This weekend I had the great pleasure of attending the 20th annual Jerome Jamboree Volkswagen Bus Club camp-out. Held every year at the Gold King Mine just outside Jerome, Ariz. This festival of all things Volkswagen is a three-day party; only cars stamped with a VW logo get in and tie-dye is encouraged. Follow the link below to read the story…
Being a former Volkswagen owner and mechanic I have great appreciation for these fantastic pieces of German engineering. They are a culture all their own and attract an interesting cross section of hippies, punks, do-it-yourself metal fabricators and mechanics, classic car aficionados, and regular families too.
I haven’t owned a motor vehicle since 2008 when I sold everything I owned so I could bum around Europe for three months. Which was probably the best decision I ever have made, but it has since left me without a motor vehicle. Without a ride I resorted to hitch hiking. I figured that someone would have to be headed that way from Flagstaff and would surely pick me up in their bus. As it turned out, I didn’t see a single Bus or Volkswagen of any kind until I was in Jerome. So I started walking from my house in Downtown Flagstaff in the direction i wanted to go. I didn’t get picked up until i had walked about five miles out of town to the junction of 89a and I-17. Standing on the corner with a sign that read ‘Jerome’ two guys in a beat up old Impala picked me up with the offer of a ride as far as Sedona, not all the way but a good start. They were on an afternoon drive, as it was their day off, and were going to drive through Oak Creek Canyon, stop at an overlook and then jump in the creek for a little while.
A while later we splashed in Oak Creek below Midgley Bridge. It was really hot that day and after the hike the cold water felt amazing.
By this point we had sort of bonded and they guys decided to take me all the way to Jerome instead of leaving me hanging in Sedona. However we still needed to stop for gas and so they could get something to eat. At the Circle K Ronnie and Leo both purchased burger hot dogs with nacho cheese, chili, jalapeno, and onion, not to mention the 79¢ Thirst Busters.
There was this very Beavis and Butthead moment as they stood at the wall of soda, junk food in hand taking up room in the Quickie Mart.
We left Sedona and headed down the highway toward Jerome.
A few wrong turns and one more scenic overlook later we were in downtown Jerome, where we pulled over at a park to let me out. As Leo pulled the Impala away an odd sense of accomplishment washed over me. I couldn’t believe I had made it this far, or that I had made it at all. I set up on a bench and ate some lunch. The only food I brought with me was half a jar of peanut butter, one-third of a loaf of bread, a few carrots and two oranges, one of which turned out to be rotten. After my sandwich and orange I relaxed for a while and thought about what to do next.