Wet, wet
westywandering
It's a solid 90 minute drive from here to London. I have good friends up there and sometimes I go up, camp overnight in their back yard for a night or two and come home refreshed. Usually my route takes me through a few towns but mostly it's farmers' fields. A lot of it is Amish/Mennonite country. It's often that I meet the black horse and buggies along the road. Usually by this time of the year I start to see a few irrigation systems making an appearance but not this year.

The fields are soaked; there is no other word for it. Lots a patches of muddy wet field, stunted or none existing growth of the crop and in a few places, veritable duck ponds smack in the middle of the field. It does not bode well.

All this at a time when sunny places like California a bone dry, literally.

Whatever the weather though, it's snug in the van. Doesn't matter if you camped in the driveway or the backyard or in Walmart; it's always a joy. Yay.
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Life changing
westywandering
My young friend is off to Quebec to have some work done on her van. I think her mom thinks shes losing it a bit, but I understand.

I was almost exactly her age when I got my first motorcycle. I went all over the place with it. I met lots of really great people and saw places I never woUld have. I had experiences that I never would have had. I was sometimes a bit scared, sometimes a bit lonely, tired, you name it. But, I wouldn't change those experiences for the world.

She's a lot safer in the van than I was on a motorcycle.

So, off you go girl. enjoy yourself, challenge yourself. Have fun.

It's a big beautiful world; go see some of it.

Thinking...
westywandering
I love my Westy; oh yes, I love my Westy for so many reasons. But something occurred to me today.

The VW camper is in some ways, a quintessential symbol of White Privilege. Think about it.

It’s hey-day was the 60’s and 70’s; a time of beaches, surfboards and little white teens running around the beach with nothing more serious on their minds than fast cars, surfing and the next kiss. I don’t recall seeing any POC, not even as a ‘token’ in any of those movies. Even now, in the rarified atmosphere of the few gatherings that I’ve been to, no POC.

And when you think about it, why would you. In the 60’s and 70’s, POC were busy trying to ride the buses unmolested, use a public bathroom and/or, heaven forbid, get a meal in any old restaurant. Mindless surfing on the beach would not have been high on the ‘to do’ list.

No, I’m not going to get rid of my Westy. I’ve worked hard for it, I’ve earned my toy, but it never hurts to think a bit deeper about things.

Resting up
westywandering
It's the day after Melee and I am so tired. Sales ere 'brisk' at times as I let stuff go for pennies, really. But the main idea was to clear out 'stuff' and clear out I did.

The EZY Awning continues to serve very well, it's adaptable and easy, literally and I am happy with it.

A good weekend.

BusFusion and Home Again
westywandering
Left Wednesday morning for BusFusion; we dithered around waiting to see if I had a pickup in Toronto along the way. By the time that was settled, the day was half gone so it was a late, late start.

We met at the DQ in Brampton; by the time we hit Toronto, it was rush-hour and to make matters worse, most of Hwy 7 across Toronto is under construction. Instead of making Marmora by suppertime with time to eat and quietly settle in, we arrived well after dark. We parked in a little corner of the boat launch site; when my friend came back from the Timmies across the street, she told me that there was indeed a sign saying that there was no parking or overnight camping. By that time, it was very late and we weren't about to go looking so we settled in.

As usual, I slept like a log. As we were getting ready to leave, a city worker truck came to the boat ramp and started taking water into the water tank. The driver came over to query if she had woken us up when she came for water at 5 am. Hmmm. Nope, not me. It was an interesting contrast to the sign, anyway.

We stopped for gas every 175-200 km which worked well. At one point we stopped at a chip wagon in the middle of nowhere. We were at a picnic table enjoying them when this older (than me) gentleman drove into the parking lot. He looked at the two Westies parked together, sauntered over to where we were sitting. I didn't hear what he said first but my friend responded with ''Pretty cool, huh?'' Then he said, ''I was just wondering why there were two of them?'' and before my brain even clicked in I responded with ''One for each of us?'' He made a kind of hopeless gesture and walked away. Sorry, but what was he expecting?

We arrived in Almonte in time to settle in nicely, get the awning up between the buses. We parked with sliding doors facing and the awning between us and with the 'carpet' that my son gave me for mother's day on the grass and the tables I brought, it made for a cozy little setup. There were about half the electrical pugs available this year than last year; apparently Hydro came in an had coniptions over the age and state of some of the poles.

The quilt draw this year is going towards the building fund for the fairgrounds. Like most fairgrounds of any age, it's getting to the point where it needs some major work done on all parts of it.

Friday we spent wandering around meeting people, chatting, getting to know people. Big Eric came over and looked at certain problems on our vans for us and suggested some solutions. Evening is of course, campfire time. There was some great 'jamming' going on 'case a few people brought instruments. Some of them play professionally. Nice night.

Saturday is Flea Market/Swap Meet/Craft Goods Day. I had some fun with the VW bra and panties; the t-shirts were not quite finished so they were not for sale this year but will be for next. It certainly piqued some interest.

Weather was fabulous for the river; Puppy Parade was, well, the puppy parade. Lots of stuff to do during the day but I enjoy walking around and talking to people.

The Saturday night supper is always fun and they have some fabulous door prizes plus the 50/50 draw and the quilt draw. Entertainment and of course the obligatory campfire. A really nice day.

Sunday is burrito breakfast, free for volunteers. I confess I a getting to like burritoes for breakfast, at least the BusFusion ones. Heavy on the bacon.

We left midday, ambled along 7 for awhile, then hit rain. By the time we hit west of Toronto, we hit major rain so I opted to take MYF's offer of staying at her Mom's and driving in Monday. It was a wise choice.

Wandered into the house mid-afternoon today. Feeling pretty mellow. Van was great the whole trip. Round trip about oh, 1400-1500 km.

Mellow Jello.

She's ba-a-ack
westywandering
400.00 dollars later instead of the 200.00 I was hoping for and she's back on the road. The temp gauge is actually working properly, not just jumping up. In fact, everything on the dash is working Beautifully. It hasn't worked that well, ever.

He also made a list of things that are upcoming; he let me take it out with the 200.00 down that I budgeted for and owe the other 200.00. I need to make a bit of cash next weekend. The speedometer needs a little piece inside to continue working properly and I need to order the coolant level gauge but I think I'm going to be okay.

So now I am packing the van for the whole summer, really. Getting everything in place. It seems to be quite a chore and to think I did this every time I went tenting. I love my vanagon. So much simpler.

I have two vehicles parked outside my house. Weird.

Another sigh
westywandering
For Over 15 years, I have had the same garage; they are only a 2 minute drive from where I worked and it was convenient as well as excellent workmanship.

Now that I am retired, it is not so convenient; it’s a 20 minute drive and a shuttle is not always available. Plus, I now have the Westy. It’s 35 years old, it’s got some issues and it’s German, a little different from your usual vehicle.

I decided to try a local guy; he’s a 5 minute walk from my home, he used to work on VW’S in the 70’s, he’s a bit older. He enjoys the same excellent reputation as my first mechanic; the big plus is that he is so close.

The problem with the coolant has been plaguing us off and on since early last year. We’d think we had it and then it would start up again. I know they checked the electrical, I saw it all pulled apart. However, it is possible he has the magic touch with VW’S. We shall see.

In the meantime, I am so gratified by the support coming from the VW community. I may still need to take someone up on their offer for a new instrument cluster but at the moment, it looks like I won’t have to do that.

Tomorrow morning tells the tale.

Sigh
westywandering
Yesterday I brought Lucylu home except I drove straight to the garage. The water coolant light kept coming one so it was stop and start until I got her home the 15 km and got her safely into the parking lot. It's a long weekend so she won't even get looked at until Tuesday.

This problem has been ongoing to far too long. Perhaps this guy can solve the problem. I have a 1300 km trip coming up, I don't need this kind of aggravation.

And on the subject of that trip; this time I might be driving with someone else to an event. She's registered her van and hey, this could be different. I don't often travel in tandem, as it were.

Visited with a former coworker yesterday; she has offered me shelter for Lucylu for the winter. Turns out its more than just a shed, it actually has electricity and all. Wow. They have a bus which isn't on the road right now; it needs work. It's an awesome offer. I think I mentioned that before. Just shows how thrilled I am.

Summer is shaping up.

Another step again
westywandering
So it cost me 80 bucks to find out that there was nothing more serious that some stones in the hub caps and a stick stuck underneath. The up side is that the whole front end underneath got a good once over.
The battery needed to be put on the charger to be properly charged up or I might have arranged to bring it home right then. As it is, perhaps next Sunday after my Mother's Day lunch with my younger son.
The calendar is starting to fill out nicely. Lots to do this summer.

One step closer
westywandering
Went up and took the tarp of Lulu, climbed in; she smelled sweet and warm, no mustiness at all. Tomorrow I get the news on how much repairs will cost.

A woman and a westy always get attention. There was a tow truck driver who came into the lot and before he had even finished unload he was over chatting.

The guys may call them 'babe magnets' but they are also 'man magnets.'

Also went to check out my new possible mechanic again. I think I will try him.

?

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