Sunday, February 21, 2016

BBB 2016

Well it's been a while since I have had time to post any updated camping trips but with a good reason. We are now homeowners and have been spending all our spare time getting our new home complete. Of course this means a new home for our camper as well. The accommodations are definitely tight but I think she's happy.
Just prior to moving, we were able to attend Buses By the Bridge and this year didn't disappoint. The usual pre-camping preparations were made in order to ensure a safe and fun trip. From filling up our dry food cupboard to making sure we had a full tank of fresh water.

With the van fully packed we were able to start our journey and this was my rear view for almost the entire trip.
This year we attempted to have a convoy of Vanagons but our friend Eric and his beautiful air-cooled 82 turned out to be our only companion during the first leg of the trip.
We arrived at Amboy Crater to spend the night with plenty of sunshine left to take in the scenic views and a quick hike.


Brooke was able to enjoy a drive in her awesome new split window bus (thanks Uncle Mark and Auntie Kaci) while eating a "world famous cookie" no less (thanks Eric's wife).
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Two more friends (Kim and Jim) arrived during the evening to join us on our next leg to Lake Havasu. With our convoy now including 4 beautiful Vanagons, we started our second day at 4:30am and were off. I was told there were some pretty spectacular shooting stars before the sun came up but I guess I was concentrating on seeing the road properly with my not so impressive stock (weak) headlights. I did manage to get one picture when we passed the 150K mile mark, hooray!
Passing through the Arizona border provided us with a nice discount in gas prices over California so we made sure to take advantage of that.
It turned out that over 200 people had similar ideas in regards to arriving early in order to grab a good camping spot and this was our view of the lineup we saw when we finally arrived.
The good news was they were able to open the gates early so our wait wasn't too long and we ended up getting a nice spot that fit all of our group near all the vendors (and bathrooms)
Overnight, 2 more members of our group arrived (Steve and family, Joseph and Jessie) which brought our Van total to 6.
One of the great things about BBB in addition to all the beautiful buses are the people you meet and scenic views.
 
 

As this weekend coincides with the Balloon festival, we were all able to enjoy waking up to beautiful sights like these.


This year they even had a tethered balloon offering free rides for the kids. We tried to get Brooke to go but it was a bit too much for her (hopefully next year).


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Another fun addition this year was a bike tour around Lake Havasu which turned out to be very scenic. We ended up at a new skate park and witnessed some great BMX tricks.

There is an actual campground next to the BBB site where in the past, people have unofficially used the showers but due to the large numbers this year it was announced that these showers were off limits. That being said, 4 days for this guy without a real shower is about all I can take and signaled that we should be heading back home. As always with our Vanagon, the slow journey is almost as enjoyable as our destinations especially on roads like these.
and of course the happy passengers that keep me company along the way.
As driving straight home is a daunting task with a 2 year old, we again broke up the journey and stopped in beautiful Joshua Tree. We ended up taking the first spot we saw in Jumbo Rocks which was stunning.


Waking up early gave us some empty dirt roads to enjoy as we exited the park.

 
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Buses By the Bridge (and Joshua Tree) continues to be an event that I encourage everyone to experience and we look forward to continuing this yearly tradition for years to come.