Peace, Brother

We’ve been getting the occasional peace sign.

A ‘hang loose,’ here and there.

The old bus is a magnet for good vibes and we’re the beneficiaries. Since I’m a bit of a nerd, the idea crossed my mind today of creating some sort of heat-map of peace-signing over the US . A contour map of good-vibes from other drivers would be an interesting way to plan a road-trip, although most of us can guess where the hot-spots might be. I’ve seen worse ideas get funded.

Anyway, we’re currently in a good-vibe epicenter. Five today.

DSC_3088 IMG_3126

They mostly come from other VW drivers. It’s nice when it’s a random Honda. Never a truck.

Amazingly, until today we’ve haven’t seen a single air-cooled VW bus out on the road so far – just in people’s yards. What gives?

When we finally saw one I had such bus withdrawal that I pulled over to chat. We checked out each others rides and swapped advice and stories. Daniel is a super-nice guy who believe it or not(!) is on his way to Guatemala in his bus. Of course, he’s blogging about his trip and you can check it out at

He’s just getting started as well and drove here from Florida.  His travel style is more of the young(er) solo variety.  Lots of ‘stealth camping.’  Pulling over and hiding off the road.  Bar parking lots (“officer, I just had too much to drink and decided to rest”).  Apparently, you can get a ticket for sleeping at a truck stop – it’s for commercial drivers only?  Certainly a thrifty way to travel, but his girlfriend was an early casualty – she was too “high-maintenance” and required electricity.

I used to (still do, I guess) have a theory that the amount of fun you have is proportional to the risk you take.  I see the allure of his travel style, but its just not how to travel with a four year-old kid… or keep a healthy marriage.  I’ve recently been reminded – happy wife, happy life.

Maybe more interesting were his motorcycle trips. From Florida to Oregon on a dirt bike – 80% unpaved. I don’t even know how that’s possible.  From Florida to Guatemala on a dirt bike – the inspiration for his current trip. Anyway, we’re going to keep in touch and who knows – you might see these two buses together again somewhere down the road.

13 thoughts on “Peace, Brother

  • August 28, 2009 at 5:25 AM

    Damn, what ever happened to the peace sign-in the 60’s you couldn’t get away from it-people you knew, people who you didn’t know-people saying “hi” or “goodbye”. Oh, yeah, I guess we decided peace was a Bad Idea. I love progress.


  • August 28, 2009 at 5:32 AM

    and I thought you folks are fearless…he’s nuts !!!!!

  • August 28, 2009 at 9:05 AM

    You are making me homesick (vansick?) for my silver 2002 Weekender. Why did I sell it? WHY??!!

  • August 28, 2009 at 9:21 PM

    Loving it. Your journey, and ours..
    Thanks for the shout out, yo!
    Peace, Rachel

  • August 29, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    You should watch the Long Way Round docu-miniseries, starring Ewan McGregor. And there was a sequel.

  • August 29, 2009 at 3:12 PM

    Same here, used to get the “peace” and thumbs up all the time. The map you mentioned sounds cool. Bee interesting to see how it populates, expecially in texas,lol.
    BE safe in this heat.

  • August 29, 2009 at 5:59 PM

    Love following you guys around. We get peace sign all the time when we’re in our bus. We have a 1960 bus and people really warm up to ’em fast, lots of smiles too. Enjoy the trip, keep us posted so we can enjoy the trip. Peace.

  • August 31, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    Don’t know if I ever told you that my most favorite cousin Kasey drove a silver/white VW camper van named Vladimir when in high school. Vlad for short. Probably would have been a compadre to Red Beard. 🙂
    Have you found any good local beer yet?

  • August 31, 2009 at 9:41 AM

    Hi There,
    I have been following your blog for about a month now. I work for VW and my wife and I love the idea of your trip. Growing up, my parents had (still have) an 84 VW Vanagon. I remember many trips in it. We live outside Portland OR and hope to see you drive through. If you have time to stay in the area I could over some great siteseeing spots. Safe travels and best of luck.

  • August 31, 2009 at 11:24 AM

    You know Wal-Marts let RVs stay in their lots for free. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind VWs as well. But that’s only if you’re willing to forgo electricity for a night (or borrow from a neighbor)

  • August 31, 2009 at 12:28 PM

    we’ll keep this as a last-resort option for those long desperate stretches. We’re self-contained, so electricity isn’t a problem. I’d be more worried about listening to those RV generators run all night long (and probably freeway traffic as well).

  • August 31, 2009 at 3:46 PM


    Plenty of good beers so far, but for some reason we haven’t been keeping track of the names… Today we visited the local brewery/pub near the main drag in Ashland. Good beer, but the staff were in the weeds. Rumor has it all the good beer is on the coast anyway, so we’ll be zig-zagging back through and provide a full report.

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