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.

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Camping in the Redwoods – Part 1 – getting there

We’ve not been to a campout in Northern California before, so decided to start by taking our leaving mileage – 186, 476.

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From Walnut Creek, we’re going over the Benicia bridge, northwest towards Napa, then veering west towards Petaluma, to take 101 north to Guerneville as the route shows here …

Route to Bus City Campout

The planner says 1 hour and 36 minutes – ha! obviously not VW time.

Well, it’s always the journey that’s the adventure, right?  Getting to the destination ….. ho, hum ……

So do you remember those Tillamook buses we wrote about way back? Well, now they have ice cream buses (not only the orange cheese buses) and we found out that they were due to be in Petaluma the very day we are passing through.

So we just had to stop there, of course!! Ready to taste some vanilla? …

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… and then say hello to Yum Bus 3 ….

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pictured here next to the Tillamook ice cream vendor …

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Dexter had to say hello as well. He looks pretty handsome next to Yum 3, doesn’t he?

Well, it was hot out, so Dexter and Carole had to head off north …. towards the Bus City Campout near Guerneville …. bye bye ice cream 🙂

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……………… more miles …………… more miles ………………..

…………… more miles ………………..

From Petaluma it gets busy on the road so we get off 101, and instead take 116 to Sebastopol.

Petaluma to Guerneville

In California there’s so many different terrains and types of vegetation to photograph, and Carole loves seeing the vines, so we stopped along the way for a quick break ….

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 Is that Mt Konocti in the distance – we are looking northeast, so it could be.

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And does anyone know this bush? Look at its glorious colour.

It was down a smaller road outside of Sebastopol opposite a vineyard. Simply beautiful.

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Looking at the map again, Carole decides we could take a little detour, from Sebastopol to Guerneville via Bodega Bay, since that’s the village made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller “The Birds” …

via Bodega Bay

and on the way, in Bodega, Carole spots a house for sale, so we make a 180 degree turn in order to take a photo of this sweet little abode (looks like a house back east more than a house in California, don’t you think?) …

Dexter at Bodego Church (Hitchcock)

Imagine Carole’s surprise later when she found out that this is THE church that was filmed by Hitchcock !!

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The church is actually in the village of Bodega on the way to Bodega Bay. The drive to Bodega Bay was tough, because it got very windy as we headed out to the coast. You’d never know it was still blowing from this serene looking picture of the bay though, would you?

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This one shows some sea mist in the air though, with a suggestion of windy weather.

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After that it was another windy drive, north up the coast on scary California Highway 1.

Highway 1 to Guerneville, with Russian River

and just after Highway 1 turns inland before it intersects with 116, there was this great view …

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… of the Russian River, heading east to Guerneville.

No more photos taken after this: too many hairpin bends, and can’t drive and take pictures on roads like this.

Tomorrow we’ll post photos from our time at the VW campout “Bus City 2014” – or maybe it’ll be a day or two later :).  For now, here’s a satellite photo of Schoolhouse Canyon Campground to the right of a big business. Any ideas what it is?

School house campsite nr Korbel Champagne

To save you looking it up, it’s the Korbel Champagne operation 🙂 Will there be time for a visit and a tasting, we wonder?

Part 2 of this weekend adventure coming next …..

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