I get considerably more email inquiring as to the state of the bus and/or the happiness of the dog than I do of my own well being. Go figure. If you‘ve kept up with my Alaska Highway by Volkswagen Bus series or Sled Dog Alaska, Getting There you’ll know that the old girl limped into Nenana, Alaska last fall on her last dose of VW mojo and good will. We had 6,389 miles behind us, a couple breakdowns, almost three months from New Mexico and some pretty dam good times. I parked the old girl out at Goldstream Kennel on October 7th of last year and that’s where she sat (hibernated) through her first -40 below winter. Six months later I had her picked up on a towing truck and carted back to Fairbanks for the Spring roust.
When she arrived in Fairbanks she had two flat tires, all the issues from the drive up to contend with and a frozen battery to boot. She got four new tires and, much to my surprise, roared right to life on the first turn of the key after a new battery was installed. Roared is exactly the term I was looking for as the alternator shaft had bent the previous summer leaving the stripped out fan bashing against the fan shroud with each and every revolution of the engine. It’s a wonderful sound. I was able to get all the parts needed to replace the whole assembly, pulley to fan, from a nice fella I met via The Samba in Wasilla and after an afternoon’s work, she was ready for the road.
Go Bussie, Go. April Fools Day brought the first road trip of the year, almost 400 miles from Fairbanks to Cordova, Alaska in the Southeast. The bus ran like a charm and got to take the first ride that I know of in the belly of an Alaskan ferry. The state of the bus for the spring of 2010: Good! She could use a valve adjustment and a few odds and ends, but she’s overall in good shape for the summer. Please enjoy some of the first photos of Bussie on the road this year: