Monday, June 14, 2010

Trainspotting II VW Campout

It was Melissa's turn to host a camp out this weekend, the long awaited, much anticipated, Trainspotting II event at the Hallsted Campground in the Plumas National Forest near Quincy, CA! When she mentioned hot springs, of course, I could not pass it up! Even though on Friday night, after traveling the whole day on three flights back from Maine, and getting home at about midnight, the next morning Romy and I got out of bed (reluctantly though) and started packing the bus. Sleeping bags? Pillows? Lantern and lamp oil? Tools? Wine? Cheese? Towels? Swimsuit? Check! We rolled out of Oakland in the bus about 11am and headed towards the mountains. Not even a howling headwind (which curiously changed directions so that it was always blowing against the general way we were driving) could stop us!

Trainspotting II
Our shared campsite with John.

The wind did a good job of blowing any smog or otherwise hazy shit from the air and we were able to see the snow covered peaks of the Sierra Nevadas as we bust out of the Bay Area. Its not everyday that you can see the mountains across the valley like that! Slowly, we crossed the flat expanse of the delta, getting to Sacramento, and then finally made it to Marysville, and then Oroville. Next we were starting to climb up the foothills and quickly found the railroad tracks which ran along the deep canyons. And guess what! We spotted our first train of the weekend! Eventually we entered the Plumas National Forest, and saw the sign for the Hallsted Campground (but not in time to slow down - we totally passed it and had to turn around). When we got there, there was already a gathering of VW folks, and we did our rounds, found our spot which we shared with John, and went out to join the fun.

Trainspotting II
A pot luck dinner around the fire on Saturday evening at Trainspotting.

That evening, there was a potluck dinner. We didn't bring any food for dinner, but instead brought an assortment of cheese and crackers with salami and prunes as an appetizer. Romy and I were still pretty exhausted though, so soon after dinner, we got tired and ended up retiring for the night in the bus. It has been a while since we took the bus on a camping trip because we were trying to get it tuned and fix an exhaust leak. But we figured, tuned or not, we should take it on a trip instead of just letting it sit on the driveway! Plus the baja had it's transmission and engine pulled out, its contents currently laying all over the garage floor!

Propane Stove
Our propane stove in the bus.

The next morning, we tried out our new propane stove, made for the Riviera interior. Romy found it online. We boiled water for our coffee on the stove top. It worked very well and was convenient. Much easier than using the camp stove. No pumping required, just a quick attachment to the hose coming out of the propane tank that's mounted under the bus.

Trainspotting II
The stove sits on top of the jumper seat behind the passenger front seat.

Well, after having a relaxed coffee time with the group and a small breakfast of greek yogurt and granola, we headed out to find Woody's Hot Spring, a natural hot spring that is right on the Feather River and was just two miles down the road from the campground... to be continued!