Once again, our hats are off to the mighty Jay Salser for his dedication to 1967beetle.com. Each article is hand crafted with passion and attention to detail. The Waller Family Nor Cal Treffen journey is a fantastic read. Go, Ron & Diane. – ES
Ron and Diane Waller of Phoenix, Arizona not only are loyal Readers of 1967beetle.com, Ron has contributed several articles to the Site. Earlier this year, the Wallers decided to drive their 1967 Lotus White Beetle with many other air-cooled Volkswagens on the 19th Annual Treffen Border-to-Border Cruise. Their Journal memorializes the notable trip from Washington State to the tip of California. Drive along with them as they revive that feel-of-the-road Volkswagen experience.
Treffen #19, 2017 Journal
About four years ago, my wife, Diane, and I heard about the “Border to Border” Treffen. Treffen is the German word for trip or journey. Little did we know the word also could be used for “adventure,” because indeed it was!
Treffen starts in Port Angeles, Washington, and cruises down the coast on Highway One or U.S. 101. It lasts ten days and finishes at Border Field State Park at the Mexican Border. This was the 19th year for the event. Total mileage is 1,700. We decided it was something we had to do. From that point every decision we made concerning work on the car was made with Treffen in mind.
One of our major concerns was how “laid back” the trip was. The only requirement was an “air cooled VW.” There was no registration or fees. You came and went as you wanted. Being a very organized “Type A” personality, that was a real challenge for me.
We also decided to ask our best friends, Dan and Becky Lehman to accompany us. They have a beautiful 1971 Super Beetle. Needless to say, a great deal of planning and effort went into this adventure. First, we decided to ship the car to the starting point of the cruise. If you have shipped a car you know the anxiety that goes into this! The car left Phoenix three days before the start of our trip, which would begin on July 20. We had it delivered to Vancouver, WA, in time for our first Treffen day. When we left Phoenix, the temperature was 106. In Oregon it was 70! We had great weather the entire trip. The only rain we saw was in Arizona on the drive home! Our little Lotus White 1967 Beetle had 5,070 miles on the odometer when we left Vancouver.
Day 1 – Friday, July 21
We drove from Vancouver to Astoria, Oregon, along the Columbia River. This first leg was just over 90 miles. We crossed the Columbia River on the four-mile-long Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River. It is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America. Our first meeting of “the group” was in Astoria for dinner. Not knowing who or what to expect we all wore some type of VW shirt. It also was the first time we met “Buck” and “Andre” who were the contacts and leaders of the trip. They did an outstanding job. At some points there were over fifty cars on the road, a very impressive sight. Herding the group and keeping it together was not an easy task. It made for a few heart-stopping moments!