Illustration Friday – Memories

During the summer of 1998, before our last year of college, my husband and I went on an 8 week journey across the US in a 1974 VW Camper Van.  So many wonderful memories were made with that great little bus.

We mostly camped, but occasionally stayed with relatives and friends, parked in a few parking lots over night and stayed in a hotel or two.

We started in Flagstaff, AZ and drove 10,000 miles winding our way up the west coast, heading east after Seattle to Washington D.C. then back towards Flagstaff.  See that little detour in Southern California (below)?   Our engine blew up on day 2 (!) near Santa Maria.  Hubby’s mother drove from San Diego and rescued us so that we could spend a week putting in a rebuilt engine ($ChaChing$).  After that little hiccup, we were on our way again.

She was the prettiest little bus.  Bright orange and cheerful. When we bought her for $2400 she was disgustingly filthy.  We scrubbed her up, made new curtains, reupholstered the back seat, and put new seat covers in the front.    After lots of motor work, she was purring too –even more so after the new engine. Very slow on the road , but steady. Sadly we sold her for $3500 to help us pay for that engine and the small dept we had generated from the trip.

Lots of good memories, but a funny one was all of the people who would stop dead in their tracks to watch us drive by, often times shooting a peace sign at us.  We’d laugh and laugh and laugh. Good times, good times!

This entry was posted in Art and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Illustration Friday – Memories

  1. Kelli says:

    Holy moly how fun that would be! And to start in Flag!!
    Your illustration is simply beautiful.

  2. Andrea says:

    The summer of 98 I was having my twins and you, YOU were taking this amazing adventure. Oh I am so in love with this story. Your painting illustrates this trip perfectly.
    Love it!
    Peace friend,

  3. Miss Dot says:

    I used to drive a Red Bug and when I changed to a new car after it died a peaceful death in the driveway (very considerate) I never realised how much I would miss little kids pointing and waving “look Mum, it’s Herbie”
    ahh good times indeed

  4. Melanie O. says:

    Wow, what a wonderful memory! So cool!

  5. Dallas says:

    Oh, I love love love your little illustration! I’ve got a 1971 VW bus ( Mine is a passenger bus that we’ve converted to a camper a couple years ago. Now it has a bed in it, so we can camp with our VW camping club. That is one of my alltime favorite things to do. Sigh. Someday, I really want to drive my bus cross country.

  6. Taryn says:

    I think road trips with no time lines where you actually get to discover new places are the best kind. We just took our 4 kids on a 16 day road trip this summer. It was a great time!! Hope you get the chance to do something like that again.

  7. dot says:

    Great story, and really lovely illo!

  8. michelle says:

    You drove right by our house. 😉

    And, that last shirt is wonderful.

  9. As a part of the original VW bus generation and now an avid motor home user, I really enjoyed the tale and the illustration with it is great!

  10. Bruce says:

    Mrs. Kismit–I think it’s time for yous to encourage Mr.K to get that “other” VW Camper Van out of the front yard–you know, the one sitting on blocks–that he’s meant to “restore.” I’ll be a sport and help him push it into the back yard if that helps. Oh yeah, the engine’s at my house, in my backyard–can I bring that over? It fell out back when he drove the restoration project over to show me. You guy’s will need that. That was 2000 and something…

  11. Heidi says:

    Oh thank you! I loved reading about this trip. I have been trying to convince my husband to do this – through Alaska. There is an old VW bus for sale just up the road but he never seems to have the time to pull over and look at it. I will share your great memories with him.

  12. Sue says:

    What an amzing trip and what a cool VW bus. Sure took me back to years with many VW’s. Feel so bad you missed the NY and the Adirondacks, it is just beautiful, maybe someday!

  13. Melissa says:

    Hello! My husband and I have a 1986 VW camper van and love to go on trips with our 3 year old. One of our favorites was driving along the west coast on Hwy 1, turning into Hwy 101. We began in Astoria Washington and ended in San Francisco. We came home to Utah via Lake Tahoe. We had a great time and our son loved living day by day from ‘his bus’! Your picture so captures the beautiful life of being free to wander! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Debi says:

    I loved the illustration and the story. As you know, I still have my 1978 VW Westphalia, only I don’t use it enough. I think it’s time to get kayak racks for it and hit the road. We had the engine blow up too on our first or second day of “Our Excellent Adventure” in Washington State. The van died in the North Cascades and we had to be towed back to West Seattle, where my mechanic was. He fixed us up and off we went again! Thanks for sharing!! Great memories.

Comments are closed.