Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Fountain of Youth and The Salton Sea

With two extra days off after Buses By the Bridge, we decided to take a little detour on our way back home and enjoy the scenic drive over to the Salton Sea.
The Fountain of Youth Spa RV Resort near the Salton Sea happened by accident and it's roots started back in 1938. I find it quite fascinating that there are natural hot springs in the middle of the desert but this water was originally unearthed during the construction of the All-American Canal. In 1965 the Fountain of Youth resort was started when the ideal spot was found to tap into this spring which produces 250 gallons a minute of 137 degree high mineral content water.
The healing properties of these waters is one of the many attractions that bring people from all around to enjoy. Although we only spent one night, we did our best to take advantage of what there was to offer.
This wouldn't be a proper post without some pictures of our beloved van.
Some of our friends from Buses By the Bridge were able to join us as well.
Pro camping tip - if you don't want your babies to fall out of the van, simply put them in your luggage. No babies were harmed during the writing of this blog.
The next day it was finally time to head home but not before a quick stop at Salvation Mountain.
We have visited this place once before, it remains worthy of a second visit and brief history tutorial. Dedicating 28 years of his life, Leonard Knight created this giant mountain as a tribute to God and his gift to the world with hay bales, adobe clay, and thousands of gallons of paint. It is actually the second mountain after the first collapsed under it's own weight. Today it is kept alive with help from devoted volunteers and donations as the harsh surrounding environment requires it to have constant maintenance.

Realizing the extra challenges involved with spending the week in a small van with an infant and a 4 year old, we finally made the 3 hour trek back home to our comfy bed and regular schedule. Till next time....

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Buses By the Bridge 2018

Buses By the Bridge has become an event that our family looks forward to with great anticipation and this year continued to leave us with lasting memories. Our journey began a few days before we left as I packed and prepared the van for our trip to Lake Havasu.
Here she is all ready.
We had a quick stop for lunch along the way on Route 66.
Wanting to get a good location at the event, we decided to drive straight to Lake Havasu and spend the night outside the park with 100+ other vans and buses waiting to get in. We were very fortunate to park in front of a fellow Canadian because it turned out that she had a prime spot beside the river and saved it for us.
In addition to all the events at Buses By the Bridge, the city of Lake Havasu offers many fun attractions itself. The London Bridge was brought from the city of London for $2.5 million dollars and shipped to Lake Havasu then reassembled for another $7 million.

There is also a $2 ferry to the casino at the other side of the lake which provided beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Of course we had to take a picture of our van from the water.
A new event created last year was the night time lantern walk and this year we were able to participate after I purchased a 1968 vintage red Coleman 200a lantern. I'm not sure of the final tally but picture at least a hundred people walking all around the park with a final beach lighting dedicated to a fallen VW member Randee Randar.

There were some negative parts to our weekend and having a prime spot by the river meant it was also the party area during the night. After 2 relatively sleepless nights we decided to move. The good news is due to the immense number of vans attending, they opened up some additional space on the grass overlooking the lake and main event area.
Here we are all set up in our new (and much quieter) spot with our long time Instagram friend and first time meeting in person - Bryan and his wonderful family.
On the final day there was a polar plunge but we just watched from the sidelines.
Before we knew it, we had another magnet and our 5th time attending Buses By the Bridge was over.
A big thank you to all the organizers for putting together such a wonderful event and to the old and new friends we met for adding more memories to our family album.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Rancho Jurupa

Over 5 years ago we went on our first camping trip in our Vanagon and I can still remember the excitement of waking up in our van after driving, cooking, eating, and sleeping in a new place. That feeling and sense of wonderment hasn't subsided after all this time and, if anything, has only increased with all the fascinating sites that can only be visited by camping in this beautiful world of ours.

With that said, we had the opportunity to experience and support our friend's first camping trip in their new (and awesome) teardrop trailer. Wanting to start things off easy we picked a fully featured RV campground. Situated along the Santa Ana River and located behind Mt Rubidoux, Rancho Jurupa Park offered the perfect place for a fun overnighter. Here we are getting ready for our day and night of adventure.

Of course I was just as curious to see the details on their amazing little camper which featured a very nice kitchen in the back with sink, stove and fridge. Inside was a queen bed including TV, stereo, and even an air-conditioner when hooked up to electricity.

After everything was set up it was time for all of us to have some fun. As always, the kids came first.

With a little help, the adults had some fun too!
Nighttime brought out a beautiful sunset, excellent food and delicious dessert by the fire.

This was just a quick trip but I think we packed in a lot of activities in that short amount of time.

We are not only thankful to be able to explore this beautiful country in our Vanagon but are now hopeful to enjoy some of those places with our new camping friends in the future.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Meadow Campground

I have been wanting/trying to arrange a VW group camping trip for a while now and this past weekend turned out to be the one. Having researched appropriate campsites over a year ago, I decided that Meadow Group campground would be an ideal place to host a small gathering of fellow VW lovers and Vangeleno members.

Located at an elevation of 5,200 feet and under 40 miles from Los Angeles up the scenic Angels Crest Highway - Meadow Group campground turned out to be the spot to host our weekend getaway. We arrived early on a Friday and were a bit lonely at first.

So we decided to set up our site, light a fire and make some dinner.
Of course all the Vangelenos and friends came through and were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery and have a great weekend.

What I found interesting about this group was the diversity and variety of VW's that were able to attend. There was my air cooled VW as well as an air cooled transformed to a Subaru and a water cooled to Subaru conversion, an original water cooled, an air cooled bus with beetle engine and to round everything out there was a VR6 Eurovan. Getting into more detail there were 3 Westfalia poptops, one Rivera pop top, one Country Homes pop top, and a split window EZ camper hard top. We were also lucky to have a former Vanagon owner join us too! All these people brought together by a common interest in VW's and good friendship.

This turned out to be a perfect and safe venue for all the kids that were able to attend whether it was hiking, exploring, making broomsticks, watching a movie, or just being a kid!

Although most were only able to stay for one night, it definitely made for a great VW meeting and memorable event.
As they say, all good things must come to an end and one by one everyone said their goodbyes.
Which left just us to enjoy one more beautiful sunset.
Another great camping experience in the books thanks to the combination of our amazing VW and good friends!