The Side Door Series


Our 1984 VW Westfalia

has tried on several names:

Buttermilk, Matilda, Babette, Binky, Oubliette...

but the real name has yet to stick...








This Westy has a big wide sliding side door


that looks like this from the inside:

And, as you can see, the door makes a perfect frame for pictures that document the travels of Kadi and Tom in The Westy (whatever she's called) so these shots, called The Side Door Series ...

will continue to grow as our adventures unravel.

Here's the palm tree that shaded our old driveway in San Rafael, CA.




One of the first trips we made was up the coast to Mendocino. Here's the river campground at Albion. The Route 1 bridge is in the background.

We actually made it to Mendocino and back: Here's the coast just south of Mendocino.

And here's Noyo Harbor just south of Fort Bragg. We had a great cocktail hour here in the bus, watching the Salmon

and Rock Fish party-boats unloading after a successful day... lots of fish to clean.

One of our favorite spots is in the Marin Headlands looking back at The City through the Golden Gate.

You never know what you'll see from here:







So when Fleet Week 2002 rolled around, what better

vantage point from which to watch the big Boat Parade

could you ask for?





Unless of course that day is plagued with






Here's Kadi, fishing at Soulajoule Reservoir... where we almost got stuck at the bottom of this hill.

Fishing, not Catching...

In Rohnert Park there's an In and Out Burger:

and their parking lot backs up to this abandoned house. Just the place to eat a burger and be glad you don't live there.

Treasure Island is right in the middle of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. Here's The City, seen from there in stormy weather, between rain squalls.

A bridge to nowhere? This is in Grizzly Island, a huge marshy wildlife preserve near Suisun in the Sacramento River Delta. The bridge actually spans Montezuma Slough.


The marshes in Grizzly Island stretch for miles and are full of birds, and other wildlife. We saw otters, owls, elk, waterfowl, and a great number of hawks.

This one was so preoccupied eating a jack rabbit beside the road that we were able to roll right up next to him and snap his picture!

We drove out to a Westy gathering in Sacramento by the river road, Route 160, that runs along the bank of the Sacramento River.

We didn't take many pictures that day, but we couldn't pass up this beautiful drawbridge.

And speaking of wildlife:

Can you spot the ostrich in the picure above? He's practicing "Not Being Seen"...

He was spotted along the road that goes from Olema to Inverness and out to the Point Reyes National Seashore.

And here's a view from one of the high hills there, looking out at the Pacific ocean over the fields of wild flowers:

There's so much to see along these roads...

See and be seen:

and see some more sea:

and you can picnic at surfside:

or overlooking peaceful Drakes Bay.

And then,

in July, we went to the Marin County Fair...

We took the bus over at 6:30 AM to get a good parking place.

and we were soon adopted by a goose...

who insisted on attention

until the sun went down...

and the fireworks started...



... after which there were three hours of gridlock while every car tried to leave at once. Except us. We snoozed in the bus til the way cleared.


We took the bus out for a ride on Feb 20, '06 to see the cyclists in the Tour de California, a bicycle race modeled after the the Tour de France, go by on the first leg from Sausalito to Santa Rosa (80 miles!). We parked the bus next to California Route 1 and waited for a half hour until they came whizzing by. A long wait for a quick glimpse...



And Now:

While not exactly Side Door material, Kadi snapped these... perhaps for another series:

The Rearview Chronicles...

. see the happy cows? Look closely...

The long and winding Point Reyes road...

and now for a change of coast, this is a windswept Rhode Island beach.

OK, so this really wasn't from the Westy,

but from our Toyota rental car instead. You wouldn't want Buttermilk to go all that way at her age...

or would you?



to be continued....