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Van in shop

Our New Bus; Chapter Three

So, if you’ve been following along, you’ll remember (and maybe you won’t since it’s been well over a month since we updated. Life is BUSY!) that we left off with plans to head south to continue our build. And that we did. We made a quick trip North to DuPont, Washington first. Joe has a childhood friend who lives there with his beautiful family. We had dinner together, we visited, we stayed one night in a Cabellas parking lot (a really great place to stay when you’re on the road!), then we met for breakfast the following morning. A quick stop in Portland to drop off the teen who chose not to continue to California, and we’re off! Officially Eureka bound to officially begin the build on our bus!

boon-docking along Highway 101

We allowed a few days of travel before we were scheduled to arrive in California. Kind of like a true maiden voyage kinda thing. The last time we would travel in the bus before it became our new home. Also, we had the girls with us so we wanted to be sure they got to experience our first time on the road in the bus with us. We drove down the coastline from Portland to Florence to Eureka. We stopped along the way at Moolack Beach and in Port Orford, one of my most favourite places along the coast. There’s something calmingly familiar about it and it never disappoints. We had dinner on the dock, watched a beautiful sunset and saw whales with some binoculars shared by a friendly stranger.

Bus at Port Orford
Bus at Port Orford

taking it all in

We arrived in Eureka on a Wednesday evening and immediately began assessing our workspace. So many things that we were so fortunate to have. A separate space to sleep so that we could work with minimal clean-up each day, 7 acres of Redwood forest to relax in AND a beautiful working environment. We also had access to an amazing wood shop that we were so excited to have unlimited use of. Every saw that we could need, sanders, nail guns, hammers, and drills. Everything that Joe already had of course, but Lou-Lou was still sitting in Burns, Oregon with all the tools in her garage.

The amazing Wood Shop at Pigeon Point Artisans
Bus In Eureka, California

let the build (officially, officially) begin!

(I feel like we keep saying that)

hour one:

One of the very first things that we needed to do was to remove the bracketing from the old air conditioners. We considered keeping them up and trying to incorporate them into the build somehow, but decided that they really just needed to come down. They were not as easy to remove as we thought they would be and it involved a lot of sparks and lots of noise. I do believe Joe had a ton of fun with this part though.

Joe blasting rivets off interior of bus


While Joe was busy with sparks and rivets inside the bus, the girls and I tackled the outside. First things first, was all the lettering. Rosalie was bound and determined to remove the all the lettering from the front. That little girl is beautifully stubborn and it took her almost 3 hours but she did it! We found that the best things to use (I may have mentioned this in a previous post) were Goo-Gone and a thin scraper. We used 2 entire spray bottles of the Goo-Gone stuff overall. The heat from the sunlight helped a ton too. This part of the job, while tedious and gooey, was pretty fun and gave me a lot of time to just hangout and chat with the girls.

Nikki and Rosie on bus
Nikki and Rosalie on decal removal duty
Nikki on bus
Nikki and Gwendolen working on bus
Gwena and Rosie in bus
Official Bus Builders


The final product and the official blank slate of the interior. She’s already come so far in appearances. It’s amazing how quickly a small space changes. To think in just weeks, this will be our official home!

The fun scraping part, however, is going to take much, much longer. Weeks, if I’m guessing correctly. And we’ve started playing a little game with the lettering. We’re leaving letters that spell names. Any guesses on what names we’ve left every couple of days?

Speaking of names….Our bus really does have a name. I’ll drop that in the next post.

So, the plan for tomorrow is wood shop day! We couldn’t be more excited and I’m going to try really hard to update sooner!

Last but not least, (I’m gonna get a little sappy for a minute) this is where we truly discovered that even well thought out plans tend to take on a mind of their own sometimes. When we started this bus build, we talked of it being a lot of fun. Work, yes, but fun. And it is. It’s so fun, but also its a lot work. It’s not just building out a bus for us, it’s our living. It’s sharing yet another part of each others lives that gives us even more insight to the individual people that we each are, and who we are together.

It’s an entire chapter of our lives full of learning, loving, patience, joy and hiccups.

Interior Bus
Rivets off!


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