other ways to keep cool inside one’s VW camper …..

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Our favourite one, though, is the dormobile roof from GB (sorry for the bias). Look at that little vent – isn’t it sweet?

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Lots of bay window buses and vanagons, here, yet only two split windows – a little different to the events in southern california where splitties often prevail.

This split window has a hippy paint job ….

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and this green and white one ….

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had been newly painted the owner told us.

Well, after all that bus spotting and photo taking, it’s off  to the river for a dip …

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A welcome space to enjoy the redwoods, birds, butterflies, and river … and time to play

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a welcome chance to cool down

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and enjoy one’s VW family the old fashioned way 🙂

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After that adventure, tea back at camp … (happy sigh….)

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… more time to visit ….

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and play

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and swap tips on better ways to camp.

A battery operated fan – great for a bay window with no fan of its own 🙂

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a mini portable grill/BBQ

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and ingenious methods for attaching awnings to VWs; it’s all in the spirit of the wonderful VW family 🙂

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Time also for Carole to hand out our VW4Causes sticker ….

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One here on the Toyota. Thank you Connie 🙂 (don’t you just love that reflection of our campervan in your rear window too!)

Then Barbara with the lovely vanagon …

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let us put one of our stickers on her colourful rear window (thank you :)) ..

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… just before she got packed up and ready to go (you see, the doggie house has gone)

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Going around to say bye bye is never easy  – campouts always seem too too short …

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All gone!

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Nothing left to do now except move The YesWeCan CamperVan to a shady spot ….

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get out the tea tray ….

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put on the kettle …..

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make some tea and think about England 🙂 🙂 (just joking)

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Here’s to Bus City number 7 !!!!!!!

To get more info on this event, simply join VW Camper Family by clicking the link on this website. Go back to top of this article, scroll down left column, look for VW blogs header and you’ll find VW Camper Family listed there.

If you enjoyed reading this story, please would you help us with our cause by helping us reach 2000 page likes on facebook. We’re up to 1,796 at the present time. Just click here and once on our VW’s page, click like or join. THANKS 🙂