Day 1: Phoenix, AZ to Palm Springs, CA
Loaded Blue and hit the road to rendezvous with Mom & Dad at McDonald's in Quartzite. Got a late start because: A) The bra was a PITA to get on; a few of the tabs kept popping out when the doors shut. B) At the gas station the pump asked if I had a Fry's Club Card (never used this station before). I did, and ran around the van to get my wallet, knowing I had some fuel savings points. Of course, in the few seconds it took to get the card, the dumb computer at the pump had moved on. Thus began the time-
It's still rather warm in Arizona, so was cruising down the highway with the windows down and music blaring. I'm cruising along and happen to see the phone light up. It's Mom. She begins telling me that... "wait a sec, I can't hear you; gotta roll the window up!"... the Porsche broke down and they were stuck on the side of the road for an hour. That's not good; but there again, that means we'll meet up at about the same time! Turns out, they had both called several times to request I make a detour and I missed all but that last call... Oopsie! From then on I kept the phone in front of the tach on the instrument cluster.
After a scrumptious lunch at McD's, we pressed on to Palm Springs. The Porsche was still acting up, so we stopped in Blythe at NAPA and for fuel. Only one 356 was seen en route... and it passed us! Apparently, going east, was a fellow Westy... it was a rather nice day so I was looking at the landscape and failed to see it. I'm so embarrassed because I usually have radar for the things!
We arrived at the Riviera Resort, where the show was being held, around 4pm. After the Porsche cooled down, Dad set about troubleshooting and found the problem: a teeny, tiny fiber had clogged one of the jets.
Day 2: Porsche 356 Drive
Time to take a Porsche cruise! Two groups of 356s took a drive up to the quaint little town of Idylwild. It was pretty neat seeing a train of 356s going up and down the mountain.
Day 3: Porsche Show
The organizers requested vehicles near the show area be moved (motorhome, pickup truck, etc.) for photos. When asked if the Westfalia should be moved too he said, "Nah, it's German!" Lots of beautiful 356s on display (sorry, no photos of 'em all). The catered lunch was required to be ticket-
Day 4: Palm Springs to Salton Sea
It was decided, that instead of spending another night in the hotel hearing doors slam shut, we'd head for Joshua Tree (a place I'd never been despite growing up in SoCal). Before doing so, however, we wanted to take a ride on the aerial tram. The road up to the tram parking lots was long and steep. Upon parking, Mom ran around and said, "Blue is smoking!" Oh, crap! I looked in the mirror: No smoke out of the left vent; whitish smoke coming out of the right vent. Looked underneath and didn't see fire (phew!). Opened the hatch, pulled everything out, took the engine cover off, looked in and found... nothing. No smoke, no steam, nothing. Van didn't overheat either; temps were all normal for a hill climb. Put everything back in, closed the hatch and went for a tram ride. After having a delicious hamburger for lunch at the mountain-
After driving for 100 miles, we got to the turnoff to Joshua Tree on I-
Day 5: Salton Sea to Joshua Tree
No surprise: sleepless night. Well, not totally; sleep was had in between the train horns blasting, which came every 20 minutes. As the sun rose higher in the sky, the flies grew in number. While packing stuff up, taking pictures, and walking around, an air-
Stopped in Twentynine Palms for a photo-
Joshua Tree was gorgeous and not too many people there. After spending a bit of time stopping and taking in the sights, we headed for a campground before it got dark. En route to the campground, we were followed by a white Westy Bus; it kept going rather than turning at the campground, bummer! We drove all the way to the end of the last loop and found a great spot nestled among the boulders. Up the road a bit was a Eurovan camper, and one heck of an off-
Day 6: Joshua Tree
Went back and toured the areas we didn't have time to see yesterday. By the time we were done, it was too late to drive out of the park, so we decided to stay another night... and good thing. After walking the nearby nature trail, we arrived back at the van to see another Westy parked in the same loop. The owner, Leah, stopped to chat with us; her Westy is her, literally, home on wheels.
Day 7: Joshua Tree to Alamo Lake
Brrr... cold, windy night and, therefore, not much sleep (in fact, Leah moved to another spot early this morning in the hopes that it'd be warmer). Ate breakfast, loaded up and headed off to Parker where we stopped for some groceries and lunch. En route we, of course, encountered some road construction which plastered the cars with road debris (i.e. rocks!). Took a look while stopped in Parker: one rock was actually stuck in the van's bra... it broke through the top layer of vinyl and was being held in by the felt underlayment. Well, that confirms it; this is the last trip for this bra (the door tabs kept popping out too).
It seemed like forever getting to Alamo Lake, but beautiful scenery kept the mind occupied. Found a prime spot overlooking the lake just as the sun was setting. After dinner, it was straight to bed; long day, and we were beat! Before hitting the hay, I wandered over to the restroom; only one restroom was there and it was clear on the opposite side of where we parked for the night. In rounding the end of loop 1, I heard some snorting... shined my flashlight out into the dark desert and didn't see anything.
Day 8: Alamo Lake to home
Woke up to Dad, who slept outside on a cot, asking if I heard the donkey last night. Donkey? What donkey? "The donkey that wandered through camp! You didn't hear it?! It walked right by me!" Hmm... must've slept pretty darn good last night because I didn't hear a thing! And, that must've been what was snorting at me on my trek to the restroom last night!
After a leisurely breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast, we drove down to the dam for a bird's eye view of the lake and surrounding area. Scenic, out of the way place; will have to go back with the kayak!
Said adios to Mom and Dad in Aguila; they drove on to Prescott, while I headed back to Phoenix via Wickenburg. It was to finally see the other side of Wickenburg (I've only entered via US 60), and it was a nice day for a drive: clear, blue sky and little traffic. Brilliant end to another fun adventure!
In case you're wondering: It was determined, once back at home and with the help of TheSamba sleuths, that the smoke seen back in Palm Springs was due to a power steering leak. Fluid was running down one of the hoses; going up that long, steep grade allowed the fluid to drip backward onto the exhaust pipe. The smoke never reappeared after that instance at the tramway... and the leak has since been stopped with a power steering reservoir replacement. Now, onward and upwards to Buses By the Bridge!
Total miles: 1,051
Avg. MPG: 16.85
|Solar & Fridge|
|Hitch & Accessories|
|Bringing Old Blue Home|
|South Arizona 2010|
|Park City 2010|
|Syncrofest I 2011|
|Palm Springs 2011|
|BBB XVI 2012|
|Woods Canyon 2012|
|BBB XVII 2013|
|Blue Ridge 2013|
|Santa Fe 2013|
|BBB XVIII 2014|
|Lee's Ferry 2014|
|BBB XIX 2015|
|Lake Mohave 2015|
|BBB XX 2016|
|Lee's Ferry 2016|
|BBB XXI 2017|
|Electrical & Mechanical Projects|
|Sliding Door Screen|