Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Reflections

Julia here. Not much has changed physically to our home-on-wheels since our last post, but now we are starting to experience more of the intangible dimensions of our adventure. What has occupied our days of late is working, saving money, and trying to find a new spot to park our bus. Erin has been busting out new products for the Saturday Market and online (a whole other mental conundrum we've been wrestling with is trying to figure out which directions and how far to take this business). I've been working in the shipping warehouse at mountain rose herbs to make some extra money. It seems to be taking up all my time - a hard thing on these summer days. Working a physical, full-time job is trying, but definitely a learning experience.

To our suprise, it's been super tricky finding an affordable, formal new spot for our bus. Even though we are not 100% finished with our lady, we feel it's about time to get out into the world with her! We have found many wonderful folks who would be happy to have us park on their rural property - this is actually a dream come true, but not quite for this phase of our process, especially with gas commute costs. We've been trying to find a spot in town for now, but haven't had too many hits - maybe Eugene is already inundated with buses? Just the other day, however, a fellow crafter offered his place to us which is just about perfect for our needs right now! We are very excited to make the move.

We also almost have enough cash to get new wheels and tires and our veg-conversion! It is pretty crazy to us how our bus plan has gotten so entangled with the global energy crisis. When we started this project about a year ago, we had always intended to do WVO for economic/environmental reasons, but now it is an absolutely necessary factor for us. We just can't afford to move her otherwise! When we started, tire prices weren't nearly as much as they are now (truck tires are made out of synthetic petroleum-based rubber...who knew?). AND, when we first started, diesel was cheaper than gas! This one is a real crack up to me. It is somewhat disconcerting to be embarking on an adventure so entangled with the whole fuel issue, but I am still confident we can make it work and also hopefully educate about the issue along the way.

On a another note, lately we have both been feeling the draw of Portland. Our plan as of late is to head up there in a couple of months to see what that fair city has to offer us. CA seems too overwhelming and expensive, Eugene is too boring, small and economically broken. Portland seems to be right there in the middle in terms of diversity, community, economic opportunity and all those other good things. In the mean time, we are gearing up to fully enjoy the Oregon Country Fair with all our friends and family in a couple of weeks! Yay!

In terms of day to day bus-life, we are learning more fully the meaning of weather-proofing. In the winter-spring it was a struggle to keep her warm, but now we are faced with a whole new set of issues given these past few 95 degree days. We haven't fully dealt with our window screen situation so we've been living her mostly shut up during the heat of the day to avoid wasp infestations while we're at our respective work situations. Lessen #1: never leave a stick of butter out on your wood stove when your bus turns into an oven if you don't want melted butter all over your floor, etc. Yuck.

Erin's going to work on some new shelves and cabinets over the next while which will definitely help. Other tasks on the list: fix the grey water tank, finish the composting toilet, put down the hardwood floors, make her travel worthy, and hit the road!

Toward the fun!



Lizz said...

Hi guys!

It's really so symbolic, your bus adventure and life. It's all related!!

I hear ya about Eugene, we are so there and tried to make the move to Portland where all of our friends have relocated for $ and wouldn't you know it, we can't afford the move! Slaps forehead...

The life of living debt free on cash without credit slows us down...alot...oh and figure in kids.

I'm rambling but I really wanted to say that I feel ya. Let us celebrate whiel the sun shines and there is fun to be had. On to the Country Fair!

Drum Circle Deva said...

Hey there! Love your blog and it's so awesome what you gals are doing!

Lizz said...

I'm glad to have met you, Julia!

Love your wares.

Jacob said...


Someone just pointed me to your blog. I'm really impressed by what you've done with your bus. I'm excited to see what you do next, especially in terms of that veg conversion.

I'm part of an east coast circus that bought a bus for a cross country tour and now it's back in Boston on my parent's lawn — they're starting to get agitated about it.

It runs on veggie though. If you have questions, I know some basic concepts, like you want your heating system to be top notch.

The bus is looking good, and I hope to read more about it in the future!

Ron said...

Hey Nice work Ladies!! I just found your blog and must say that I am blown away at your (Julia and Erin) ambition and accomplishments. Perhaps in the future our paths will cross and I would be honored to meet you two gals. Keep on ramblin' Take care, Ron