Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We got to spend our thanksgiving with our new VW friend Peter. We found him on the AIRs list while traveling in Albuquerque. He is letting us stay at his place while we do some adjustments to the Bus, like fixing the sliding door etc. We also got a new starter from a friend of his who has tons of VW parts! There are tons of old VWs here, if you ride down the block you will see at least 4 or more! We've been having a great time meeting lots of great new people and making friends. We also recruited Peter to go to Buses by the Bridge with us @ Lake Havasu AZ in January!

This is Tiki Bus~ Peter built a kegerator in it~ more pics to come later

We are staying here until Saturday and after that we decided to head South to get on I-10 instead of going I-40 because of the cold weather. It snowed here thanksgiving! We will miss some of the things we wanted to see but we would much rather stay warm. And there are places we want to see South as well, and meet up with some friends in Quartzsite AZ.

Thanksgiving was great for us, because we met some seriously awesome people, got to have delicious Southwestern style thanksgiving dinner and better parts for the Bus! We are very thankful this thanksgiving for the kindness of strangers and the luck of meeting great people. We miss our families but luckily we will get to visit them for the Christmas holidays. Well, happy thanksgiving everybody!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Route 66 Museum and straight shot Thru Texas Panhandle to NM

Hello all~ Just wanted to share that I changed my settings so all of you wonderful anonymous readers can now comment on my blog! I do look forward to reading comments so feel free to leave some for me, as long as they are positive! No negativity needed here.

We visited the Route 66 Museum in Elk City~ it was just $4 each with our AAA discount and $5 if you don't have AAA. Then we stayed the night in Amarillo Texas at the Amarillo Welcome Center. It was a nice, quiet, safe spot with 24 restrooms. Now we are staying a few days in Albuquerque NM, its a bit chilly here though.

My next project: building a teardrop trailer

Huge Fabergé egg collection
World's First torture device perhaps? Or a hair curler... you decide!

Somehow we went back in time!

Leaning Water Tower

Cadillac Ranch

Desert, desert, and look! a mound...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fort Smith Arkansas & Elk CIty Oklahoma

After spending a few days in Fort Smith we took the back roads to Elk City OK where there is a free campsite with power hook ups at a 3 day maximum at the Elk City Park. The bathrooms were only pit toilets and there wasn't any running water but it was a nice campground for free. There are 5 RV spots and the whole time we only had one neighbor until today when we left another huge RV showed up. Now we are waiting for the Route 66 Museum to open up at two and then we will be off to Amarillo Texas.

Clay @ Our camp site made good chalk!~ a drawing of my Kitty Lobster~ I miss him

More Sidewalk drawings around our Bus

Pretty Sunsets

Lake Side

Strange Amphitheater isn't used for anything it appears except bird nests
OK uses its windy days to harvest power
Fort Smith Pictures:

Claw Machine VW Bus!
House made from old Trolly Car during the depression era~ Recycling!

"Miss Laura's Social Club" AKA Bordello/Brothel

Fort Smith Gallows~ many were hung here

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Up & Running & Heading West

We had the Bus towed over to Bob Meyers in North Little Rock at the advice of two Moonies. Turns out that the generator belt was too loose to charge the alternator but tight enough to keep the alternator light from coming on. Some of the connectors were also corroded and covered in goo so he cleaned them and tightened the connectors and belt, tightened our clutch and gave our Bus a clean bill of health! He said that the engine sounds great and we should be able to get to Cali with no more problems. Coming from a man who specializes in old VWs, drives a Bug and has a yard full of VWs we are feeling a lot more confident. He said that the generator is kind of gerry-rigged in and later on we will need to replace the mounts because they aren't original and will make changing our belt difficult because the alternator doesn't want to budge... Which is good for now: at least we know it won't fall out on the highway! Our belt is also pretty new so he said we won't need to be changing that for a while.

After Telling the Bus "This Could be YOU!" He started right up!

The Landscape is Changing...
Western Arkansas is much prettier and more mountainous
We will be spending the next few days in Fort Smith, Arkansas which is about 5 minutes from Oklahoma. From Little Rock we took AR-10 all the way to Fort Smith which was a very pretty drive and took about 3 1/2 hours going 50-55. We definitely CAN drive a lot faster but we prefer not to, letting the world hurry by...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas

We spent a night in Atlanta GA, and William National Forest AL and blew through MS traveling mostly on 278W...
Lunch Time in Piedmont Alabama

We stayed the night in William National Park nestled in between a graveyard and a church...
We had some quiet neighbors that first night...

Mississippi was flaaaaat
.. traveling on Route 6

Crossing over the Mississippi River on 49N

only to find ourselves broken down in Little Rock AR~ generator issues this time... But have no fear folks! We found a trusted VW mechanic in town who should have us on the road again in no time! In the meanwhile we have been enjoying LaQuinta Inn & Suites courtesy of our insurance plan with Nationwide! Gotta have that Road Trip Interruption Coverage!

Apparently Moonshining is a big thing here, I never heard that stigma before. I always thought it was the Appalachian Mountain folk who were known for it.

View from out Hotel room @ LaQuinta

Anyone ever heard of the Peabody Ducks? We didn't either until we looked up free things to do in Little Rock! Every day at 11am and 5pm the "Duck Master" leads the ducks to and from their "rooftop palace" and the fountain made specifically for them! These are probably the world's happiest ducks...
The Art Museum is pretty good too~ it has an original Picasso! I didn't get any photos though.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Polished up & broken down

We got the bus all "spiffied up." We used meguiars (I believe) dash polish on our dash, but not the glove box door and you can really see the difference!

We also used Blue Magic liquid metal polish and polished the rear view mirrors, hub caps and the bay windows. The Bus looks almost new!
half polished:



Just in time to break down... as we were attempting to leave Aiken SC the bus just quit starting on us. Turns out we just needed new distributor points, so we got a spare set just in case it tries to happen again...

So tomorrow we will (hopefully!) be on the road again- off to Atlanta, Georgia to visit my old roommate. The mechanic told us that we will likely break down again at some point (we don't have AAA for nothing!) and that we outta keep it at 50/55 mph and take the back roads... just as we had planned. Hopefully we will make it a little farther this time. :D *fingers crossed!*

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good Bye Greenville SC!

Finally got the new shocks put on, bumper put on and had the mechanic do a basic check up on the Bus. Looks like we need new heater hoses and wire to make the heater work. But the mech showed us what was up so I feel confident that we will be able to rig it up later on down the road...
Got a new atlas from Books-A-Million which we marked up with our destinations and stuck some sticky notes in it. (check out the rainbow RIGHT that we saw when we got to the book store)
We also got our bikes in working order and purchased a two bike rack from a woman on craigslist who just moved to SC from California! She told us to check out Venice Beach while we were out there. So that is another addition to our destination plans.

In Greenville we spent a lot of time sitting around and planning, but we also visited the Greenville Zoo on Monday.
Its a pretty small zoo but only costs around $7. And there's a petting zoo! Now for some photos...

Even big cats stick out their tongues when they sleep!

Two Newer additions to the Greenville Zoo~ Giraffes!

One of the two resident elephants. I wonder if they get cold in the Winter?

Now we are in Aiken SC for a few days before we mosey on to Atlanta, looks like the fall is following us there too! Looks like we need to go further south...