Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memory Lane/ across country in our bus

This weekend I posted a picture of a bus on my page.
Which got 20 comments and still coming in..

The King and I had gone out to the cemetery twice. Once
on Sunday to plant flowers. And when we heard they were
having a military service on Monday, we went back out.

While there on Sunday, we figured we would make the rounds
to friends who live out that way. One I had not seen for about 15
years.  As we drove up his long winding driveway, I had the King
stop so I could take a picture of the bus that was on their land.
I had sold it to them about 26 years ago. It had a lot of old

The bus had taken my family in the fall of 1982 from R.I. to
Idaho. My husband, Marvin (who passed away in 1986) and
I bought it from a Catholic church for $500.  We filled it up
2/3 with our household possessions minus furniture except
for beds.  The other 1/3rd had seats and two tables. They
were used for the kids while we traveled. They got to play
games, use their coloring books and etc. And of course we
ate there as well. Each seat served as a bed for the kids
while we traveled.  There was 4 of us adults. Two to switch
off and on for the bus.. and two to switch off and on with the
pickup filled with our possessions and towing the car.

It was quite an adventure. For one thing..I don't know why, but
we decide to bring along a apartment size refrigerator. Which
I had a package of 3 frozen bread dough in the freezer.Which
was tiny. We were about half way New York by the time the
dough had decided to thaw out, and rise.. And rise it did, enough
to open the door of the refrigerator. Like a white monster creeping
out.  So that evening, I used the dutch oven on the coleman stove
and made fried bread.. 3 bread loaves worth of small fried bread.

We were in Wisconsin, heading towards Minnesota when the
pickup dimmer switch decided to short out.  Which meant as
we drove.. or I should say as I drove... at night... the lights
would go out and then back on, and then back out.. Which
led to some interesting driving. We were on a back road with
LOTS of hills.. tall hills.. so it was kind of like a mild roller
coaster.. And the lights would go out about the time I would
crest the top, leaving me with not much to see on the top of
the hill or now fast it went down. As some would level off
for about a block before it went down.. and other went down
immediately.  After about 5 miles of such fun, I finally got
Marv "to do something"... So he bypassed the switch, (after
he figured out that was the problem) and I had regular lights,
but not high beams. I didn't care, as long as I could see.

When we arrived in Minnesota, (we must have looked like
the Beverly Hillbillies) we pulled into visit and rest with
Marv's family. On the second day, we were off to Idaho.
In North Dakota, I was buzzing along near Roosevelt's
National Park, and blew a tire which took out my brake
line on the truck. I got it to stop after a few swerves, and
limped to a stop.  We were running cb radios at that time.
Got Marv to stop, and he had to back the bus up about
1/2 mile to get to us.  He and the other driver got the tire
changed. And then slowly approach the park parking lot.
And they fixed the break line. At 2am... We were ready
to go back on the road, after the kids got to see the many
colors of the stone walls of the valley there.

Our next fun, was going thru Montana. Another highway
with huge hills.  Some of them leveling off for a mile or
two at the top, and other were barely a half block and
down you go again.. Which was really like a roller coaster,
as you are pushing it, trying to climb the hill... to the speed
of 8 miles per hour for the bus.. floorboarding it all the way
up, only to find out was straight down and at speeds
of what seem like 80 mph... trying not to use the brake
very much... for two reasons.  One, not to wear it out.
Two to keep the speed coming, so when you started to
climb the next one, you still has some momentum going,
to keep going over the top of the next one.  By the time
we went over the final one, near Livingston Montana, we
hit the off ramp to gather ourselves and use the bathroom.
All of this at night time.

By early dawn light, we came to the WELCOME TO IDAHO
sign.  We stopped and had our picture taken by the sign. I
think one of the kids wanted to kiss the sign, he was so happy
to see it.  Hour and half later we pulled into our friends drive
way. Which the wife was so glad to see one of our
drivers was her husband.

Luckily it was an Indian summer, as the temps got warm by
10am.. the fog was rising... and sun.  It took us, I think 2 weeks
to find a place to rent.  To great relief of our friends.. and our
selves.  Oh, yea. our welcome to Idaho school system 4 days
in, was lice...  That meant washing the kids, and shampooing
their hair.. all 8 of them in an outhouse, as they didn't have a
bathroom in the house yet. Then the adults turn.
And going to the laundromat  to wash everything... bedding, clothes..
oh, so much fun..

It was a great adventure and the kids still speak of it when
we get together... We didn't come West in a covered wagon,
but we came in an old Catholic church bus. I think St. Christopher
watched over us.

So the comments on Facebook was a combo of those in Minnesota,
who saw that big bus pull in... and the wife of the driver who we camp
in their yard when we arrived... (and yes, we are all still friends)
although she lives in France now. And a few of the kids made comments
as well... And some newer friends made comments of wonderment
that we did come across country in it.


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