After lunch I picked up my pack and headed in the direction of the Gold King Mine, which is a little over a mile from Jerome down a small two lane rode. After walking about three-quarters of the way an ATV pulled up and Mike, the operator and Gold King Mine employee offered me a ride to the front gate. In order to gain entry to the event for the weekend there was a $20 per carload entry fee. I showed up on the back of an ATV, I didn’t have a Volkswagen and they didn’t know what to do with me… Please follow the link below to read more
In the end, despite my best attempts to get in for a discount rate, I paid $20 and was told to go to registration to get my voting cards and dash plaque. After asking around little, the general consensus was that the further toward the back of the tilling pile, where the event was held, you went the louder the parties and drum circles would be. I set up on the edge of the plateau in the far back corner.
After moving as many of the big rocks out of the way as I could and set up my tent.
The neighbors didn’t seem too impressed with my tent and non-Volkswagen mode of travel, but not all together un-friendly, so I took a brief siesta and reflected on lying in my own comfortable bed at home with my cat. When I awoke, still on the rock pile, I packed my camera gear and went out to meet the locals.
There was a best VW tattoo contest at the main stage, which is where I met Don Juan, a participant, but not the winner from Cottonwood, Arizona. He told me to follow him and come check something out. Back at his camp Don showed me his modified Bus. It is a 1961 VW Bus frame with a 1932 Ford front grill and a 1939 Ford taillight. The fenders and truck bed are custom as is the pro-titties sticker on the fan housing. On the way to Jerome the gas cap fell off, which was immediately replaced with a piece of masking tape. Simple yes, but effective I guess.
Eventually we went for a ride up the hill.
After the harrowing adventure in the ’61, ‘32, ’39 Ford, VW I checked out the area around the Gold King Mine.
The mine’s owner collects old machines and rusty metal of all kinds.
Many of which still work. I didn’t see any of these today, but was told they did in fact exist.
This is Andy from Yuma, Arizona. He had several VW’s for sale and one super-cool leather jacket that he wanted too much money for. Which is the only reason I am not now the owner of a super-cool leather jacket.
After another brief siesta I spent the evening getting to know the neighbors, who fed me a cheeseburger and supplied beer for the night. They were from Phoenix and had been coming to the Jamboree for several years. As the fire waned and we became tired I crawled into my sleeping bag. With my head on my rolled up blue-jeans I fell fast asleep and knew nothing more until just before sunrise when Don Robertson, the mine’s owner, started up a giant single piston engine, whose exhaust stroke reverberated like artillery fire through the valley, it was as if he was firing at the sun rising over the Verde Valley.
In reality I was told it was because he wanted to wake everyone up and he does it all the events hosted here. Oh well, so much for poetic license *sigh
More to come, including the events of Saturday and the ride home. Check back soon.