Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Buses By the Bridge Road Trip - pt. 3

(Forgive the delay in getting this posted -- the Blogger app on my iPad decided to stop working......)

What can you say about a four day VW gathering that draws 313 buses to the shores of Lake Havasu in the middle of January? 

 That's us, the brown one right next to Bev. to the left and out of the picture is the sidewalk and then the sand and beach. 

How many VW guys does it take to fix Bev's antenna so she can listen to her beloved NPR again?

If you thought a real VW is slow....

Some people had primo spots right on the beach.....

  The kids got to paint this bus. Apparently it's become a tradition. (Yes, it's all washable paint.) 
 Walter from Burning Man was there. At nite he was quite a sight, all different colors of neon lights.

Down the canal was the bridge -- London Bridge. 

 And, at the end of the canal was the little lighthouse. The last night the sunset was beyond spectacular. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Buses By the Bridge Road Trip - pt. 2

Death Valley -- Wow! Since this was my first trip to this part of the country, I really had no idea what to expect. All I can say now is that I never expected it to be as beautiful as it was. Starting with the road heading into Death Valley.

These Joshua trees were everywhere. I was fascinated with them. At first you would just see one here or there. Then there were hillsides dotted with them.

The view of Panamint Valley from a scenic overlook. We had to go through this and over the "hills" on the other side to get to Death Valley. Every twist and turn of the road brought yet a different view. On our way down we saw a fighter jet from NAS China Lake zooming around the hills and up the valley.

The lowest point that we reached while crossing Death Valley. Pretty cool to see the negative elevation.

Heading east out of Death Valley. I tried to capture all the subtle colors of the mountains but these pictures really don't do them justice. Winter is such a grat time to visit Deat Valley. The temps were around 60 and the light was soft, not the harsh light of summer.

More Death Valley -- heading east.

The Vegas strip -- we had to give the Spotted one something to bark at....

Lake Mead at sunset.

This is the pedestrian portion of the newly opened bridge carrying traffic from Nevada to Arizona. Prior to 9/11 all traffic crossed over the two lane Hoover Dam. After 9/11 trucks were no longer allowed. The bridge is an amazing feat of engineering. No, I did NOT stroll out on the pedestrian walkway.

The Bearded One however had no problem walking out to the middle and taking pictures. Here you see the Hoover Dam. Yes, the new bridge is considerably higher....

The new bridge as we are preparing to do the tourist thing and cross over the dam. You must go through an inspection before being allowed to cross the dam.

At last, Arizona! Next up, Buses by the Bridge and Tucson.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Buses By The Bridge Road Trip - pt. 1

Whew! We've had an exhausting few weeks. I thought vacations were supposed to be relaxing? Back on the afternoon of Jan. 6th we packed up the bus, hitched up Woodstock, our teardrop cargo trailer and left the Seattle area for a two week road trip in our VW bus.

The eventual destination was to be Lake Havasu City for a very large annual VW bus gathering. But, we did some sightseeing along the way. First stop was just south of Portland. From there we headed south to Grants Pass where we took the scenic route over to Crescent City, California -- right along the coast. Our timing was perfect -- sunset. We decided to push on a little farther and stayed in Eureka. The next day we took the incredibly scenic Avenue of the Giants which parallels Hwy. 101. Since it was fairly early on a Sunday morning in January, we basically had the road to ourselves.

They really were giants. I loved how the road was literally right next to the trees. If you've never seen the redwoods you really must put this on your bucket list.

We stopped at the obligatory Chandelier tree but sadly we were too tall to drive through it. What an impressive tree it is.

From here we took the scenic route around Clear Lake and on to Sacramento to spend the night with the Bearded One's brother. Along the way I spotted this lovely "Christmas Cactus".

The following morning saw us heading east towards Tahoe. The weather was a beautiful 53. Sadly, up until just last week they had not seen any snow and golfing was the hot sport instead of the usual skiing at this time of year. This is about as close to Tahoe as we got. We then took yet another scenic route that is usually closed this time of year.

Yet even at this altitude we didn't see any snow. The creeks were iced over but that's about it. Somewhere on the descent from 8200+ feet we heard a loud pop. Nothing seemed amiss with the bus but we were concerned nonetheless. It wasn't until the next morning that we discovered the source of the noise. When we opened up the cupboard to get out the coffee supplies we discovered the previously unopened bag of potato chips had exploded inside the cupboard. While relating this story sitting around the campfire several days later we found we were not alone in having had this somewhat scary occurrence.

The east side of Mt. Whitney taken from Lone Pine, California.

Next stop -- Death Valley.

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