Meet Pumpkin/ Ginger


Meet Pumpkin, (with pumpkin found at call box )my 1974 Volkswagen microbus camper wants to be named pumpkin, I dreamed of her cute orange face 

In November Steven and I were at a free Forest Service deer camp near Jerseydale 20 minutes above Mariposa towards Yosemite National park. We met Bruce, a homeless Vietnam vet who got his 79’ VW camper for $250 from a Jewish organization in Santa Cruz.

            Bruce told us about Ron who was refurbishing a VW MICROBUS in Jerseydale down the road two miles. Steven drove there to ask about it.  Ron was working so we left our business card on the dashboard.  It was not driven for three years and through the open passenger window was a maze of spider webs covering the open space between the seats.

            Painted VW-orange with a new bellows pop-top. We thought that it was worth more than $3500. Bruce must have told Ron about us because Ron called us back and offered it for $1000 including a rebuilt 2000 cc engine and other parts he stored on his property. Ron told us we could not put the engine in on his property. Originally we were going to borrow Brett’s Blazer but first the reverse gear went out then someone totaled his SUV parked on the street. Farmer’s still have not paid him. A tow would have cost me $500.

            I bought tools at Big Lots on sale and a battery at Walmart.  To our amazement it could move! Ron could not believe it-We drove it looking for a place we could work,

That is how we met Cindy. I gave her $100 for two days. Cindy cleans houses and owns creek property and has two parrots, three dogs, a few cats. She is my age and her 30-year-old son was staying with her. Cindy was amazed to find other “special” people like herself.                                                                                                                    






            On Cindy’s land we slept in the bus and put the large tent behind to shelter Steven while he worked on the engine. We called a VW mechanic, Bob, in Merced to help us with advice to loosen the valves. In two days, without blinker lights, Ginger limped 35 miles per hour to Stockton with me behind providing back brake lights with the Probe. The dash board started to smoke on the Stockton cross town freeway. But tapping the switch gave us useable blinkers!  We drove for two weeks to Mendocino, Westport, Point Arena, Big Sur getting eight miles per gallon all the way .

We went to Merced to meet Bob and give him $20 to tune Ginger better. Then went back to Jerseydale to get the other engine. We stopped Ron on his road to tell him we were going to Yosemite first because the weather was beautiful and would be back to take the engine. We returned from Yosemite. We had been told to take everything away. There was one tarp-covered pile where the engine, doors, shocks and tires were under. We tried calling and knocking then tried again after visiting Cindy... When we returned Ron was hiding inside the house. So we took three new tires to support the engine inside the bus.  Ron called us and wanted his tires back.  One tire on the bus had a broken belt so we put the new tire with VW hub on and we gave Ron the two tires for his truck the next weekend.

Collins diesel drilled out a bolt hole in the exhaust manifold while Steven worked on their test bench. Now the engine is in and running zippy on the freeway. We get 20miles per gal! We got a portable gas heater until we find a heater box. 



We worked in Brett’s garage. Next door at Railey’s parking lot,

a dove we named Peace-nik, jumped on Steven’s finger. He put her in Brett’s bathroom where Braden later was surprised



Everywhere that Steven went the dove was sure to go

The coincidences with the dove can we checked out at