Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Slowly Unraveling Vacation

Well, the plan was to fix up the Westy a little bit and head off down the coast. The plan started unraveling pretty quickly when we started trying to replace some of the rubber parts in the suspension. A pretty critical bolt sheared off, and then a piece of the suspension fell off as we were driving. It had been broken for a long time, judging by the heavy corrosion on the broken part of the metal.  So, the beast was now mostly un-driveable with no hope of getting it on the road in a short period of time.

Maybe I can use it as a monocle. 

Next, Sherry's mom had to go to the hospital, so we drove Sherry to the airport so she could head home. The boys and Mike made a plan to head down the coast in Casey's Mazda, stay in LA for a day, and then continue on to Joshua Tree. We tried to get out of Casey's house in Groveland but we got stuck on a snowy road and had to head back. 

Stopping for sandwiches was our mistake. If we had kept going, we probably could have made it out of town.

Too many stuck cars to make it up and over the hill out of Groveland. 

Three hours later, we followed a plow and made it out!
 We went to San Francisco for a day and had Christmas Day in Casey's apartment.

The day after Christmas, we headed south to LA, stopping at Pinnacles National Monument for some rock climbing along the way. 

Hunter "hanging out" in Pinnacles

Somebody has to be belay slave and rack stand. 

The boys at Pinnacles
 We finally made it to LA late that night and went out to see the new Star Wars movie. The next day, we went to the beach, went to the La Brea tar pits and tried to see Hollywood but the traffic was insufferable, so we bailed on that one.

Mike in LA

Even of you don't like Gehry, you have to admit that this is an impressive facade. 

Hunter in Santa Monica
Sherry was sounding overwhelmed because of her mom, so Mike flew home and left the boys to finish the mission. They drove out to Joshua Tree and, after looking for an open campsite for hours, they found a hotel. The next day, they scored a good campsite and are, as I type, climbing rocks in Joshua Tree. I hope that they are taking pictures!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Road Trip in California Over Christmas

Getting ready for a road trip in California. We are flying into San Francisco and then driving out to Groveland where Casey has a rental house. From there, we are going to work on the old "Westy" for a few days and then meander south. The big picture is to head down the coast towards Joshua Tree and spend some time there, and try to visit some friends and family along the way.

Casey bought a 1982 VW Westfalia Vanagon  a few months back and we are half owners. So, we are going to help fix it up, and use it when we can. The van lives in Groveland, Ca.

Here is the Westy (short for Westfalia) somewhere near Lake Tahoe. 

Another shot near Tahoe.