It's been a while since we've had a good bus update. Since the previous bus post, we took a quick trip back to Lake End, finished up the last of the to-do list, and took a trip to Percy Quin State Park in Mississippi.
Our trip to Lake End was pretty successful. I followed the bus in my car since we were going by ourselves and I didn't want to be stuck on the side of the road again in a hot bus with our animals. Good thing I did, because I put a small watermelon in our sink for the ride there. Of course, it was too much weight in our undermount sink and the sink fell. Wendy rode to the hardware store and fixed the sink. That was the only issue and it was totally my fault. Oops.
With Wendy coaching volleyball, we didn't have a lot of free time for bus trips. We did get Diesel Mechanic Daniel to change the oil, Wendy changed the air filter, and we got brand new tires. We also purchased a generator that we intended to use while driving to power the air conditioner, but the back of the bus is too bumpy for a generator, so back to the drawing board. Wendy did build this nice box to house the generator when we decide to boondock. Until then, it's just a very nice storage box.
On to the Percy Quin trip. We drove up to the state park in McComb, Mississippi in a caravan with some of our friends. We were nervous about venturing out so far but comforted knowing we had a good support system with us. We decided to bring the cats with us for their very first trip in the bus. Now or never, right? Our cats are used to going in and out of the house as they please, so our biggest concern was that they would try to escape. On the ride up, Oprah was *not happy* about being in the kennel and was voicing her opinion. Thanks to Tammy and Gretchen for taking a pic of the Rou Bus crossing the state line!
We've gotten pretty good at setting up the bus when we get to the campground. This time, we were able to set up our fancy new awning that Wendy designed and built. We wanted an awning that would cover most of the side of the bus and extend out at least 10 feet. Wendy used conduit pipes that are lightweight and bolted one to the roof of the bus. She used connectors to create the rest of the frame. The legs can even move up and down if we find ourselves on uneven land. The canopy attaches with little bungee cords through the grommets. It took about 15 minutes for us to set up and that was the very first time we attempted to set it up. The whole thing is 10' by 20'. The conduit pipes are stored in a large pvc pipe that is attached under the bus.
The park was so beautiful! Colorful trees and leaves all over. We had a nice view of the lake from the driver's side windows. I'm terrible at taking pictures while we go for walks, usually because I have to hold two dog leashes. If we weren't in a campground with people nearby, we could have opened the stained glass window for a sweet view while showering. ;-)
The cats were just fine once we got there. Neil really wanted to go outside, so we would put his harness and leash on and he would step out for about 30 seconds and run back inside. I know he really doesn't like the harness, but we can't take the chance of him getting spooked and running away. They mostly took naps and looked out the windows. They went wild while we were sleeping and knocked over the water bowl twice.
The dogs napped and walked and walked and napped. I was able to get a drawing completed and started carving a new design. We grilled up some carrot dogs. They're very yummy!
We decided to leave a day early because there was a line of storms passing through and we saw no point in staying just to be stuck in the bus. We stopped at the gas station on the way out and Wendy noticed a leak from the engine. We were leaking coolant. Luckily, with the guidance of Diesel Mechanic Daniel and a jug of coolant from the truck stop, we were able to make it home. On the way home, I started researching online diesel mechanic programs. Doesn't hurt to learn how to take care of the bus ourselves! After the chaos of the xmas designs sale, I'm seriously going to look into starting one of those programs. I've got so much free time, right? LOL
We're looking into places to go during the two-week winter break we have. No definite plans yet. We're open to suggestions!