west coast volkswagen roadtrip: memorial day weekend, 2015.

peter and i went on a super fun road trip over memorial day weekend!  we took a few extra days off of work and made it a six day adventure.

we took off from seattle down to portland and then made our way out to highway 101.  we followed it all along the coast and then dipped into the bay area for a minute.  then bombed up i-5 on our way home.

i shall [try to] keep my words to a minimum here, as there are a lot of sights to see!

huge shout out to my co-worker, michelle, without whom this adventure mobile would not be ours!  she sold her beloved bus to us last year to buy herself a new motorcycle.  needless to say, she is rad.  thanks michelle!!!

ready for take-off.

we began planning this trip at the beginning of the year.  pete wanted to visit as many west coast breweries as he could.  i was just a very willing participant in this endeavor!  :)

first stop: ecliptic brewing in portland, oregon.

we had a really amazing chicken sandwich and a salad.  really good food here!!  the beers were interesting, too.  the bartender was nice enough to step away from his lunch rush hour duties to give us a quick tour of their brewery.  how kind!  

pete-squatch sighting.

neeeeeded a cuppa joe before we hit the road! this is a genius move while on an on-the-road brewery tour.  beer, coffee, beer, coffee.  however, don't repeat this toooo many times or you'll just be totally drunk and cracked out on caffeine and stuck in a car.  no thanks.

this was a cool little spot in portland, the albina press, just off mississippi avenue (same street as ecliptic brewing). 


as we were cruising along the highway, we realized we were almost at our friend jenny's family winery!  so we stopped in, and had such a fantastic afternoon!

the burger family, along with several of their other wine-making comrades and partners, have been growing grapes and making some delicious wines here in the beautiful yamhill valley since 1983.

go here!!!  it's gorgeous.  pete and i first went one fall after all the grapes were picked and it was "all brown," as pete recollected.  it was still pretty then.  i took some fall photos during that visit.  we also visited again last summer before the grapes were harvested; i was so excited to see some grapes on a vine, haha!

we had a lovely wine tasting on the back patio in the most perrrrrfect weather.  it was such a great and unexpected kick-off to our trip, since we hadn't actually planned on stopping there!

thanks, jenny!!!

we'll be back!

ooooh, how the oregon coast weather was vastly different once we reached the 101.

it was cool looking, though.

we camped at cape perpetua. i wouldn't really recommend the campsite there.  there was nothing wrong with the place, it just wasn't an exciting one.  we know we could've found a cooler one on the same side as the water, so we were kind of bummed.  we had our campsites reserved and paid in advance, so we felt like we had to stay instead of explore around the area to find a better spot.


there were tons of birds circling around at this lookout and we couldn't really figure out why.  there was that big seal hanging out on the rock, but we couldn't see what the birds were really after.  it was kind of creepy in all the clouds and fog.

but she's a beaut, eh?? 

happy campers.

rusty truck brewing. lincoln city, oregon.
good beer! good wood fire pizza!

we liked this place!

7 devils brewing.  coos bay, oregon.

i remember the food being aiiiiight here.  beer.....good.  i need to work out a number scale for this.

c  a  l  i  f  o  r  n  i  a  !

we were happy to see sunshine.

oh hello, beauty.  this is what we had envisioned this trip to look like.

we stopped to see what was the matter with this vw and to see if pete could maybe help them with a fix.  we are pretty glad we did!  i kind of like to attribute the safety of our entire trip to the good karma we had after this stop.  jay & donna (our fast new bffs) said that "FIVE VOLKSWAGEN BUSSES PASSED BY ALREADY AND DID NOT STOP!"  Anyhoo, they were pretty pleased at us even bothering to stop and try to help, even though the fix was out of our hands.

see? pete's really giving it a try!  those electrical diagrams were so totally over my head.  naturally, i was just taking a bunch of pictures and listening to donna tell stories.

turns out, they were from vashon island.  neighbors to us in seattle! they had such funny stickers from all their travels.  

they've had this particular bus for many years, but they said that when they first bought it, they took off on their maiden voyage in it to florida!  they've also driven it to tennessee.  they go to a lot of volkswagen shows, and they often win the "long distance award" for having driven the furthest in a volkswagen to get to the show.  they were very chill people (as you can see), and i am glad we got to meet them.

we really want the fukenbrΓΆken sticker.

they went on to tell us how they go on the road for long period of time, just selling tie dye out of the back of their bus.  they stop at random places along the road or festivals or markets.  they really lead the simple life!

donna gave pete a sweet deal on a tie dye shirt for stopping to help them.  he got one with a "vw" logo in the middle.  their tie dye business is called "peacewurkz," in case you ever see that at a fair or festival. 
(omg! just found their facebook page.  here they are, doin their thang!)

their bus' name was janis :)  cut to: me listening to "me & bobby mcgee" on repeat for like an hour after this.

funny story here. the following day, we were driving along when we saw a green bus in the distance on the side of the road with a canopy tent set up outside.  this was seriously like a scene out of a movie and it just made me so happy.  as we approached the bus, listening to our tunes and the california sun shining bright, we could see jay in his tie dye sweatshirt and dreadlocks LEAP out of the side of his bus with the biggest smile and wild full-arm extended peace signs with both hands.  they had their little tie dye stand all set up and they were doing just fine!  they had even got ahead of us on the road, so we were so happy to see that their bus got repaired and they could carry on.  he waved and jumped and smiled at us like crazy as we passed them by, and we gave him a toot toot on our little bus horn and a peace sign for the road.

i was thinking after our trip that people in my generation are going to be some of the last folks to be able to connect with people who grew up as young adults in the 1960s in san francisco when all the real-deal hippie culture came to fruition.  meeting jay & donna on the side of the road on the redwood highway on the california coast truly felt like we jumped back in time and were a real part of that culture.  i'm pretty sure those two are still convinced it's 1967, but i thought their way of life was pretty admirable.  they were both just happy, grateful, and friendly as can be.

lost coast brewing. eureka, california.

we really liked it here, and were bummed we could only stay for a brewski.  it was getting dark and we had to get to our next camp site.  they have GooooooooooooD beer here (again, if i had a number scale of beer ratings, it would be up there!)

you could tell this was such a small community setting where everybody knows everybody.  the guy next to us was just yukkin it up to peter about the baseball game.  we don't give a hoot about the giants, or baseball, really.   but we appreciated his friendliness and excitement for the game!

into the woods.

we got to our campsite in the redwoods when it was completely dark, so we were excited to wake up amongst the big trees and see where we were.

i was sooo bummed that had i forgotten to bring a coffee making gizmo, when we have several different options at home.   had to settle for the ol' paper towel filter trick.

the trees! they are big!

i love bubbles. never leave home without em!

off to the drive thru tree.

they didn't let us drive through it.  we just stared up at it, instead.

okay, they let this giant red truck drive through, and put it on their website for the world to measure their vehicles against!  i'm still bitter about this, apparently.

we saw a bunch of other mid-size suv type vehicles driving through it, so i was kinda pisT that the lady said NO to our charming little bus.

so, i'm new to the iphone 6 and to the panoramic capabilities.  i had an iphone 4 regular for the last 5 years and i'd never once taken a phone pano til this one. iiiiii'm not very good at it yet.

the water! it's blue & green!

on to fort bragg!

here was a cozy little joint we stopped in at in fort bragg, but didn't stay because we were looking for food and not pub mix & pretzels.

north coast brewing. fort bragg, california.

pete is a big, big fan of north coast brewing and their old rasputin stout, but the service here that day was really god-awful.  apparently they wouldn't serve most things on the menu until 4 o clock, and there was a giant line of hungry and thirsty folks just standing around like idiots.  we got a beer from the bar and were forced out into the teeny patio area to drink it [pete still with a smile on his face...bless his heart].  

then we continued on our hunt for lunch food, and everything in that town seemed to have closed at 2pm! it was so weird! so we ate chinese food here and then left.  we needed to reach san francisco that evening, and we were still three hours away.

this part of our drive was probably the most scenic and beautiful!  we were still kind of in and out of some redwood stretches, on the coastline of california, and then right into some gorgeous northern california wine country.

anderson valley brewing company. boonville, california.

aw man! we wish we could have spent much more time here! i didn't take very many photos, but this brewery is amidst a zillion wineries and tasting rooms and wine country [aka lovely lovely everywhere].  if you get a chance to hang out in the back patio area in the sunshine here, definitely do it!  it felt cozy as if it were somebody's home and anyone was welcome to hang out in the backyard.

on to san fran!

marin county at sunset.  it was oh so perdy.


we made it!

my fabulous friend jenny was nice enough to put us up for the night in her stylin' profilin' little apartment in the city.  

isn't she the cutest?!

"hi, i'm jenny. here's some fresh lemon water."

some more general jenny bradshaw cuteness.

i absolutely had to go visit my bffs, the tanners.

this pic is probably one of my favorite from the whole trip! hehe..look how cute the bus looks under that tree.  good eye, jen!

jenny took us to her fav burrito spot in sf.  they even gave pete and me 'his & hers' burritos.  aw. true love.

thanks for the hospitality, jen!!!

she recommended we go to the mill for coffee and a light brekky when we left the next day.  this gal knows her hip & trendy eateries!

we had coffee and each got a different kind of toast. mine was country wheat with nutella on top.  pete's was some kind of delicious bread with butter and cinnamon sugar.  suuuuper YUM.  i realize it's just toast, but it was really delicious and i kept thinking about the cinnamon toast later.

this guy has like 6 toasters going!

some san francisco sights.

oooh la la.

that famous fog.

russian river brewing. santa rosa, california.
this photo wasn't actually of russian river brewery, but nearby.  we just popped in and out of there to buy a bunch of one of pete's favorites, pliny the elder.  

that shit is DELICIOUS! if you're into ipa styles. yum yum yum.

oh hey there i am again

we were headed up to salt point state park on highway 1 to our campground where we were originally supposed to be camping with a couple of friends.  our original original plan for this journey was to camp at big sur, but all those sites fill up like a year in advance.  salt point is north of san francisco and i was pretty damn impressed by what i saw, so no complaints here.  

although i do really wanna go camp at big sur sometime, okay marisa?

some windy-ass terrain up in here!

i was conflicted.  wanting to sing some sort of beach boys-like california beach tune, but also the sound of music at the same time [??].  the rolling hills here were beautiful!

whatever this party was...i definitely wanted to stop at.  we just kept going so we could actually chill at our campground for the day.  this was the first time getting to a campsite before dark our whole trip.


then we took a picnic and a couple mile walk out to the water.  it was so pretty!!!

....still not doing so great on the panorama front.

this dinner we made over the camp fire.... probably the best camping meal i've ever had in all my days.

we had some pre-made chili verde type thing cookin in the skillet, and also some corn.  i was intending to use the meat in tacos and eat the corn separately...then some very wise man named peter cut all the corn off the cob and into the chili verde.  threw that into a scrumptious tortilla with some hot sauce...and we were truly some happy campers.
we've actually made this same meal a couple different ways at home since this trip.  
every time, it is delicious!!!

we like breakfast.

then we made friends with our camping neighbor, stan.  he was a vietnam vet and has camped in every site at salt point over the years.  you can find him at site #60!  he gave us some generous gifts.

he also "fed the birds TEN POUNDS of seeds and the squirrels TEN POUNDS of peanuts!"

he was a cool dude.

we took off on some wild mountain road the next day.  it was 35 miles of super windy switchbacks and curves.  

we were trying to meet some friends in chico, and we had no cell service and i was looking at an actual road map (what are those things?!) not knowing where the hell we were.

when we'd have a tiny bit of service on pete's phone, i called them.  foster would ask, "where are you guys?"

i'd say, "mmm....i don't know! be there in 2 hours!"

this is the portion of the journey we like to call, "the magical mystery tour."

heyyyy, we're on a main road now!

there she is! mystery tour resolved!

so happy to see these people!

sierra nevada brewing company. chico, california.

the gift shoppe was closed. boo hoo.

sierra nevada pale ale--- a staple around our house!

our last night on the road.

also, i never took photos of what the inside of the bus looked like the entire time....what a shit house!  next time i will take pics of that.  its probably really comical to look back on.  socks and sweatpants hanging from various places, piles of shoes and snacks all over, SO much beer we didn't know what to do with.  we were literally cuddling with bottles of beer and camping chairs and pete's guitar while we slept.

 i gotta say though, the bus is comfortable to sleep in! the top pops up and we can put all our junk up there and sleep on the lower fold out bed, or leave our junk below and sleep up top.  it's pretty great!!

[pete's vacation shirt.  it was his grandpa jim's.  he loves it so.]

ooooookay. so lake shasta is mind-blowingly, astoundingly beautiful!  we just happened to drive past it...and i was flipping out.
in retrospect, we should have camped here!  but we kept on trucking up to the california/oregon border since we had a super long drive back to seattle the following day. 

we ended up staying that night in a rest stop.  not my favorite experience, but it wasn't the worst thing, either.

some more bus friends!  this guy lives out of his bus and has rebuilt the engine in this parking lot several times.  ha! bus owners are the funnest/craziest people to talk to.  they all have awesome stories.  

we are working on collecting some of our own :)

 we had a pretty tasty breakfast here at a diner in ashland, oregon.  then made our way up the ol' interstate five.

they always look cute together, no matter the combo. 

snuggies for car trips in cars without heat.  thumbs up to that!
go dawgs.

oakshire brewing. eugene, oregon.

peter and his brothers really like this beer.  i am glad we stopped in!  i had some delicious tasters.  their interior has a very clean yet repurposed vibe.

ninkasi brewing company.  eugene, oregon.

ninkasi! a classic! a favorite! our final brewery stop for the trip.

my personal fav was the dawn of the red.  yes yes.

if you like teal & black decor and delicious beer, go here. 

eugene is a good brewery hoppin' town, i'd say! you could easily bike or walk to at least three different breweries within a five block radius.  yayer!

my parents gave us their old 15 foot canoe that's been sitting around our house for many, many moons untouched.  woohoo! we strapped that baby to the top of the bus and prayed it didn't catch a big ol' gust of wind and fall off on the freeway.  how terrible would that be?

aaand i do not want to end this tale of our awesome trip on that weird/morbid/low note, so let me conclude by saying how much fun we had!  we went in with a vague plan of where we needed to be each night, and then just filled in every day with things we saw along the way.  this is my ideal type of trip.  i like having sort of/kind of an idea of what we are generally doing, but add in the details as they come.

many thanks to my main squeeze, travel buddy, and chauffeur, petey pablo, for getting us everywhere safely.  i promise i will try to learn to drive it soon so you can have a break to dink around on your phone, gather snacks, and look out the window as much as i did. 

 that should be a real hoot.

next stop, montana!!!

jk..  i just really want to go there.