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Annual gathering of Buses at Lake Havasu, Arizona.  This year's event coincided with the balloon festival.  With well over 300 Buses in attendance and so much going on, I didn't take many photos this year.  


I left Wednesday and stayed down-river at Cattail Cove to do a little kayaking.  Old Blue was the only VW there.

After some rough water kayaking (wind created 2-3 foot swells), I headed up to "the bridge" and was able to park down by the lighthouse ~ prime real estate!  While it was a spot that got all the chilly wind, it was a spot with great views, no fire smoke, and convenient kayak launching.  I set up the awning and its enclosure; by the time that was completed, it was Dice Walk time!  This year, it was a Dice Walk around camp, instead of the traditional Dice Run around town.  I had the high roll... for a short time.  No Dice Walk prize this year.

   


Friday was kayak day... ventured down to the marina and Nautical Inn area.  Too windy for the balloons all weekend, except in the morning hours.


Saturday was mountain bike day.  Road down the path along the canal (a no-no come to find out), watched out of control off-road RC cars race around a dirt track, and visited my cousin's condo for the first time in decades. Panda balloon arrived, but didn't stay too long thanks to the wind.  Saturday night was raffle time!  Between Mom and I, we bought $40 worth of tickets.  We were after the way-cool VW-themed stainless steel fire pit and went home without it. Bummer!  We did win a few things though, so we didn't go home empty-handed.

   

Sunday, rode over to the dirt lot near the bridge to watch balloons fly over, a couple dipping their baskets into the lake.  Spent the night at my cousin's condo; made dinner in the van (running out of propane in the process!) and I slept in the van.  Woke up Monday morning to the van getting drenched in water thanks to a balloon and got to watch a balloon land on a pontoon boat!  Headed home via Wickenburg (nice day for a drive & didn't want to fight freeway traffic); saw a bus-turned-motorhome towing a matching Bay Window Bus pass the other way... very cool; wish I could've gotten a picture of that!

It was fun putting faces to a few The Samba usernames, meeting up with familiar folks and seeing so many different Buses and Vanagons! Looking forward to BBB XVIII!


Only two issues: 1) Rear heater began making its leak known (see the mechanical project page for additional info). 2) In doing the pre-flight check on Tuesday (16th), noticed black rubber crap all over the engine.  A/C belt had flipped itself inside out and had been rubbing against the pulley's center rib.  In cleaning up, noticed a bolt in the 4 o-clock position had backed itself out and wedged itself against the pulley, half shearing its head off.  Bizarre... Quick, temporary repair: cut the near-new belt off.


Click on the panorama to enlarge:


Total miles: 460

Adventure 11: Buses By the Bridge XVII                                                                     January 17-20, 2013