Joined: May 03, 2007
|Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:28 pm Post subject: Sanchius: The Syncro years - 2008-2017
|This is a compilation of some of our adventures with our SyncroWesty from 2008-2017 leading up to Sanchius and Tuna ride again
Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:48 am Post subject: Colorado Syncro Westy with Fauna
This spring I awoke my '87 Syncro Wesy from a 5-year sleep. I had
bought it cheap because the previous owner said the engine was toast.
But, I always had too many other projects and priorities and it just
sat next to the house serving as a very expensive storage bin.
This year I decided it was time to sort out the problems and get it
running again. The engine problem turned out to be a weak fuel pump,
some bad grounds and a couple loose exhaust bolts that were resonating
like a broken valve. After fixing those items, replacing all the fuel
lines and putting some real wheels on it, I'm slowing stretching it's
legs, taking it further and further afield from it's home near Denver.
Last week my kids and I went four-wheeling up to some of the
high-altitude lakes, ghost towns and abandoned mine sites between
Breckenridge and Leadville, Colorado. As we pulled into the Blue
Lakes area, a bunch of baby mountain goats came off the hillside
and started walking around the cars.
In total there were about a dozen. These normally are _very_
shy creatures and they are usually only seen as a small white dot
far away on the mountainside. You can see how close we were, these
were not taken with a telephoto lens. I never seen anything
like this before.
Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:43 am Post subject: Vanagons in the Wilderness Thread
Popping it near Hoosier Pass outside Breckenridge Colorado
With a syncro westy it's so easy: Find a small forest-service road,
drive down until a spectacular vista is found, park in a level spot
Mt Lincoln in the left background
[list]PS. I can't believe I let this thing sit for 5 years after I bought it as a project
( http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=303228 ).
It's so much fun to tinker
Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:44 am Post subject: Post subject: Vanagons in the Wilderness Thread
All packed up and getting ready to head out after a quick overnighter outside the ghost town of Caribou (elev 10060, pop 1), just west of Nederland, Colorado. It was a clear night, the Milky Way was brilliant, with lots of satellites and shooting stars. But, I forgot to check the wind forecast and the wind pushed the van around so much all night that it felt like we were on a boat. But it was warm and comfy inside.
Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:37 am Post subject: Vanagons in the Wilderness Thread
Out with the kids for a beautiful Labor Day holiday weekend at Campsite 7, somewhere between Caribou and Rainbow Lakes Colorado.
Spent the day leisurely exploring the nearby forest and abandoned mine sites, plinking with the wrist rockets and sighting in the bows.
All leveled and ready to start cooking dinner: steak, shrimp, pepper and mushroom kabobs with pressure-cooked rice. The trick we learned on our last Moab trip was to make a little extra of everything to go into the breakfast burritos the next morning.
The dead pine in the background is an increasingly common sight along the front-range as the pine-beetles move east. So far, the infestation here has been relatively light, but the Lodgepole pines west of the Continental Divide have been devastated, with 60-70% losses. They've begin clear cutting the large areas of dead stands around Frisco to protect the watersheds against an anticipated large-scale fire.
Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:36 pm Post subject: Vanagons in the Wilderness Thread
Yeah, it's that wonderful time of year again, late June in the Rockies...
Offroading to some old mine and mill sites south of Breckenridge (39.358841,-106.061337)
Ken takes us thru the London Mill water hazard (39.294959,-106.152131)
Ahhh, to be 20 again...
Storm's a'coming, heading back to the barn. The trail bears to the upper left, into the forest
Tue Jul 20, 2010 5:54 pm Post subject: Burningman camo skychair tikitorch skydeck van?
Does anyone know the story on this van? Are there other pics of it out there?
Mon Aug 09, 2010 5:56 pm Post subject: Vanagons in the Wilderness Thread
Caribou Flats, Aug 2010: Roughing it by a warm fire after a fine dinner at the Wild Mountain Barbeque & Microbrewery in Nederland, Colorado. Later that moonless night, when it was _really_ dark, we walked down to the abandoned miners graveyard further down the road. As we approached the graveyard, we were spooked by wild, unearthly, howling that was way too close for comfort and staged a Scooby-dooesque high-speed strategic retreat ( i.e. Ruh-Roh, Shaggy, let's get the h*ll out of here!!! ) back to the safety of the Westy.
The next morning it was a bright and sunny day. Note on the far slope, more beetle kill starting to show up east of the Continental Divide (ref: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3258926&highlight=#3258926 )
Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:28 am Post subject: Vanagons in the Wilderness Thread
| In the thread 'favorites', debbiej wrote:
| I love the vanagons in the wilderness thread. when you can't get away to go yourself, it helps.
between aging parents and parents in law and owning a small business, and mechanical issues just when we were going to get to take the ole girl on a trip........
I've missed traveling, camping and exploring in my van.
my son went to the Grand Canyon last year. he wrote me that he was parked next to a guy in a westfalia. he said every picture he took was of the westy, with the grand canyon as a back drop. he said he was reminded of me. the only people who photograph their vehicles as members of their family.
well, maybe this fall/winter. the first trips we took in her were between Christmas and New Years.... time to go again!
Thanks for the kind words. Also, check out the similar threads in the splitty and Bay forums, they're fun too.
I've learned that writing about our trips lets me live three times: having the original experience, reliving it again when I compose the story, and once again when I reread it years later.
As far as making it so that we can get away often, some strategies that work for me are:
- Simply make it a priority to get my vanagon mechanically sound to where I trust it for weekend trips. Then drive it regularly to shake out the bugs. Right now I'm using my Syncro Westy as my daily driver and I'm amazed how well it is doing at >250K miles. While it may not be as off-road capable on the extreme places as our old solid-axle Land Cruiser, after flying down one of our favorite forest trails at 40mph, it is _way_ more comfortable and we can sleep in it too. But, the fun I'm having this summer was paid for last winter when I pulled the engine and rebuilt the top-end. No Van = No Fun.
- Make it easy to make the decision to go camping. Find a couple places within 45 minutes driving that don't require reservations to camp. For us, it is some mountain-top mining property where I bring my own wood to burn, stay off the wildflowers and pack an extra steak & beer for the care taker if he stops by. If I notice that it's been a month or two since our last outing, I set a date soon to go camping and stick to it.
- Have everything needed to simply leave work and go camping already in the van: go-bag with clothes, trail-runners, coats and toiletries, sleeping bag, blankets, camp chairs, battery-powered lantern, etc. You'll find that these will come in handy at other times, as well. Grab a couple of gallon water jugs and some snacks from the grocery store on the day you leave and you are good to go.
- For some, camp cooking is the essence of camping, for others, not. Sometimes I'm the former, sometimes the latter. If you are the latter, don't let that stop you. Do some easy no-cook overnighters; eat dinner out along the way, bring donuts, juice and coffee in a thermos for the next morning.
- Fortunately I have a spouse who loves to go camping. But, when she has other things going on, the kids and I go anyway. Sometimes she joins us for part of the trip, other times she enjoys some quiet time to herself.
- Don't forget the camera.
- If I was musical and could play an instrument, that would complete the picture. But, since I'm not, I put in a stereo that I'm happy with and wired it with a switch that lets me run it off the spare battery when the ignition is off.
Above all, just get out and have fun! Then post your amazing pictures & stories here...
Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:54 pm Post subject: Have you SEEN ONE, lately? Spotters thread
| ...I think people want to stay anonymous...
Safer that way?
It's a big world out there and no matter how good of a person you may be, really strange things can happen in one's life. Trust me on this one.
The web has a very long memory that can't be erased. There may be times where you don't want someone who may not have your best interests at heart being able to connect the various parts of your life via a simple google search.
Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:07 pm Post subject: Things your van did recently
We poached the local airshow from just outside the 6' perimeter fence in a way that can only can be done with a Westy...
We had some of the best seats in the house (& snacks & drinks & tunes & no crowds)
Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:22 pm Post subject: Vanagons in the Wilderness Thread
Sep 2010: Back at Caribou Flats.... Brats, beers and testing out the new pie irons
Another day in paradise... I think I'm having a '70's flashback. What DID you put in that coffee, young lady?
I'm really glad I was _very_ thorough putting out that fire.
Two days later and 10 miles to the east, Boulder's Four Mile wildfire started from an old fire pit, destroying 168 homes and doing >$200M in damages.
Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:18 am Post subject: Vanagons in the Wilderness Thread
Popping the top on a quiet mountainside trail for a lazy afternoon nap after a big lunch and a few yummy Oktoberfest microbrews down in Nederland. The Aspen are at peak 200 feet lower in elevation. A week or so ago, this spot was a sea of gold. In a few weeks, the snow will start falling. By Christmas, the only way to reach this spot will be on snowshoes.
Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:10 pm Post subject:Things your van did recently
We went on our annual visit to the Pumpkin Patch just down the road and found some beauties!
Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:27 am Post subject: Things your van did recently
Nov 2010 - Up I-70 and through ice & snownados over Berthod Pass...
and over the rivers and thru the woods, our Syncro never missed a beat...
To our friends, Tom and Julie, for Thanksgiving at High Mountain Lodge, outside Winter Park, Colorado
-10F in the morning. Later, feeding the horses carrots and apples while the poor turkey cooks
The Indian Peaks in the distance.
Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:38 am Post subject: Things your van did recently
Stopped at Chautauqua Park on the way in to work a few days ago to spend a few minutes sharing a cup of coffee and chatting with my daughter, while watching the moon setting over the Flatirons
Mon Apr 18, 2011 6:19 am Post subject: Bringing things into balance
In the thread "What did you do to your Vanagon or Westy today",
| On a slightly different topic; my growing desire for a Vanagon had not been expressed to my wife. Iíve been considering one for over a year now. Iíve been doing my homework, contemplating various powerplants, and the advantages of each. So recently she showed me a small Class C RV she found on Craigslist. Why would you want one of those? We couldnít afford to go very far with the price of gas. What about these? I slyly asked, pulling up a few Westies for sale, even though I really want a tintop with a Wolfsburg interior. Hey, you've got to start somewhere. I eventually led her to the Wolfsburg/Caratís as I originally planned. Now she is checking Craigslist daily and emailing me the results. Now it is WHEN, not IF, I get a Vanagon.
Well done, STT, nice job of bringing things back into balance.
It can be quite dangerous to get too far down the Vanagon-fixation road alone, as you end up in a very different mental place from your spouse.
It can be difficult and dissonant trying to explain how cool these things are and how we HAVE to get one to someone who isn't mentally in that place (yet) and who views it as a potentially huge time/money/attention sink.
But, do trust your instincts on this. I took a bit of grief when I first picked up my non-running syncro-westy.
It was a dramatic change from my usual high-speed euro-sedans and it was going to take some time, work and $$$ to get it going again.
At the time, I couldn't demonstrate how fun it would be. But I just KNEW the massive potential contained in the thing.
Once I got it going, it only took a few rides and camping trips to convert her (http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3100213).
Now the sedans are gathering dust, these Vanagons are so much funner.
Obligatory Vanagon pic from last winter....
Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:59 am Post subject: Syncro Down... hard
I was halfway thru a week-long meeting in DC when the text came in from my son: "Syncro Down... hard".
Then a couple of phone pics arrived showing catastrophic engine failure: a holed block with crumpled rod bearings lying on top of the engine.
Kids can be tough on vehicles, but this one probably wasn't their fault. Our Syncro has well over 250K miles and was running on a backup engine I tossed in a year or so ago when the previous one stopped holding oil. It was temporary, just to keep it on the road until I had the time to refresh & install the SVX motor I have sitting on an engine stand in the garage.
Before I left I had noticed that the engine power seemed a bit off, both uneven and lower than normal. Or maybe it was because I had painted the intake plenum red. In any case, something wasn't right, but I was hoping it was a minor tuning issue. Apparently not. To their credit, the kids secured it in a safe location, then towed it back to the house the next day and it was waiting for me safe and sound in the driveway when I returned.
I was really looking forward to another fun summer in the Syncro and it would have been nice if the engine had held out for another couple months and blown at the end of the summer outdoor season instead of the beginning. It gets us out on a lot of fun trips: camping, 4x4ing, river trips, as well as serving as a base for weekend adventures and attending great local music (Kan'Nal (RIP). Elephant Revival, etc) concerts and festivals.
And, since I had just filled my garage with an automatic-to-manual conversion project for our Audi Cabriolet that will take me a month or two to complete, it looks like our beloved Syncro is going to be down for awhile.
Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:09 am Post subject: Mascots?
Ferdinand the Bull, bought back by my daughter from a trip to Corsica.
When squeezed, he loudly plays the first two trumpet phrases of the bull fight song, complete with immense crowd cheers at the end of each phrase.
Road trips usually start with Ferd playing his song and everyone simultaneously doing the double-arms-up-hand-wagging "Wave" and shouting "Oh Lay" each time the crowd cheers.
Yes, we sometimes get strange looks.
un Feb 05, 2012 7:33 am Post subject: lucy's BIG adventure
Nice, your racing pics sure brings back some memories of the smell of race fuel in the morning and a previous life in vintage racing back when I had more time to write:
"...The Woman in the Camaro had taken pole position thanks to her very well prepared car and by jumping the start during the morning's qualifying run. After the group got off and settled on the track, The Woman in the Camaro kept her lead, but she was being pushed hard by a little Ginetta. The two drivers were a study in contrasts. The little Ginetta smoothly rounding the course, lap after lap, while the The Woman in the Camaro seemed overaggressive, putting alot of raw power down onto the track, but in jerky fits and corrections. We all knew it was coming and the crowd at the grid corner were doubly delighted to have it unfold right in front of us. Coming into the tight turn, the Ginetta slid up side The Woman in the Camaro, the light sports racer allowing her to hold off braking just a bit longer than the heavy muscle car. In the corner, the little Ginetta slipped by the Camaro and danced out front for the lead with the finesse of a gypsy pickpocket lifting the wallet of a loud overdressed tourist. The Camaro bellowed it's outrage to the crowd, but the overapplication of power coming out of the tight corner only got her sideways on the track, losing her more time and dignity as she disappeared fishtailing over the hill. I looked around at some of the more experienced racers shaking their heads at the display. I didn't have to ask to know what they were thinking, "She just doesn't get it, does she. Victory here doesn't mean coming in first, it's not about intimidation and getting a big ego stroke. The best achieve something far subtler, reaching a graceful smoothness out there, building a delicious rhythm not only with the car and the track, but with the other drivers". But what the hell do I know, I'm just a mechanic. And so the woman's race wound to a close in that order. The driver in the Ginetta, effortlessly lapping the course in the bright sunshine, showing us all how it's done and the The Woman in the Camaro, with her roaring downshifts and uneven bursts of power, showing us how it isn't... "
Though it's a different level of racing, this is how one of our Porsche pilots ran his pit in our local vintage racing club. Years later I'm realizing that seeing this tidy unit in action was one of the big inspirations for me getting a syncro.
Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:35 pm Post subject: IT LIVES!!! 2yrs down & a kiss by a B-29 on first outing
It was two years ago that my Syncro Westy went down hard with a thrown rod: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5282161#5282161 ).
My work schedule was pretty intense trying to develop some new program areas, so I parked the Syncro and finished another one of my projects: http://forums.quattroworld.com/9080/msgs/23945.phtml
Unfortunately, that resulted in a vehicle that was so fun to drive that I let the poor broken Syncro sit for awhile: http://forums.quattroworld.com/v8/msgs/11261.phtml
However, by early this summer, we were all really missing our Syncro outings.
Given the slow rate that I work, I know that it will be a while before I finish my SVX conversion. To get back on the road sooner rather than later, a couple weeks ago I acquired a used 2.1L engine and pulled a 2wd transmission from the boneyard to use while the syncro tranmission gets refreshed in prep for the SVX. It took a weekend and week or so of evenings to swap in the temporary motor/trans.
Last weekend my now 2WD Syncro hit the road for the first time in two years. The past week has been remarkably uneventful, no hickups, no leaks, no nothing, just gas it and run it. After driving that warmed-over V6 Audi Cab for the past two years, this thing feels so slooowwww and HUGE. But I'm finding again that there's nothing like the Vanagon driving experience, I just have to get my head back into that space and pace.
For its first non-commute outing, we took it to the local airshow this weekend. My company bases our C-130 & Gulfstream G5 out of the nearby airport, which gets me a pass inside the airshow perimeter and gave me a chance to take some pics. This one just happened to line up just right.
Sunday morning was the Balloon Fest...
Later that morning I fitted a clamshell modified to accommodate the LT215-75/R15 tires so I can get the spare out of the cabin, replaced the dead brake light switch, reset the OXS light and took care of some other misc "waking-up after a long rest" items.
Then I spent the rest of the day pulling the transmission from my youngest daughter's 245 turbo wagon in exchange for her cleaning the years of accumulated goo off the Syncro transaxle case before I take it in to be refreshed. No sense paying someone shop rates to do that. I guess it was a fair trade as we both are convinced that the other got the better end of the deal. In any case, it was a such a pleasure to spend a couple hours in the garage chatting with my daughter and listening to each others music while we both slowly worked on our respective projects..
As you can see from the rear panel, she also has some bodywork experience approaching in her future...
Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:05 pm Post subject: wheel lug stud spins uselessly - any tricks?
| Put a spot of weld on each stud after you replace them will stop it ever happening again
x3, I'm pulling my hubs to weld them all. I don't EVER want to have to do this again.
Didn't see the wedge trick until after I'd drilled out the stud.
Saluting the fallen spun stud in the finest advrider.com tradition...
Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:10 pm Post subject: Let's see pics of your dogs in your van
Took our new Siberian Husky puppy Luna aka PuppyX aka HuggyPuppyFace for a walk in the open space...
Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:01 am Post subject: Syncro dominates 2013 Colorado floods
So, we've been getting a little rain here along the Colorado Front-Range lately...
Yesterday we went out to retrieve one of my daughters friends stranded by the water across town (near the middle photo) and perform welfare checks on the family friends we hadn't heard from yet. With the Nat'l Guard Chinooks & Blackhawks evacuating the mountain towns choppering over, we rescued the friend, located her car safely sitting on an island in the midst of the flood and chose to leave it there until the water receded more. Everyone else was secure and in good shape, though our high-altitude Aunties were stuck and sheltering in place in their mountain home with their road cut off by rock slides. We'll try to get up to them today
There was lots of wash-outs, debris and deep water running over the roads in the north end of town. I'm really glad I had a new set of All-Terrain T/A's mounted last week.
The Syncro was great in this environment, high & heavy enough to push through everything we encountered without a problem, and big enough to haul out all the clothes & gear the friend needed to take out with her.
The girls and I easily pulled one lady's car out of a ditch, but we weren't going to take on this one...
(from Ian @ thesamba)
(boulder daily camera)
Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:49 pm Post subject: Vanagon Pumpkins Let's see em'
Halloween 2010 at the big pumpkin patch right down the road...
Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:21 pm Post subject: Why I love my Westy...
I needed to catch up on some science journal reading over lunch at work today, away from phones, email and walk-in discussions.
I keep the back Westy curtains mostly closed all the time so it doesn't look out of place if I decide to use my outer office for times like this.
So it was out to the parking lot, drop the dark mid-curtain, roll out the sleeping bag & fluff the pillows on the z-bed, then slip off the shoes & streeeetttcccch out in back for an hour of blissful, uninterrupted, quiet reading time.
Around 12:30, with the articles finished and feeling totally relaxed, a half-hour nap was just the thing to refresh me for the rest of the afternoon.
Having a Westy is so awesome...
Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:42 pm Subject: Things your van did recently
Went for a walk on the prairie..
Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:50 pm Subject: Let's see pics of your dogs in your van
Luna's growing up...
4 months ago: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6839893&highlight=#6839893
Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:59 am Subject: Let's see pics of your dogs in your van
New husky harness after she chewed thru her last nice one: $50
New headphones to replace the devoured set: $70
"Honey, she needs a bigger kennel again": $200
Vet bill after she nuked a big box of chocolates: $352
Wild wolf howls and happy husky RaRa's when you come home: Priceless
Almost totally silent otherwise: Even more priceless...
Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:10 am Subject: To the wonderousworld.com guys...
| Syncro Vanagons and LandCruisers can coexist happily and peacefully! They are both designed for people who love to use a capable vehicle to "see what's over the next hill". Viva la difference!!
Agreed... They are two very different tools for having some very different kinds of fun out there.
We took our Land Cruiser to amazing places that would have simply ruined the Syncro.
We pulled out & cut short rainy/icy camping trips in the LC that we would have happily & comfortably weathered in the Westy.
The SyncroWesty was much more comfortable going down the road or on nice trails, but for serious offroading, it felt much more fragile than the beastly LC.
Our best backcountry trips were these, when we took both vehicles
We loved both vehicles, but in the end, we let the LC go and kept the SyncroWesty
From my "Epitaph for a Great FJ-60" post on ih8mud.com...
"By the end of 5 teenage drivers, our old beater land cruiser was _totally_ used up: bounced hard off-road, run into innumerous stationary and moving objects, totalled at least two other cars (I wanted to get a bumper sticker for it that said "LandCruiser: You are my Crush Zone"), cracked windshield, trashed interior, not a straight panel on it, leaking from every gasket and I still got $600 for it at the local Pull-n-Pay a few years ago after selling the ARB Bumper, tow hitch & roof rack separately.
I don't usually let my cars go like that, but the gas mileage was so bad that I told the kids I was done fixing it; have fun and run it hard until it drops.
And they did just that.
Our Land Crusher was a great 4x4, easily besting the Jeeps, Pathfinders and Blazers at a tricky hill-climb on one of our trips.
It saved at least two lives, taking the hit from a red-light-running Tacoma that would have totally the creamed the little compact car in the next lane.
No injuries, the Taco was totalled and we straightened the cruiser's bumper via the old strap-it-to-a-tree-and-back-up-a-few-times method.
It never failed us and it was great to gear-down and point it uphill.
One of my best memories was a beautiful summer evening high up in the mountains, sleeping up on the roofrack in my down bag under millions of stars and waking to see the ISS & a Space Shuttle on close approach, gliding silently overhead in majestic close formation.
It opened up a whole new world for us in back country Colorado, visiting mines, mountain passes, remote warplane wrecks and awesome campsites that we would have never discovered without it.
We had some great adventures with that vehicle...
RIP and may its parts that live on in other landcruisers take them to equally amazing places...
Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:52 pm Subject: Syncro back from the dead....
One evening last winter, when we had -17F temps here, my kid couldn't get his hot-rod audi to start so he borrowed my trusty Syncro to go to work.
He was almost there when the oil cooler seal failed catastrophically, quickly dumping all the oil
This failure mode is documented in the Bentley and described here: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4304466#4304466
With the wind chills at -20 to -25F, he did the right thing and pushed on to work and shelter (I view the cost of replacement engines as being cheap compared to the cost of replacement ears, noses or fingers), the engine knocking and clattering..
When we recovered the Syncro a few days later, fixed the gasket and refilled it with some old oil, it was still knocking, clattering and barely ran.
A compression check showed 0 psi in cylinder four. Game over... I was so bummed, that had been a really nice stock engine.
It had just enough power to get it into the parking spot next to the house.
I shut it down and walked away until we could find a replacement engine.
A few months later I found a builder engine from a local subie conversion, bought it and started in on it.
But, I also took a closer look at the engine in the Syncro, popped off the valve covers and saw to my amazement that the 2 push-rods on cylinder 4 had come off their rockers.
That explained all the clatter, no power and compression problems.
Once I replaced the bent pushrods and their rockers, the engine was running again, but still not sounding quite right under load.
The other evening I suddenly realized that the old oil that I had put in it was light 5-30 weight, not 20-50.
So yesterday, it got a fresh change of Mobil 1 20-50 and suddenly I had my Syncro back.
The first stop was for our traditional Sunday morning breakfast burritos with the kids at the Village Coffee shop in Boulder.
Since Boulder is called "24 square miles surrounded by reality", their motto is "890 square feet of reality surrounded by Boulder".
Then we went up Boulder Canyon to chill out next to the creek for a couple hours, with the Sunday papers, camp chairs and more coffee.
It's so great to have my Syncro back without having to rebuild & change out the engine...
Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:28 am Subject: Things your van did recently
A busy day yesterday...
We took Lunes on a bike ride early in the morning, then to cars-n-coffee up the road in Lafayette to see all the beautiful new and old cars.
Later in the afternoon I finally tracked down a mysterious engine problem that had been bugging me for awhile: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7272629#7272629
In celebration, that evening we went off to our favorite overlook to stretch out in the back and watch the sunset, enjoying the quiet, the cool breeze and the view, while Luna-dog played in the tall grass
Cars and Coffee: some Italian iron wanting to be by someone's very nice SyncroWesty.
Tunes (the dog of many names) all tuckered out from her morning run and meeting all the other pups at cars and coffee...
Tallgrass prairie overlook, looking to the northwest towards Longs Peak and Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park
Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:29 pm Subject: Things your van did recently
High summer in Boulder....
Tuna and I cruzed some nearby county backroads scouting quiet/scenic locations for a surprise after-work picnic dinner with the wife sometime later this week.
This looks nice.
Successfully tested the location with a quick mid-morning nap while Tunes chased grasshoppers. Yeah, this'll do.
But by noon it was getting too hot on the prairie, time to gain some altitude.
We loaded up the cooler with drinks & eats and drove up to one of our favorite shady pull off spots, way up Boulder Canyon, with some friends.
Set the camp chairs up in the creek, had lunch and cooled off while watching the rock climbers.
Then we went the rest of the way up to Ned where the girls took a couple spins on the wonderful Carousel of Happiness www.carouselofhappiness.org.
Ice cream cones and a chocolate shake afterwards and then back home..
This pretty much sums up the day...
Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:54 am Subject: Things your van did recently
We observed numerous examples of the North American Hippy (Granolia Stinkfutius) in their natural habitat up at Nedfest Saturday. www.nedfest.org
My daughter cleverly parked us right next to the bubbling mountain stream AND the gentlemen from the Lefthand Brewery.
We lazed away the afternoon, sitting out in the bright sunshine and chatting in the van during the brief mountain showers, enjoying the sublime benefits of both.
Sunday we used it as a base to watch the criterium ending of the last day of the USA Pro Challenge bike race in Denver.
Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:40 pm Subject: Things your van did recently
It's so nice to be posting lately in the "Things your van did recently" thread rather than in the "What did YOU do to your van today?" thread.
I needed a quiet place to start reviewing a pile of complicated proposals, so I took Tunes out to my favorite overlook...
(that's the Boulder Flatirons under Green Mountain, with Longs Peak in the far distance)
...opened the windows and spend a couple hours lounging in the back reading while she slept in the shade under the bus.
It's not a bad office, not bad at all.
If this keeps up, I'll be able to write the cost of maintaining this thing off on my taxes.
Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:46 am Subject: Things your van did recently
It finally got a Colorado State Park pass on its windshield and we spent some time in Eldorado Canyon...
Due to close proximity to Boulder & Univ of Colorado, Eldo's walls figure prominently in the fascinating & cautionary series "Accidents in North American Mountaineering".
Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:07 pm Subject: Things your van did recently
It was a beautiful day and we spent a couple hours harvesting some rare early westy parts at the local bone yard
on Oct 20, 2014 6:31 am Subject: How hard to convt. from auto to manual trans?
I too shunned automatic Vanagons until I drove one recently and I was amazed at how nice it was.
While I tend to be a manual snob and recently converted one of my other vehicles from automatic to std, I'd definitely consider an automatic Vanagon after that experience.
It was smooth, peppy and just... easy.
Also, with an active lifestyle, we always keep at least one automatic vehicle in the fleet.
Automatics come in very handy during those inevitable orthopedic recovery times, such as when my wife had her left ankle worked over or when I fractured my right elbow mountain biking in the desert outside of Moab ("Full phalangeal motion, no digital paresthesias, ... Yes it hurts like Hell no, we're not going in to the ER, sling me up, we're staying out here!")
Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:53 am Subject: General praise for the Samba Vanagon community
I visit way too often in various forums.
I will give a shout out to joining and getting a Premium Membership.
$45 a year is a bargain and I know that I want this Site to continue on for many many years, improving and adjusting to the rapidly changing computer technologies.
Get a Star next to your username, keep the site up and running!
(Gosh! I sound like its Public Radio Fund Raising Week!)
Nice thread, Doug,
Thesamba is an amazing resource and social center, both due the the quality of the folks who make up the public side of the list and those working behind the scenes to keep this ship sailing smoothly.
After running large lists like this before, I have great respect for all the hard work by the mods and list owners that's needed to keep a community like this healthy and constructive, particularly when they've sustained it for many, many years.
They do a great job walking that fine line between too unmoderated & chaotic vs too controlled & mummified and keeping it just-right.
hummm, no star next to my name... thanks for the link, Dave... fixt...
Sun May 10, 2015 9:08 am Subject: To our Colorado And Plains friends....
Thanks! But a little snow doesn't bother us, in fact, we like it....
Sun May 31, 2015 6:22 am Subject: Have you SEEN ONE, lately? Spotters thread
Clouds seen on a walk in Denver last night
Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:09 pm Subject: The Vanagons of Arise Music Festival - Loveland, Colorado
Arise Music Festival - Aug 2015 - Loveland Colorado - www.arisefestival.com
My 20-something kids and I spent a couple fun days at the Arise Music Festival just west of Loveland, Colorado last weekend.
It was lots of good music and fun people having a good time and keeping their dream of peace and love alive in the sunshine, all set in an amazingly beautiful location in the foothills of the Rockies just northwest of Denver.
The girls went up on Friday afternoon, to secure our camp spot and catch the first evening's acts. My son and I were back home rushing to finish my SyncroWesty and get it up there to act as our moonbase. But it was not to be. When it was clear that things weren't going well, I threw in the towel early Saturday afternoon and and we blasted up in his Audi before we missed any more of the weekend.
Even though it was my first multi-day music festival, my oldest daughter had been to plenty and we had things dialed in just about right with her guidance and all our camping gear. A 10x13 sun awning that we used as a tent, a cook table & camp chairs for all, lots of fine food and liquids to share, with thousands of cool young folks around us enjoying the music and events.
It was a very well put together event organized by professionals who clearly have extensive experience in the large-scale music festival business. Nothing felt out of control, there was plenty of water available and the facilities were far better than expected, security was at just the right level and none of our gear walked off. Car traffic inside the area was minimal which helped keep the dust down, the no dog rule was pretty strictly enforced, the camping was located just far enough from the stages that the late night concert noise wasn't a big deal and everyone seemed to be there to enjoy themselves rather than to cause any trouble.
But we had a different type of noise issue. The only thing that didn't go well for us was that, while most everyone around us were fine kindly folks, our particular car camping spot was tightly sandwiched in between a pair of giggling chem-fueled cutie-pies, let's call them Molly & Mandy (google it), with their yappy faux service-pug and another group of equally fueled hairy party animals who seemed never to have a thought enter their heads that didn't come booming out of their mouths at full volume. They weren't bad people, just LOUD people of a type I'm not accustomed to. It was plenty interesting hearing one of the animals relate his recent alien abduction experiences to us or having Mandy come bouncing up to borrow something from our cook box wearing just her cutoff jeans and a smile. It was far less entertaining when they were still giggling and yacking it up at full volume at 5am in the morning as the sun was coming up and we were trying to sleep.
But we were the festival noobs, not them. All the warning signs were there, we just didn't pay attention to them. Next year we'll know to hoist up the anchors on the HMS Curmudgeon and shift over to one of the quieter open spots on the edge of the car camping area, like where the smart couple with the blue subie SyncroWesty with the tiedye sunshade was parked.
Sunday morning, just before Bluegrass and Bloody Marys started up, my daughter and I walked around to take pics of the various Vanagon camping set ups (below). There were many vanagons, a few euros and bays and no splits in the car camping area. According to my other daughter, Arise was the safest and most well organized festival that she'd been to. Sunday night my wife was able to join us and we caught the last few acts, including a really moving bit with Peter Yarrow from Peter, Paul and Mary.
All in all, it was a great weekend, with excellent music & fun people.
We've already picked up our tickets for next year and I have a request in to the organizers for a dedicated VW Van camping area.
Next up on the fun schedule: Breckenridge Oktoberfest Sep 11-12: www.gobreck.com/events/breckenridge-oktoberfest
Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:07 am Subject: Things your van did recently
My SyncroWesty has been offline since last Fall. A few weeks ago I got tired of not having it during such a nice summer and spent a week of hard afternoons/evenings pulling the dead wbx, combining two bad wbxs into one good one and reinstalling it.
And now it's up again.
I rewarded myself with a long lunch yesterday parked in a quiet spot next to the Boulder airport.
It was so relaxing lounging in the back with the slider open and the z-bed deployed, watching the GA doing their touch-n-gos and the gliders cycling up and down, while eating my sandwich, reading about Byzantium and eventually taking a restorative nap before heading back to the lab for the rest of the afternoon.
The Syncro years (2008-2016) - The 2WD years (2017-present) - Your membership keeps this awesome list going.
Joined: May 03, 2007
|Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:29 pm Post subject: Re: Sanchius: The Syncro years - 2008-2017
|This is part 2 of a compilation of our adventures with our SyncroWesty from 2008-2017 leading up to Sanchius and Tuna ride again
Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:35 am Subject: Things your van did recently
A quiet Sunday:
While the youthful portion of Team Sanchius who leap into action at the crack of 10am enjoyed brunch at Denver's renovated Union Station, the 5am contingent, having eaten hours earlier, lounged in the back of the Westy in a shaded parking spot a block away; equally enjoying the peace and quiet of a cool Sunday morning, making more progress on "The History of the World", reading about Egyptian dynasties and eating grapes, while all the happy Colorado Rockies fans streamed by on their way to their baseball game.
With the windows open, the stereo going and Tuna our Husky watching all the people going by from the passenger seat,
several friendly Vanagon owners stopped by to talk about their Vanagons and their plans for restos,
so I chatted with them, encouraged them in their endeavors and steered them to the thesamba as an essential resource
Later, the syncrowesty played support vehicle for cheering on the riders for the final stage of the cross-Colorado US Pro Challenge bike race though downtown Denver.
Half the fun was watching the young neighborhood hipsters checking out their first Westy as they strolled by, taking pictures and talking about all the things they would want to do with one.
On the way home, Tunes all tuckered out from her busy, busy day.
Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:17 am Subject: Re: Bad 2.1L aft oil leak. Fixed with <$20 part
|way back in 2010, sanchius wrote:
| ...my 87 2.1L started suddenly leaking oil badly from the rear of the engine. Really badly...
The used engine I tossed in my syncro a few weeks ago started exhibiting an unacceptably large aft oil leak
It was very difficult to tell exactly where it was coming from due to all the pulleys, pipes and tin back there and renewing the oil cooler -> engine gasket last weekend didn't solve the problem
I was searching thesamba archives for the next suspect and I discovered this thread I created almost 5 years ago, which I had completely forgotten about.
It detailed fixing just such a leak by replacing the high pressure oil pressure sensor located between/below the water pump and crank pulleys.
The thread described my current symptoms exactly and yesterday morning before work, I took 20mins to swap in a replacement sensor and oil leak solved!
It was really cool to have the past me solve the problem for the present me and demonstrates the value of writing up your repair procedures, even if they are minor.
Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:35 am Subject: Things your van did recently
Saturday was a bright and sunny day, full of promise for fun and adventure.
First, we picked up some donuts and walked around to see all the beauties at Cars & Coffee in Lafayette, Colorado (1st Sat. of the month, 95th x Araphahoe, 7-10am ). There was a nice syncrowesty there, but I forgot to take pics (this is someone else's pic, more at www.patterndraftimaging.com/p602112079)
Then we drove west on the beautiful highway that runs by DOE's wind generation laboratory (www.nrel.gov/wind/) south of Boulder...
...until we reached Eldorado Canyon state park, where we putted up past all the rock climbers & their belayers on the big walls near the entrance to the canyon (http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/search/solr?all="eldorado+canyon"), going higher until we got lucky and snagged one of the coveted shaded parking spaces at the Rattlesnake Gulch trailhead.
From there, we hiked up and up and up Rattlesnake Gulch.
Tuna the Husky's favorite activity is her daily bikejorning run for several miles through the nearby neighborhoods and open space (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/21207999462), without which she becomes a four-legged hand grenade later in the evening (www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7026703#7026703). She pulls like a freight train and until I added a shock cord into her rig, it felt like my arm was getting pulled out of its socket. Tunes has gotten so strong and can pull so hard that she halves the work of trail climbing, particularly if the other person is given a bit of a head start. We traded her off between us on the climb up, saying "Here, do you want to take The Escalator for awhile?"
We topped out at a landmark that we've been meaning to check off our local big-infrastructure hit list for some time now: Tunnel 10 on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe mainline between Denver and the west coast, high up on the south wall of Eldorado Canyon. We had lunch sitting on boulders in the shade of a nearby aspen grove, waiting for a train to pass while Tunes hunted mice in the tall grass.
But, alas, no trains came by while we were there. So, we hiked back down to our shaded parking spot and soaked in the majesty of Eldorado Canyon's towering walls for a couple hours, reading, listening to music, napping and just hanging out, while Tunes slept in the shade under the bus.
Westys are charismatic vehicles, with a particular draw for young dads wanting to satisfy their yearning for outside adventures without neglecting their new family duties. Parked by the trailhead with the top popped & the doors opened for a couple hours, we had several such gentlemen stop by with their families, asking about the camper functions; their kids excited about something their dad is showing interest in and their wives hanging back, rolling their eyes & hoping against hope that he won't get too obsessed with a new time/attention/money pit. Having once been one of these lads, I am quite sympathetic to their situation and very happy to chat with them. It helps when my 20-something daughter chimes in too. The conversation usually goes something like:
1. Wow, this is cool, can I look inside? Certainly...
2. What year is it? '87
3. Are they fun? Absolutely! We love it and have tons of adventures in it! Kids love them and they're awesome in bad weather! Think of them as the swiss-army knives of camper vans.
4. How does the pop-top|z-bed|upper-bed|swivel-seats work? Here, let me show you... And check out this other cool feature...
5. Is it really 4WD? Yup, but they are in high demand and a bit unicornish, so just double the price. Unless you really really need the 4WD, get a 2WD, they are just fine and they are simpler/lighter/cheaper.
6. Oh, how much do they cost? Recently I've seen them anywhere between $2K and $75K+. The bottom line is that you will end up paying around $10K, whether it's a $3K junker where you'll end up doing $8K in frustrating breakdowns & hard fixup work that make you look bad in front of your wife & kids or you simply buy a nice one for $10-$15K and enjoy it.
7. Don't they have kitchens? Yup, some do, some don't, this one doesn't. I much prefer the larger open lay-down space without the kitchen. I usually cook outside or on the tabletop.
8. Can I sit in it? Sure!
9. Are they reliable? Absolutely... NOT.... unless you find the right one and care for it well. We're lucky here, the long-time Vanagon mechanics in Boulder are excellent.
10. Bye, have fun and check out thesamba.com!
These chats and seeing the the lightbulb go off in their head about what a westy could do for them always leaves me with a great feeling.
Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:01 pm Subject: Things your van did recently
Moved a queen sized mattress & boxspring
Removing the rear ac headbanger & cabinet pays off once again (http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5159008#5159008)
Sat Oct 10, 2015 2:59 pm Subject: Things your van did recently
After a week of intense meetings and another yet to come, it was good to be back in town for a day to just throttle back, putt around in the Westy and enjoy a very warm and brilliant-blue Fall afternoon. First it took us to Saturday in the park with Luna, where she played in Boulder Creek and ran around playing Mad Dog during her daft half hour.
Then we went to the Boulder's awesome Community Cycles bike coop to tune up one of my vintage carbon fiber Trek-Y's in prep for its descent down Independence Pass into Aspen tomorrow. I love the design of these old Y bikes and pick them up when I see them to build up custom mountain and road bikes for myself and the kids. This is my next project with one of my spare frames.
We ended the afternoon sitting in the sun on the back patio at Sanitas brewing, debriefing our week over IPAs and watching trains go by.
Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:37 am Subject: Things your van did recently
Last weekend it was that time of year to pick out pumpkins again, just like in so many years past.
Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:37 pm Subject: Things your van did recently
After a couple weeks of beautiful fall weather, a strong cold front rolled in Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning dawned rainy, dark, and cold. I was headed into the lab at 7am, taking the quiet country back roads to avoid the highway traffic. The van was running great, the heaters on high, the wipers sweeping back & forth and it was all warm & cozy inside. I was halfway there when I received word that the morning's early conference call was postponed. Since everything was prepped and ready for the 9:30 call, there simply wasn't any reason for me to be in so early.
So I pulled off into an empty Boulder County trail head, parked right up next to the boundary fence, closed the curtains, deployed the z-bed and relaxed in the back under a warm fleece blanket, listening to the stereo, drinking my coffee and reading/dozing while the rain pattered steadily overhead on the roof. An hour or so later, refreshed, I started back up and drove the rest of the way into work to start my day. It was so nice, I love having this van...
Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:29 pm Subject: Things your van did recently
After a boisterous meal at our traditional local hole-in-the wall breakfast joint, the Village Coffee Shop, in Boulder,
we spent the morning with the folks, helping them remove some extra furniture from their assisted living facility.
We spent the warm afternoon out on the prairie exploring back roads and were able to successfully avoid cleaning the garage.
That's Long's Peak in the background (14250 feet). I've climbed it twice and don't intend to ever do it again.
That last cold front brought the first solid high country snow of this season. Winter's coming...
Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:23 pm Subject: Things your van did recently
We picked up some apple cider & donuts and spent Sunday morning putting around the foothills back roads seeing what we could find.
We found several nice scenic overviews...
we found a old work train going by, heading back down to the Denver yard...
and we found a cool Skycrane helicopter (Erickson #742, aka "The Incredible Hulk") up at the Jeffco airtanker base.
Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:49 am Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
Reawoken from its winter sleep.
Refreshed the neg battery cable lead and it started right up.
We putted up to the nearby airport to check out the F-18 that had stopped in to gas up.
Then it was off to my favorite overlook to nap^H^H^Hread for a bit while Tunes moused in the tall prairie grass.
It's so nice to have it back on the road and I'm looking forward to a fun spring/summer.
But it looks like I need to start reading that seam rust repair thread
Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:44 am Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
It had been a long, intense week at work and Saturday dawned beautiful and still, after a wet spring snowstorm the day before.
With the morning chores completed and everyone else off on their own adventures, Tuna and I hopped in the Syncro to enjoy the day.
First, we headed in towards Boulder on my favorite back road...
...and secured a great parking spot at Chautauqua Park, from which we went hiking through the fresh powder snow in the meadows below the Flatirons.
It was perfect Husky weather with Tuna playing snow-porpoise though the deep powder at full speed or doing the coyote listen, stalk & pounce whenever she heard a field mouse under the snow.
Then, all tuckered out, we returned to the Van to fire up a network connection and submit that abstract I hadn't gotten to on Friday.
With work taken care of, I could relax in the back with the Z-bed deployed, enjoying the immense amount of space gained from ditching all the back cabinets, listening to music and reading/napping while the sun warmed the side of the van and Tuna snored beside me.
A couple hours later, refreshed, we headed back east to meet the kids and their friends at what has become one of our favorite local microbreweries, Odd13 in Lafayette.
It was some great conversation over great beers, soaking up the warmth of the bright spring sun on the back patio, followed by many rounds of high-speed cut-throat Foosball, with the young-uns giving the old-man a serious run for his money.
We wrapped up the day back at the house, whipping up a batch of green-chile chipotle chicken enchiladas and playing the fun Settlers of Catan board game in front of the fire.
All in all, it was a very nice and relaxing Saturday
Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:16 am Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
Back in town for a day, took it into work on a beautiful Sunday morning to stretch its legs, pump up the lifters and keep everything lubed and ready for the upcoming camping season.
Reviews all completed. Heading back home again in the evening.
Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:05 pm Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
My daughter and I had a lovely spring day meandering along the back roads between Boulder and Loveland.
We watched the gliders cycle at Boulder airport, lots of aerobatic skydivers at Longmont airport, and miles and miles of farm pastures greening up after a mild winter.
After awhile, Tunes got bored looking out the window from the jumpseat and curled up in back to sleep or with her head resting on the table so she could still look out.
Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:35 am Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
A nice juicy late spring upslope snowstorm means a couples days of snowfall, lots of shoveling, fires in the fireplace and the kids sledding up at Hospital Hill
Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:32 am Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
My son and I pit crewed for an old friend going through vintage racing drivers school at PPIR south of Colorado Springs last weekend.
His race prepped '61 Jag MkII sedan is on the lift for some suspension work, so we took his street 1964 E-type.
It was wonderful to be back at the track with the Mighty Roar Racing Team again after a very very long time away.
This sets the stage for a fun summer vintage racing season.
Here's an extract from when I went through the same drivers school in the Jag MkII back in 1996: "...finally came the chance to take the wheel of a fully race-prepped Jaguar on a track in competition with other drivers. In the beginning you simply try to get around the track without screwing up, tentative and apprehensive as you do your best to absorb all the new things unfolding around you so quickly. It takes a bit to set your cockpit procedures, gauge checks, the best shifting/braking methods, spotting corner workers while working out your driving lines and braking points. Then you start to push the car with more and more more certainty as it begins to click and you get a glimpse of what the all fuss is about. But an instant later, you miss the line or blow a shift and find yourself all tied up in mental knots again, juggling aggression and caution, pride with fear, your skills with the unknown. Before long, your confidence is back, everything becomes right again and you transition into a wonderful world-without-time where life reduces down to a 3-second stream-of-consciousness window of total focus on setting up the next line just right, late braking into the curve and late apexing out under acceleration, winding it out in the straight, shifting and winding it out more, then braking, braking HARDER as the wall rushes up to you, downshifting and pushing into the next tight corner hotter, accelerating out faster, passing that Alfa, dropping cars off your tail, then getting smoked by a someone even faster on the long straightaway, transitioning into the next curve, settling deep into the suspension and smoothly taking the wide sweeper in slow-motion at 70mph just inches off the bumper of the vintage 911 in front of you, trusting the Jag, trusting the other drivers, notching it up lap after lap, pushing it harder and probing your limits before suddenly it's over, the checkered's out and you're pulling into the pits with muscles trembling and a huge grin on your face..."
Sun May 01, 2016 5:30 am Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
Tunes and I stopped to check out Standley Lake.
Sun May 15, 2016 2:30 pm Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
Parked at the end of a remote weather station service road to get away from everything and catch up on some reading
On one side, a 50-foot drop-off and on the other, miles and miles of beautifully empty tallgrass prairie
Cold, windy and wet outside; warm, quiet and calm inside with a nice background mix going
All stretched out in back, lounging against a big pile of pillows, laptop on the table
Tunes the Husky curled up and fast asleep in the front seat
Wireless internet signal stable and strong
Phone ringer set to mute
Tue Jun 07, 2016 5:37 am Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
Our oldest daughter was in town for the day, so we wandered slowly up Boulder Canyon, stopping now and then to play in the creek.
Along the way, she pointed out all the technical climbing routes she used to do in the canyon and the Tyrolean traverses they would use to cross the creek during runoff.
The creek was running pretty high, so Tunes was on leash and in her escape-proof dog harness the entire time.
We ended up in Nederland, the little hippy mountain town at the very top of the canyon and enjoyed a nice lunch from the Wild Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery.
It was a beautiful day and the Syncro got a lot of attention, lots of folks asking about it or looking inside to see how everything worked and some trying to convince their wives that they need to get one.
Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:10 pm Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
We just knew it was going to be a beautiful sunset tonight.
So we ordered up a couple pizzas, threw some drinks in the cooler and headed out to an overlook to enjoy it.
Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:19 pm Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
I love June. Another beautiful sunset was successfully enjoyed this evening...
Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:34 am Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
We had a grad student visitor in town from Denmark and it was just too hot to stay on the plains.
So we picked him and his bike up from CU, grabbed some cherries, french bread, and stinky cheese from the farmers market and headed back up Boulder Canyon to Ned.
We stopped along the creek to wade in the ice-cold water and had lunch near some of the good walls to watch the climbers.
Once up at Ned, we took him on a couple spins on the wonderful Carousel of Happiness
Then we walked around town soaking up the high mountain air and checked out Bucyrus, the massive Panama Canal steam shovel at the Ned mining museum.
Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:43 am Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
A busy blistering hot weekend of fire and water. Saturday was water.
We scored a coveted shaded parking spot by the Boulder Creek to visit the art in the park event...
...where a crack team of young ladies at the tutu-making booth decked Tuna out in the latest French fashion before we went wading in the creek to cool off. Tunes was far more interested in the Mallard ducks paddling around than the tubers going by.
Then we found some shade in a nearby park to spread out the picnic blankets...
Sunday was fire. We went up to the Forest Service Jeffco airtanker base to watch them cycling the slurry bombers working the Cold Springs fire. The fire is so close we can almost watch them through their entire flight. That's one of the two jet assisted Neptune P2Vs on site getting ready to go out, with one of the new BAe-146s coming in and downtown Denver buildings in the far background
This is a vanagon forum, so we need a pic of the van with the P2V taking off and one of the two BAe-146s filling up.
Here's the Neptune T-06 in action (photo from Neptuneaviation site)
Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:29 am Subject: 2016 Boulder Arts Festival poster featuring a split bus
The 2016 Boulder Pearl Street Arts Fest poster this year features a split bus:
I haven't seen it myself so I don't know how big it is.
I was passing this on to a local split owner friend (below) who delights in this sort of thing and I thought I'd post this here in case anyone else was interested in picking one up (I have no relation to the artist or festival).
Some happy creatures prepping for the 2016 Boulder Dead & Co show at Moonbunny's Reefer Van.
Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:40 am Subject: Re: The Vanagons of Arise Music Festival - Loveland, Colorado
Arise 2016 was another great weekend music festival.
Three days of nonstop noon-2am bluegrass/newgrass, reggae, rock, electronic & acoustic music, performance, aerial & fire shows; art, yoga, movies & workshops, it all was great.
As before, the festival was very professionally run and organized; it felt safe, well lighted, traffic controlled, with lots of water and clean facilities.
And this year we had wonderful neighbors of all ages all around us representing a wide slice of Americana,
from students, housewives, organic grocers/farmers & river guides with great stories,
to precision machinists, restaurant & IT pros, and an older chemistry phd student who knowledgeably answered any questions we had,
to a particularly delightful couple in their late 60's who worked with villages in Peru to trade their local crafts for solar and clean water installations who handed out 100's of apricots to everyone from their western slope fruit farm.
In fact, we all ended up talking so late into the night that I think we were the bad neighbors this year.
We learned last year that sun & rain protection was essential, so we went in big with two 10'x10' pop-up shelters with ground tarps, Persian rugs, sheepskins, side shade/privacy tapestries and lots of chairs to share. It worked perfect for the light sprinkles the first night and the intense sun the last days. We had so much coverage that I didn't even bother to deploy the van's side awning that I had installed a few weeks ago. The initial clouds, cool and humidity when I took most of the pics were actually a welcome break from the strong sun & heat we knew was coming. Once the sun and dry heat hit, we made a quick shower setup on the side of the van for refreshing and cooling dust-off sun showers (2nd pic).
With our 20-something kids and their friends helping with the gear, handling most of the food logistics, making sure we made it to the most interesting shows and just being there as fun festival, dancing and conversation buddies, it was a very fun and easy weekend
There were many Vanagons...
Some tidy Euros...
Lots of nice Bays..
and one really really nice 21-window splitty conveniently parked a just few spots away ( you can see my pop-top in the last pic)
Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:26 am Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
Stopped at my favorite Boulder Country trailhead to finish my coffee with the slider open, read my morning work email and take in the view before heading the rest of the way into work
Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:27 am Subject: Re: What did YOU do to your van today?
Added the Butterfly mod to antenna
Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:27 am Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
Putted over to the nearby gliderport to have a leisurely lunch and watch the sailplanes
Fifi was in town last weekend
Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:31 pm Subject: Re: Things your van did recently
After a long, long week, my wife and I met for an early dinner. Then we cruised out to our favorite overlook to watch the sun slowly set over the Front Range of Rockies.
Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:41 pm Subject: Our SyncroWesty totaled - The end of an era (new pics
With deep sadness I must regretfully report that after 10 years of the most amazing fun, camping trips, concerts and 4WD adventures exploring the back roads and mountains of Colorado, this morning our SyncroWesty gave its life to save mine, protecting me from a shattering side impact from someone running a red light at 60mph.
Fortunately, everyone walked away from the crash without injuries.
But, alas, our beloved SyncroWesty is no more.
I will always remember it like this:
or like this
or like this
or like this
or like this
or like this
or like this
or like this
or like this
or like this
or like this
or like this
or like this
or like this
[b][u]or like this[/u][/b] (my favorite post)
rather than like this:
About a foot and a half of penetration (pic added 9/20)
The impact opened up the driver side body seam... (pic added 9/20)
| Sanchius, sure would appreciate an update.
I can't thank you all enough for all your support though this.
A quick update - I'm basically OK and no one else was in the vehicle.
I'm just starting to work with the insurance and liability issues, which will be dicey.
The upside is that some family members had previously invited us to join them at their oceanside condo on the Kona coast of Hawaii.
So for the past week we've been relaxing and recuperating from the shock in paradise, surrounded by friends and family.
The adventure continues here:Sanchius and Tuna ride again
The Syncro years (2008-2016) - The 2WD years (2017-present) - Your membership keeps this awesome list going.