Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lakeport, CA, Camp & Shine - June 27th, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dawntreader is my first off-line Big Blue experience

Dawntreader on the 101 north.

So, I was rolling home last week in Little Blue and saw a pretty cool looking tricked out Vanagon camper. It was called "Dawntreader" according to the stickers on it's pop top. I actually heard it first, and then went to take a picture for my "drive-by shootings". They (husband and wife?) looked over and we waved at each other.

Well, traffic was bad, so we saw each other a few more times, passing each other as the lanes moved. Eventually, they were right off to my left, behind me, then next to me with their window down. The conversation went something like this:

"Hey, I see your Big Blue sticker. Were you up at the Casini Ranch thing a few weeks back?"
"Yeah," I said.
"We were going to head up, but I had a timing belt problem. We live in Forestville."
I was a little confused, "Wait, so what's your name?"
"Oh, I'm Brett."
"So, what year van do you have?"
"We have a '68."
"Oh, are you Big Blue?"
"I'm Big Blue's driver, yeah."
At that both he and his wife smiled. We wished each other a good weekend and waved and drove ahead. Not much longer I took my exit.

I thought this exchange was cool for 2 reasons. The first, they knew who Big Blue was. And that was the first time anyone randomly knew who Big Blue is just riding around. That's a little egotistical, I know.

But the 2nd reason is that was ALMOST had one more person at Bus City!

Next year, Bus City is going to be huge...

Dawntreader leaving Little Blue behind...

Friday, May 29, 2009

VWs of... that one field that used to be full of old cars...

This was a pretty remarkable find. A few weeks back I drove through the night in my rented Kia from Chicago to northern Michigan to see my parents. As dawn broke, I was getting close to an area I had spent a good deal of time in while growing up in Michigan. I remembered a field of abandoned cars I had shot pictures of back in 1996 (click here for a picture of a bug from that adventure).

So, I decided to pull off and hike back and see what was there. It's private property, and is posted, so I try to make as much noise as possible and make my camera obvious. It's been abandoned for a while, but I could see that they had done some work recently, clearing things out by the main road. As I hiked back, I was disappointed to see that the cleaning work extended to the field that was now void of all the old cars.

I did notice these bug doors off by themselves in the field:

But from there, I could see what looked to me, like a delivery truck on it's side, so I decided to hike toward it. You can imagine my shock when I started to figure out I was looking at these:

I spent about 20 minutes shooting these 2 forgotten buses. I'm sure they had awesome stories to tell, but are too far gone now to keep talking. Really cool buses. Notice that the double cab [EDIT: is that what they are called?] only has 2 doors on the passenger side [EDIT: which I have now been told is not rare]...

I would have loved to take these guys home. But what can you do? It's almost better to see them out in the field, enjoying the first few warm days of spring...

UPDATE SAT 5/30/09 2:28 PM:

Sage, a well know VW nut from Northern Michigan (you can follow his VW adventures at is trying to contact the owners and save these things after I posted this info on The Samba (click for thread). I'll update you if such a move happens. I would love to be there to work on getting these things out of there...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Big Blue's "Dead" adventure in HD!

See Big Blue's recent adventure going to see The Dead at Shoreline - be sure to click on the HD button for a higher quality experience!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

VWs of... The Dead show

So the recent 2 Dead shows I took in were littered with VWs. It's hard to break the cliche when all the deadheads still use the VW bus as their choice of transportation. While I didn't take Blue to Chicago for the show, I did take him down to Shoreline. I'll post some pictures of that trip shortly, but here are the VWs from The Dead's show on 5-5-09, at Allstate Arena outside Chicago...

This guy had customized his Riviera top - the same top at Big Blue - to fit a spare in the luggage rack, Pretty smart thinking...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Vintage Tuesday! A lone bug on the street.

A lone bug on the street.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Some ads from May 1956 Road & Track

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Funfest For Air-Cooled Volkswagen - June 5-6, 2009

Mark your calendar to join Mid America Motorworks as they celebrate their 35th Anniversary and the 40th Anniversary of the famed “Herbie the Love Bug”. The two day event has grown steadily over the years to host more than 8,000 enthusiasts, and over 1,300 VWs who come together for a whirlwind weekend of events and activities.

New to this years’ event is the first annual Air-Cooled Volkswagen Auction! Don’t miss the opportunity to buy or sell; everything from a project roller, a daily driver, to a show car will be on the auction block!

Call 800-500-1500 or visit for more information or to register.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Stock up on gear from GoWesty!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The buses of Bus City 2009

Over the next few weeks, I'll do a few posts about Bus City - stories, video, whatnot, but first I'd like to thank those that came. We had a great time. Familiar faces. New faces. Nice buses, and some surprises.

So here are the buses of Bus City 2009:

T-Rex from East Bay. 1986 GL.

1978 Family hauler with Regis and family.

1971 bus called Ruby Tuesday who carried in the random travelers who joined us.

John's 1971 Dormobile.

Static's 1971 tintop.

Jeff and Pam's 1971 bus named Oscar drew a good deal of attention.

Carl's 1985 Adventurewagon, Bedelia van Hedwig.

Denny's really nice 1966 double cab, Duce.

You've seen Mike & Shari's 1960 E-ZCamper "Melville" from previous campouts. Awesome bus.

Westy Woman's 1981 Westy, Brunhilde.Peter's 1971 mini-mansion.

And, of course, El Gordo Azul.

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