Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall Finnon Fest - 2009

On 9/24/09 6:22 PM, "Brett" wrote:
Out of the office tomorrow. In the mountains with VW buses and hippies.
Contact [name] for any of your corporate-man-holding-me-down type things...

On 9/24/09 6:22 PM, "Mike" wrote:
Let your freak flag fly, man.

And we did...

Thus began our trip to the 2nd annual Fall Finnon Fest, located in the woods north of Placerville, CA. This was not our first time camping with VWs here. I brought Little Blue to the first Fall Finnon Fest last year. In the Spring it's the site of Bikes, Buses and Bunkum which we have attended the last 2 years. It's an awesome little campground in the middle of nothing that boasts a lake, lots of shade and a cafe in walking distance. And good friends and cool VWs.

We started out on Friday and drove smack into the heat and traffic of the sea level valley that surrounds Sacramento. We mistakenly hit rush hour ( a mistake that will not be repeated!) making a 3 hour trip into a 5 hour trip. Our only stop was to fill up on gas, and we still didn't arrive at Finnon until just after sundown.

We did see this cool bus along the way (note the kid waving inside)...

When we arrived, we pretty much set up camp, said hi to some people, sat around the fire for a short spell and called it a night. We were ready to relax and put the traveling behind us...

On Saturday morning, I wandered around early to get the lay of the land and see which buses were there. Already there were 8 other buses and more would come through out the day. I also met this guy:

That's Blake. He and his wife, Shelby have had their brown Vanagon for about 10 years, but were new to the crowd. Openly wearing his love on his shirt - a love we could all understand - Blake fit into the crowd well. And his "poo brown" van is awesome.

Also, Jeff, who usually flies in (there's an airport about a mile up the road) for Bikes, Buses and Bunkum, was there in his new Vanagon - a nice ride tucked back into the rising sun...

Dick, Static and PJAlau's buses.

John's bus. A 1971 Dormobile.

It got hot fast and we all hid in the shade for as long as we could. EP and I had a great spot with lots of shade and places to sit, so people eventually started filtering down to the Big Blue Amphitheater...

After some drinks, we decided it would be fun to do a "bus crawl". More buses had rolled in, bringing the total up to about 11 at that point. So we went from bus to bus and the owner would explain some of the more interesting history of their bus.

The beginning of the bus crawl.

Sweetie on the bus crawl.

Peter's nearly-perfect 1970.

Dick's 1973.

Melissa (who organizes train spotting) and her new bus, Honey bee.

Regis and family in their '78.

A few details on John's Dormobile.

Joel's Vanagon.

This next bus is really cool. Chris and Rebecca's bus. It's lowered so much that he had to actually recut and raise the metal under the front seats. The top was completely gutted and cut to be bigger under the adventurewagen top - leaving the inside to feel like an old Domeliner train.

I really like the rear pop out - and see one in Big Blue's future.

And then it was "brown poo" which was a 1984? Vanagon.

This 1978 rolled in for a little while but didn't stay the night...

Emi, Chris and Rebecca's daughter, was learning how to play John's harp.

She came and played for us...

...but decided the hammock was better for a hot day.

Martini eyeing the Cow Girl Creamery cheese.

Big Blue from the distance on our walk to the cafe.

We went to the cafe for 2 reasons. One, we feel like they need the business. Two, it was really, really hot out and we wanted someone else to cook for us. The food at this place is always good and the servings are big.

Saturday night, back at camp, sun setting on Big Blue and EP's hammock time...

During the evening, which was spent around the campfire sharing wine and beer and smores (which someone had the idea to add M&Ms to!), Romy and Jenn rolled in in their Riviera, bringing the total number of buses up to 14. Pretty good showing for a group that, by nature, is pretty unorganized.

Orange bus is Romy and Jenn's. Regis and family is the green.

Also, this badass Syncro rolled in later on the evening. It is owned by Stephan of Stephan's Auto Haus in Sacramento. Words can't describe this beast. It was as if the Four Seasons had set up shop in the Motel 6 side of town...

We tried to line up the VWs for a group picture, but, like I said, it's a fairly unmotivated group. And people move along at their own pace. We managed to line up a few buses before we had to take off...

I didn't have any small bills for this guy.

Okay, L to R. 1987 Vanagon, 1984 Vanagon, 1970 Westy, 1968 with Riviera top, 1971 Westy weekender.

I like this shot a lot...

We hightailed it out of there after the picture because we found out that Placerville was having an antique show downtown. We tried to stay ahead of Peter to beat him to all the vintage VW things at the antique show...

Actually, he was able to get some pretty good shots of Big Blue. It's rare to see a picture of our own bus going down the road...

The Placerville antique show...

EP (below) with our finds - a smaller cast iron skillet for camping (the one we have now it too big for 2 people) and a Dietz Junior lantern. A bunch of the VW guys have these for hanging outside their buses since it burns such a pleasant light compared to a Coleman lantern. For $15, I thought I would see what the fuss is all about.

Last words of the post: Never get behind a VW bus!


Ludwig's Drivers

A lowered camper?
I don't get it.


Big Blue's Driver

It's pretty sweet actually. But yeah, on the dirt road in, his tailpipe was rubbing the ground...


Great pics BV, although we were a little disappointed that the buses were not in chronological order.

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