Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bay Area campers unite! - VW Camper Family Yahoo Group

There are 2 ways now to stay in touch with the Bay Area VW bus campers;

1. GET EMAILS. Email me at BigBlueVW [at] I am keeping a list of contacts and will send out emails when I know of something.

2. BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION. Always looking for good people to camp with, I recently joined the Yahoo Group, VW Camper Family. It's hard to get used to but it's sort of a mass email list thing about people talking about and planning bus campouts. It's many of the Bay Area people that I already know, but there are others out there as it covers the entire West Coast (except SoCal).

From the site:
This is a Northern California, Oregon, Washington & British Columbia group dedicated to connecting people who enjoy camping in their VW bus campers. We hope to provide helpful information to locals and visitors to these areas so they can easily plan camping trips or just meet up camping. All VW Campers are Welcome: Westfalia, Autovilla, Sundial, Riveria, Sportmobile, Dormobile, and home made campers.

To visit the site, or maybe even join, try this url:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A cool promo idea...

Freebirds, a burrito joint in Texas, uses bay window buses to promote itself...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vintage Tuesday! How many VWs can you find?

How many VWs can you find?

Monday, February 23, 2009

VW notes...

I was in a bookstore in Berkeley a few weeks ago and found an older copy of John Muir's, How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive. While I was thumbing through, these pages fell out and landed in my pocket. Not normally a thief, I thought that it would make interesting reading - some random VW's notes. So here they are. What seems odd is the lack of timeline in the notes. I'm thinking they were transcribed from a larger pile of receipts?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mid America Motorworks Swapfest! - May 2, 2009

I am not a huge fan of the state of Illinois, having spent what I refer to as a "prison term" there for 3 years. Outside of California though, Lincoln's state seems to embrace the VW as more than anywhere (other than, say Florida). This enthusiasm comes together at the annual Mid America Motorworks Swapfest. Missing this event is something that makes me consider a visit, if only for a weekend. If you are in the area, I suggest a roadtrip.

For more info, click here:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Little Blue on the cover of Foreign Car Guide, 1964

Not really, but it would have been cool....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

VWs at Rest...

The title of this post would have worked better if I had a VW Rabbit.

We are trying to get better at night photography, so I practiced a little on the VWs. I'm getting better. The remote helps a ton with long exposures....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rotary Bug article in February 1974 Hot Rod Magazine

You can click on the images to make the bigger...

And these old magazines are filled with cool advertisements for old kit cars based on the VW bug and places selling upgrades. Here are a few...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Vintage Tuesday! Splitty at rest.

Splitty at Rest.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Bugs and Buses Invade the Village 6 - March 28th, 2009

We might try to make it down for this show in Bakersfield, but I'm not sure yet. It seems like it would be a cool meet to attend. Information is at

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Camping in Sonoma County - Stillwater Cove

Our route.

Last weekend, we decided to keep on camping since we were packed up from the weekend before. We took off late Friday night (like 11:00 PM) and didn't arrive at Stillwater Cove Park until around 1:00 in the morning. The ride was fun but I really do need to get the heat working.

Here are some pictures from the next day...

Pretty great location.

After we found a different spot than the one we pulled into Friday night (one with a view of the ocean and some good tree blockage from other sites) we made some breakfast and set about to do nothing all day. We did take advantage of the ocean, as the park has a trail that leads you down to a cove (Stillwater Cove). The entire time we were there, we had the cove to ourselves.


The trail down.

The cove.

This was the first time we had tried this park and I think it ranks among our "off-season" favorites. No reservations needed (at least in the winter) and a pretty peaceful camping spot. And the weather was awesome.

EP telling tales around the campfire.

Big Blue getting ready for bed.

On Sunday, I had to hightail it back home as the possibility of heading to work for a big presentation held itself over my head (which didn't happen). Highway 1 is always fun, but more fun in the off season and when the weather is great, and Sunday had both. We took some time to pull of and enjoy the views.

Big Blue's stereophonic sound system.

On the side of the road just north of Jenner, CA.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

VWs in the 1974 Baja 1000... from Feb 1974, Hot Rod

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Vintage Tuesday! VWs in Obersalzberg, Germany.

Recently, I came into some old photos that have some VWs in them. So, to make it interesting, I am introducing, Vintage Tuesday. Every Tuesday, I'll post an old pictures that, to my knowledge, is an unpublished vintage VW photo. Some are better than others, so don't get too excited. But, none the less, it starts today...

VWs in front of the General Walker Hotel in Obersalzberg, Germany.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Old Kit Car ads...

A few more Kit Car ads based on the VW that I scanned from some old magazines. I would love to see one of these on the road...

Make your VW a Rolls!

This one looks like it would be fun!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Camping in Rio Vista - The Annual Anti-Super Bowl Campout

The route.

Last weekend our attendance at Static's Anti-Super Bowl Campout marked the one year anniversary of camping with this group of Northern California VW folks. But, while last year's weather was cold and rainy (click here for last year's entry), this year's weather couldn't have been nicer. I even got a little color on my cheeks.

The campout also marked Big Blue's first trip back into the wilds after being out of the game for a while (too long!). While we are making progress on Blue and are far from over, it's nice to actually use him for what he's there for - seeing the great wide open!

Loading up!

About 60 miles away...

These guys greeted us when we entered the campground!

Big Blue ran fine, if not slow up the hills, and seemed to enjoy getting out again. EP and I were happy to be once again in Blue's moving beach shack. Not knowing who would show up this year, we were quite happy to see the large number of buses chillin' out when we arrived.

Aaron's bus Tinkerbell and Static's bus.

This is John's Dormobile. A pretty cool setup. I really like the fact that it has sun roofs in the pop top.

The Dormobile with the top up.

Aaron's bus.

This nice split window showed too, proving that we are not Bay Window snobs. It was a '60 (or '61?) and looked like it would have been really fun to tool around in.

Highlights on the split window.

In all, there was something like 11 buses there. Pretty good turnout.

Aaron, Regis and I talk weather and body work. EP took these pictures to show "what happens at these campouts". Sometimes I feel sorry for her that she doesn't read TheSamba.

We set about trying to put up our awning. Mainly because I owe some guys the size and pictures of it. We had put it together once before, but that didn't stop us from messing it up a few times before we got it right.



Some buttons on the awning left over from Monty's (the previous owner) days.

In the evening, a giant campfire...

EP and I went for a walk through the campground. We are trying to figure out photography at night.

The Dormobile at night.

We played some cards in the bus...

Then EP made some pancakes in the morning:

We took our time getting home, hitting some of the back roads of the delta. Aside from the crazy windmills they have out in that area, there's not much going on. We did go through Bird's Landing, where Clint Eastwood's 1982 film, Honkytonk Man was filmed. It's also home to the Shiloh Wind Farm.

These windmills - which are over 250 feet tall, are everywhere in that area.

EP's self-portrait.

We made it home without trouble.

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