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Monthly ArchiveJune 2012

The Project The Sage on 10 Jun 2012

I’m Back

I’ve been gone a long time.  Allow me to explain; I have children.  Getting greasy with bruised knuckles and bloody arms is really fun and all, but kids in order to brew properly, need attention.So, what’s been happening in the last two year?  The best short explanation: Chat and Facebook.  If you are a frequent user of The Samba, you will know that I am on the site daily, and often in the Chat.  If you have come into Chat for help with your VW, sorry, we tend to be impolite.Chat is where I met many of the people I know from The Samba. But since Russ Wolfe past away, I haven’t been in there as often.  Facebook is getting boring these days too.

So it was time to jump start the hobby.  The  best way to do this is stabilize my facility and build a more permanent shop.  To do this I bought a building.   It’s not sexy, but it’s a great size and it’s big enough to house my buses and other VW’s,

So I move my stuff this month, and I get the hobby back on track.  The next project is to finish the 64 Camper.  I have the body and paint work secured.  I am reworking the engine, and now it’s a matter of putting everything back together.

It feels good to be back in my coveralls getting greasy.

The Project The Sage on 04 Jun 2012

Thinking about the desert

I’ve been thinking about the desert.  Somewhere in me is a bit of recluse, and it’s ready to burst out.  So I posted this on The Samba:

My fellow Sambanistas: I would love your input. I live in a beautiful part of the world, but it has lots of water. Lakes, Rain, Snow etc… 

I want to spend a week in the desert here in the US. Can someone give me an off the beaten path place where an old dude can just sit and read some books in the sun? 

* I need to eat 
* I need to be able to park the bus without hassle 
* I would like it to be pretty quiet 
* I need a bathroom and a shower 

Your thoughts on a cool memorable place would offer you karma beyond imagination.

After a few pages, I get this response:

I don’t know of a desert place off the beaten path where you’ll have a restaurant, bath and shower, except the following.

I made 33 trips to Death Valley before I quit counting. The first one was in July, 1970. I recommend you visit Furnace Creek Ranch. Try to nab one of the few shaded sites at the south end of the visitor center campground nearest the park HQ. The Ranch has a grocery store, restaurant, gas, and showers are available for a small fee at the pool. There are also showers among some cabins south of the store et al. Poke around and you’ll find them. I’ve used them without challenge. The date palm grove near the cmpgnd has a ditch with flowing water around it. I used to go over after dark with my army shovel, scoop out the ditch so I could immerse my dusty body. Please use biodegradeable soap.

Pick up a map of the valley at your AAA office. If you’re not a member, I suggest you join before taking a VW bus into the Valley of Death. Also take extra gas. Fuel is expensive at the Furnace Creek station. I took two 2 ½ gal. cans of gas and planned refueling stops over in Beatty.

You say you want to sit and read, so I’m assuming you’re probably not interested in driving the long dusty road to The Racetrack where rocks move across the dry lake playa. But, please don’t miss the ballet skits performed by Marta Becket at the Amargosa Opera House in Death Valley Junction. This gal is a oner! Ask at park HQ for her schedule. Go over early and stroll around the old borax company buildings. It wouldn’t be right if you didn’t also drive down to Badwater, the lowest spot in the Western Hemisphere at -282 ft.

Always be alert for sidewinders.

Take at least five gal. of water in your bus when you’re traveling in desert areas. Drink fluids often, even though you don’t feel thirsty. With ten percent humidity and high heat, you don’t realize how much water you’re losing.



Several of the options that were recommended to me seem pretty cool.  Fall is the best time to go.  October is traditionally the time when I take a Sabbatical, so this might be the trip.  I’d like it to be in the 64 camper.  There’s lots to do before we are ready to take that journey.