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.


Pinterest – your opinion please

The YesWeCan CamperVan is featured on Pinterest under ‘Vehicles Working For Causes‘ (VW4Causes)

Vehicle 1: The YesWeCan CamperVan

MY VW rear

together with other 
boards including:

Vehicle 2: A BW with 15 Windows


Classic VWs

Red VW line up IMGP 5987


Fun Autos

VW Bus Cake + Peeps

Will these boards on P-interest help us get more people to view our websites and draw attention to our blog posts, I wonder?

To explore for yourself and see what you think, please click on the photos above to take you to the boards I’ve created and the pictures that I posted there.

If you think yes, please click like below, and if no, please write your comment in the reply box.

Thank you 🙂

A reminder to WRITE

Today I had a trip down memory lane, reading a post I’d written during the two week drive from California to Massachusetts over two years ago.

Reading Day 3 ‘Road to MA’ (Sun 20 June 2010) Bakersfield > Needles, CA and re-living the adventure was wonderful. But it also reminded me that I’d only gotten as far as writing about Day 4 on the Road to MA before the driving had taken over.

I keep thinking that one day I’ll have the time to catch up and complete the stories of those days on the road. I am also reminded of the book of the journey that others have asked me to write. But I’ll never find the time, I know that. I must make the time if I really intend to write a book.

Therefore, may I ask you a question or two?

  • would you really read a book about the cross country road trips mentioned in the posts on this blog?

  • if yes, what kind of a book would you like: a coffee table one with lots of photos or a paperback containing some photos in the centrefold?

Some of the photos originally posted on facebook with the Day 3 story are shown below. I’m hoping you can answer the two questions above and give me some feedback. Also please can you let me know if you like any of these photographs enough to see them in a book?

Thank you …

Day 3 ‘Road to MA’ (Sun 20 June 2010) Bakersfield > Needles, CA

as I leave Bakersfield this sign was way too tempting a poster not to photograph

Just imagine over 3 million square miles!!!!

So out I go, south east of Bakersfield, towards Barstow …

and then up over the hills ….

and into Tehachapi for a quick ice-cream stop …

where I see trains, in the town and outside, where carriages are
stationery and look abandoned …

 Time to get back on the road again and out into the desert …

I continue towards Barstow. After a brief stop to cool down, I carry on
into the desert and many miles later, I find this poor little ‘ghost’ town

and ask at the Desert Market in Daggett, if I’m on
the right road to find the Bagdad Cafe (named after the movie)

All I could see was the little market (store) and no sign of any habitation in any of the other buildings! But I am on the right road and to my surprise the railway line beside me is still operable; here’s a running train!!!

Finally I come to the Bagdad Cafe, just in time as the sun sets 

As I go inside, I can see other famous people have been here before me 🙂

I didn’t know we’d be on Route 66 – what a bonus that is!

Back into The YesWeCan CamperVan, even though it’s pretty dark now ..

and shortly after I leave the Bagdad Cafe, I see another train (yippee).
I follow it east into the desert for as long as I can …
listening to the clackety clack of the wheels (listen here)

… and finally when I look down and see the gas tank on empty, I stop.

For a full account of the day, read the original post at this link to
Day 3 ‘Road to MA’ (Sun 20 June) Bakersfield > Needles, CA

your COMMENTS below … thank you!! 





When two working VWs meet

Two VW women working on different projects, yet both using their vintage 1971 VW buses to tell stories, met at San Jose State University on 23 April 2012.


Copyright by Julia Weber 2012. Thanks for permission to re-post this photograph.

Here you can see Julia Weber’s ‘Mr Orange der Story-Bus’ and Carole Brown’s ‘The YesWeCan CamperVan’ getting close and sharing some thoughts on future possibilities!  Maybe they’re talking about where to drive together …. if the ladies agree that is ..


YesWeCanJourney Blog Visitors

The chart below shows the number of views per month since I started this blog, from the time I first collected my wonderful 1971 VW Westfalia from Oregon in December 2009. Little did I know then that The YesWeCan CamperVan would carry me through so many miles in such a short space of time. 14,000 miles over two years, including only nine months on the road, is pretty awesome, isn’t it?

Yet the performance of this blog, in terms of numbers of visitors, by no means matches my VW.

Statistics for - monthly number of views

So I am asking you to please share your opinions via the comment box below … or on our Facebook page in the Note on Blog performance about what you’d like to see more of on these pages and the topics that interest you most. Or maybe it’s not so much the content as the medium that you prefer e.g. less words, more photos, or more videos?

Would sure appreciate your input.

Thank you.


TODAY’S NEWS-HERALD video broadcast on

Our ‘MG Awareness Drive’ is one of the VW stories featured…

… in this video by Ben Pierson, filmed on location at the VW event “Buses By The Bridge XVI” at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, last Saturday, 14 January, 2012.

In this 5 minute video, Carole starts talking about vw4causes and MG at 3 minutes, 35 seconds! Yet it’s worth watching every minute! You’ll also get a first look at our new T shirt for Vehicles Working for Causes (vw4causes).

If you’d like to support our drive for MG and vw4causes through another 5,000 miles up to Oregon and then back to the east coast later this Spring, to continue our campaigning for MG Awareness, you can buy a T shirt.

Look out tomorrow for an announcement on pricing and a link to purchase on the web. Thank you and happy viewing 🙂



Ben Pierson of  can be contacted at

Creating a blog

If you would like to create your own blog on the internet, whether it’s about your own adventures and causes in the world (like mine here) or about any subject at all, the starting point is deciding whether you’ll use one of the free design and publishing platforms out there like WordPress, Typepad, Blogger, Blogit, My Space etc, to create and host your design, or design and host one yourself.

Thousands of people are using the free platforms such as those mentioned above.

Yesterday I was reading a post about the growth of WordPress and this statement within it made me smile so much that I decided to add my comment to the 85 others on the site to voice my support, as follows:

Your statement: “ is different from every other social platform out there because in addition to giving you ownership of your data you get ownership of the code running your data as well, you could run the same Open source software yourself, and in fact we’ll even help you do it.”
… says it all. THANKS SO VERY MUCH.
Carole Brown and The YesWeCan CamperVan

I then watched this video of WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg

….. and then I researched some more about current blog platforms and popularity and found this table of the top 20 Blogs on the internet (by readership) and the software that they use.
Where did I start my research? Wikipedia, of course:

source: Wikipedia –

Apparently, today, according to Mashable, WordPress is the most popular blogging platform with 54,283 of the top million sites on the Internet using it, including Mashable. I’m certainly very thankful to WordPress for providing a wide array of wonderful template designs. I chose one called ‘Digg 3 column’ to make this blog look more like a website (thank you WP Designer) and the tools within WordPress then gave me added flexibility within the template to add more content and play with the style.

I am deeply grateful to WordPress and all the open source programmers for helping me spread my messages via this platform in such a professional way … and for also helping me talk about my plans for my road trip for MG Awareness and spread he word about this little known disease.

I’d love to hear from other readers about which blogging platforms or software you prefer …. and also please share the links to your blogs so we can read each other’s news and views.

Thank you.
Happy blogging :)

The MG story in pictures

Pictures tell a thousand words … hope you enjoy this little story  …

We're here in Provincetown, Cape Cod, on a mission ... for MG.

My Classic VW Camper catches the eye of tourists and I explain .. "We promoting awareness for a little known autoimmune disease called MG, that causes muscle weakness. Do you want to take a photo and tell your friends about this?

Myasthenia Gravis, or MG, often causes droopy eyelids and Carole's MG hippo is over here from England to help explain the disease to children who want to know more ...

This poster describing MG, mentions the droopy eyes. Other symptoms are blurred vision, difficulty chewing and swallowing, slurred speech, inability to smile, weakness in arms and legs. All skeletal muscles are affected to one degree or another by this neuromuscular disease.

MG is one of the least well known AUTO-IMMUNE diseases. Others that you will most likely know of are Diabetes (type I and 2), Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) .. and the list goes on and on (so far almost 100 AI diseases have been listed - see for more information) ...

The charities that support MG research have little funding and are not known by the public. The posters here are from the MGFA (Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America -

The poster on the left is from the MG Association of Kansas City ( They have a very talkative patient support group on Facebook at if you'd like to see what MG patients say about living with this disease

Please support our cause and put MG on the map, by sharing this album with your friends and inviting them to subscribe to this blog. Later this year we’ll be driving across America to promote awareness for MG and writing about it here. We hope you’ll keep in touch and send your comments.

To add your support, you can also ask your friends to ‘like’ our VW page on Facebook, called “The YesWeCan CamperVan”, which can be found at

SOME IMPORTANT LINKS (mentioned above):
Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America –
MG Association of Kansas City –
MG Association of Kansas City  FACEBOOK GROUP –
The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association –

THANK YOU for CARING and SHARING the word …. and in this case, the pictures 🙂

Designing storytelling

Storytelling on a blog like this is as much about good design as it is about content (writing, photos and video etc). With this in mind, today Carole changed the design of the side bars to make this site more readable so you may notice some things have changed position, like Recent Posts and Categories, for example.

Also there are some additions to add interest, like the two small pictures from a couple of our most looked at YouTube videos over there in the right column. To get those Carole ran the YouTube videos on her laptop and created the screen shots below ….

and then edited those to show the center video shots shown over on the right. Now by clicking on those, you’ll be taken to our YouTube channel and our movies.

Another addition on the right at the bottom of the column, are the authors who write on this blog. If you’d like to contribute to this blog, please get in touch with Carole.

While we’re on the topic of updates, we wanted to let you know that Carole has been writing about the journey across country and will soon be adding posts here about each day from June 20 to July 4th. Updates will also appear in the Notes section of our Facebook page.

If you subscribe to this blog, you’ll receive an email the moment the road trip notes are updated. If not, think about subscribing now by going to the box is at the very top right and adding your email. We keep your email address completely private and never give it to anyone else.

Before we sign off, we’d like to make a request. Please let us know what you think of the new design by clicking on the comment line below and adding your views. Thank you!


It’s been a little more than three months since we entered California from Oregon, so obviously we are having a good time here. We thought it was about time that Carole shared some of her thoughts and reflections. She says she still needs more time to explore and may not be ready yet to give a full account of this vast State, so how would it be if her writings on California were to be in parts – you know like a mini-series?

We think maybe it’s gone to her head that she is near to LA and Universal studios.

Or maybe she needs some of you silent readers to post some questions in the comment box below so she can answer you and focus on aspects that interest you.

[ FROM the YesWeCan CamperVan and Bothel Bear, seen here together in the photograph opposite]