Thursday, December 31, 2009

Big Blue - 2009 Year in Review Video

2009 was a great year for travels with Big Blue. We had some short quick trips, some long trips, some trips with friends and some trips by ourselves. It was the year that VW Camper Family really got their organizing act together and established communication and started to create some annual campouts that we can all plan on in the future.

We look forward to cover a few more miles in 2010. Our big annual roadtrip in October looks like it will be to the southwest - Arizona and Nevada. Hopefully, we'll run into some of the people we have met through Twitter, the Facebook page and this blog. If you know of any spots to see, let me know at bigbluevw (at)

Here's a look back at the year...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oregon 2009 - Trip in review - All links and video!

Thanks for sticking with us through the long process of documenting our Oregon trip in Big Blue. It was a fantastic trip in an area of America we had not explored before. Doing the trip in the bus made it even more relaxing.

"Big Blue's Oil Stains - a visual history of Big Blue put against a Google map, has been updated. Below is a summary of the trip:

- Initial report - good to be home!
- Rain in Ashland, Oregon
- Camping almost alone at Emigrant Lake Campground
- Jacksonville and wine country
- Camping on the Rogue River at Almeda Park
- Getting warm in Grants Pass and seeing a huge stash of VW buses
- Barely hitting the Oregon Vortex but hanging out in Downtown Medford
- the relaxing nature of Natural Bridge Campground
- The chilly edge of Crater Lake
- Camping right outside of - and checking out downtown - Bend!
- McKenzie Pass and the wonders of the top of the world
- Hot springs and meeting up with old friends
- Acting like college kids in Eugene
- Camping at Sunset Bay near Coos Bay
- Trying to keep up with PRE near Coos Bay (and seeing Bandon)
- Meeting Brian - a VW collector

We hope to head southwest - Arizona, Nevada - next year and do the same sort of report, so if you have any recommendations, please email them to bigbluevw (at)

-Brett & EP

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vintage Tuesday! - Bug and Bus showing up to the show.

Bug and Bus showing up to the show.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hemmings articles and Meyers Manx and Porsche 356

A few interesting things of note in the latest issues of Hemmings Motor News.

October's issue had a report on the cost of a Porsche 356. Funny thing is that I read this about a day after our friend, Frog, said she wanted one and we went and looked at some VW-based knock-offs. She concluded she wanted a real one. I concluded, after reading this, that she is about 8 years too late.

Click on the image for a readable size.

This month's Hemmings had a article on the Meyers Manx, which I have posted about before. I really dig these cars. And, at say, $8000 for a great example of one, I think Frog should re-think her 356 desires.

Click on the image for a readable size.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hall of Shame: VW driving druglords

Careful driving that load around in your VW bug or VICE will be on to you. The drug runners of the mid-80s ruined it for us...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Before we put the tree away...

Thought I'd share some of the VW ornaments that graced our silver tree this year...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Big Blue Visits: Paul Bunyon

This statue is near Eureka, California...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wild, hippie-painted bus in Brookings, Oregon

I assume this may have been used as a prop for the local high school's version of HAIR. It seems a little over the top for a daily driver...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Vintage Tuesday! - 356 ready for the morning run.

356 ready for the morning run.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Big Blue Visits: brian_az1 of theSamba

Just south of Bandon, OR, we passed a VW convertible on the side of the road with a for sale sign in it. I swung around, hoping that someone had wheeled it out moments before with horribly low asking price.

Turned out the price was fair, but no awesome deal. While I was looking at it, a guy came from behind the fence, saw Big Blue and said, "I thought I heard a VW pull up."

Turned out this guy is Brian_az1 from the Samba. He and his 2 dogs, "Westy" and "Bay" took me back to his workshop to share some projects he was working on.

Below was a bus he had just painted the day before...

A Thing he was just starting:

And he had a bunch of "parts" buses, including a Riv...

It is always cool how other VW owners are willing to talk about VWs and take the time to show off some of their projects. Brian couldn't have been nicer and it was fun meeting him.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hall of Shame: VW trends is all about family for the holidays

Happy Holidays from your friends at VW Trends.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Big Blue Visits: Coos Bay & Bandon

I had notions of Coos Bay before ever setting foot in the town. Partly because PRE (see previous post on Eugene) is from there and partly because many of the hippies that made the houseboat community in the 60s and 70s in Sausalito fled to the Coos Bay area when Sausalito got too expensive.

Downtown Coos Bay was pretty tame when we were there. Sunny, warm and empty of people. We did hit a few antique stores (a good one just north of town in North Bend) and a interesting wine store called Oregon Wine Cellars.

Big Blue in Coos Bay.

In 2001, while I was training for the Chicago marathon, I grew a moustache for a short time. Pre was the reason why...

And then I visited Pre's grave. I'm not one for visiting graves. I visited John Belushi's grave on Martha's Vineyard because I love the Blues Brothers and I happened to be near the graveyard. So as I pulled into where Pre was buried, I felt a little odd. What is it you are supposed to feel? I stopped into the office to ask where he was buried and you could tell the guy had answered it a million times.

Pre's parents' resting spot is right next to his. His mom is still alive.


We continued down the road to Bandon. Known as a tourist spot, recommended by folks through out our travels, Bandon turned out to be a cool town. But I think I would have hated it in the summer as it was nice without crowds, but seemed too touristy.

People were catching crabs from the pier. Apparently you can bring them to the restaurants and they'll clean them for you. Most will even rent you what you need to catch them. Another time for us maybe - we were getting close to the California border and felt the pull of home. We did have a pretty good meal of crab and chowder while we were there.

Remember, kids don't float.

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