Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thematic Photographic - Summer

Every week Carmi at Written, Inc. poses a theme for photographic inspiration. This week's theme is SUMMER.

It must be summer if there's a brightly painted old school bus parked on the roadside in Topanga Canyon!

All up and down the West Coast, it seems, free spirits living in old school buses travel during the summer. There's always a bus or two, or a dilapidated camper, or a van parked along the wide shoulders of lower Topanga Canyon Boulevard, down by the beach.

When we lived in Seattle, our neighbors across the street served as a way-station for the Hippie Buses (as we called them). Every couple of weeks, another painted bus would park in front of their house, and the nights would be filled with the sounds of a drum circle.

One summer, we watched an amazing construction project where the owner of one bus cut a hole in the roof, and then welded the shell of a Volkwagen bus to it - as a kind of windowed cupola riding on top. I wonder how many overpasses it cleared.

My hippie days are long past, and truth be told, I was never quite as free a spirit as some of my friends. I never took the Grey Rabbit, never much liked smoking pot, and the smell of incense makes me sneeze.

But every summer, I enjoy seeing the Hippie Buses show up. Something about them makes me yearn to travel the open road. Even if I just drive past them on my way to work.


Anonymous said...

I'm smiling at this. I seem to remember a Green Tortoise line, or something like that --a hippie bus that would travel up and down the coast. Part of me thought "Cool!" while the other voices in my head reminded me that the smell of pot smoke gave me headaches.

sealaura said...

love these pictures! I love seeing these old buses and campers. i am about to make a short trip up the coast and can't wait to run into these fun travel types. :)

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

This reminds me of a terrific one man play that I toured in several years back titled "Travelin' Show." It also featured a vibrantly painted bus.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Was there a sign on the back that said "Caution: Nervous Mother Driving" and was Danny Partridge looking out of the back window?


KathyR said...

Cracking up at Cheri.

I love a road trip, but this doesn't look comfortable enough for my aged self.

Oh, who am I kidding? I would have hated it when I was 20, too! And don't get me started on the smell of patchouli! Ack.

me said...

Loved your post (Freudian slip first typed pot...) I am jealous we don't get buses like that out here in New England.

cactus petunia said...

Wow. Gray Rabbit and Green Tortoise! Haven't thought about them in years! I used to do ads and flyers for Green Tortoise when I lived in San Francisco way back in the day...back when I wore long skirts and sandals and drove a '65 VW bug...every now and then the smell of patchouli brings it all back!

Great post! Thanks for the memories.