Day 5: Saturday December 19 – Leaving for California

Hello, Woke up to a gorgeous morning in Ashland, Oregon. The Van and I are happy  that we have such a good day for our first long journey. Took early morning photos of mountains as mist lifting in the valley*. Then had a coffee in town and waited for a while, because  sun so low it made driving impossible. Here’s the Van warming up in the sunshine before we start.


Hello From Ashland Center - artsy town in beautiful mountain valley famous for its Shakespearean Theatre

Back at Earth Song House finished packing and then just had to have a dip in the outdoor hot tub to relax me, the driver. By this time, the fog had rolled down the mountains and into our valley so we drove into the blue (no sorry, grey) yonder not being able to see the view. Yet we were thankful that we had seen it earlier.

YesWeCan CamperVan odometer reading as leave Ashland =  61,073.5 (is that 161K or 261 we wonder?)

Wow – those mountains: we couldn’t see them but we could feel them, as we slowed and slowed climbing up to the first of three mountain passes. In third gear, we chugged along quite happily.

Stopping for coffee after about 40 miles in Yreka, CA (yes that California border is very close to Ashland), I sat behind the driver’s seat at the table for the first time – hey, we’re camping!!! Decided then to have a quick look at the VW manual. Good job too, because discovered that the small plastic bottle behind the driver’s seat was the brake fluid reservoir. Had better check that, we thought, as we’re going down the mountains next, before we go up again!  Good thing we did check, as it was completely empty!!!

Found a parts store nearby and bought brake fluid and  filled up the reservoir as directed in the manual. First needed to move driver’s seat. I tugged and tugged and then zip …. the drivers seat was in the foot well, clear off its runners!  I soon found out why: filling the reservoir I noticed a small leak at the hose end as it went into the floor of the van, and then, right into the seat runners. Yes you guessed it … before not too long there was only half the fluid left … then only half an inch …

The VW Manual says get it to a VW mechanic soon but the brakes will work. And so they did. It’s good that we have manual gears. 2nd and 3rd are not only good for getting up hills but also for getting down them.  What an adventure this is turning out to be.

As we left Yreka, there was more fog and then drizzle, yet we knew the mountains were there under us …. chug, chug… chug, chug. Up and up and upwards, along a very long gradient. Then suddenly the fog cleared and there were steep hillsides, and mountains, and huge fir trees. I looked to my left and my mouth fell open, as I saw a majestic sight …

To see video, click on this photo

we stopped to look back down at the mist we'd come through and then we saw ....

or to watch the video on youtube, go to

* More photos can be seen on our Facebook page at  Join as a Fan of our page and you’ll be able to see them all. Thanks for your support!

Please let us know what you think, by adding a comment below. THANKS!


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