What good is a stretch bus without adventures?
Here are the trips that happened to have a camera on board. Most recent first.
Click on small images for larger versions.
Early June of 2001, A trip up the coast through my favorite spots in Big Sur.
The view from where I like to stop.
A nice place to be...
12/20/00 - 1/10/01
Another annual trip to the desert for the solstice and new years.
The Desert in the Day
And a cold night with the wood stove burning.
12/22/99 - 01/07/00
With my recent goal of burnout recovery, and the time to do it, I was off to the desert for three weeks of sleeping in, hiking and soaking. I returned to the bay area for a few days to a special party, but other than that I was enjoying my time far from civilization.
I didn't take any pictures in the desert, here is a view from the vista point on the Tioga pass road on December 25th. This is the latest that hwy. 120 has ever been left open. Half dome is visible on the right.
Another advantage of a longer Westie,
An upright piano fits inside!
It's Burning Man time again. After my annual trip to the EV drags at Woodburn, I was off to Burning Man for another years worth of zaniness and limit pushing for the year.
This year I loaded up the gear in a borrowed trailer. After unloading about 1200 lbs of batteries to stop the trailer from dragging on the road, I was off. It was rather amusing trying to get over the Sierras with a 3500 lb. trailer in tow. It didn't help that it was 8 feet wide. Top speed was reduced to 65 mph and my gas mileage plummeted to about 14 mpg. On the bright side, I had 1000 watts of solar panels on the trailer to help keep the racing electric loveseat going all week.
A quick trip to the desert for some relaxation.
The desert was nice:
The passes on the way back were chain control:
Maceo Parker is playing at the Great American Music Hall in SF (It's terrible venue, don't go there). A good size group had collected in the stretch for an over amplified trip to The City. We partied on up to the show, enjoyed the funk and were ready to return when we see Cory Parker looking for a taxi. We offer a ride and end up with he and Sweet Charles in the Stretch to take them back to their hotel!
Cory Parker and Sweet Charles get a ride in "Power of Two"
A few days after returning from Woodburn, I took off to Burning Man with Sean and Kent. Chris and Amy took Chris's 82 Westie with a 1.8 I4 engine in it.
We loaded up the electric couch, lots of water and tons of toys (well actually only about one ton all together) and headed off for BM.
We were almost to Davis (2-1/2 hours out) when 4th gear started to pop out. It was making some pretty bad noises. I tried 3rd but that gave out completely in about 2 miles. It was one Am., so I used 2nd gear to find a remote levee to park on.
Sean and I took Chris's van back to the bay area for supplies while the others slept. We drove back, picked up the old diesel tranny (which was in fine condition but has poor ratios) and returned to the stretch by 6am. I swapped out the tranny on the levee and we were back on the road by 10am.
On the left you can see the old "toe-jack" trick. Just another reason to work barefoot. :-) On the right are leftover gear parts that were lying in the tranny. I got a close look since I had to swap the bellhousing.
On the left is our camp at Burning Man before many people showed up. On the right is another Stretch! I had never seen a Vanagon stretch before mine, here I go to BM and there's a guy from a local Reno wrecking yard that made one as well! I didn't get to check it out in detail, but he told me that he barely had time to tack weld it together before burning man.
The first trip (after the original 15 mile test drive) was to Woodburn Oregon for the National Electric Drag Racing Association annual drag races.
Here's the Stretch at a camping spot near the Kalamath river in Oregon. This was its second test drive, 1800 miles and it worked well. The fuel pump went into vapor lock a couple times and the used 82 tranny from a air-cooled Vanagon was making some bearing noise.
This was also the trip where it received its name "Power of Two".