Our bus, Paulie, went to the mechanic to get an oil change and new tires and some other stuff that he needed before we set sail. They needed to keep him longer than we would have liked so we needed to change plans and go hang at Nick's mom's for a couple of days because our friends were coming home from vacay and we wanted them to have their house back. Our original plan was to leave our friends' place and go to my sister's in Milmay, NJ to visit with her and my brother in law and get some finishing touches done on Paulie. Changing our plans meant less time at their house and less time to finish stuff up, we felt really rushed even though we decided to stay an extra day in New Jersey.
The morning we were set to leave New Jersey we got up and started getting stuff put away and safe on the bus for the trip. We were heading to a farm in New York near Chester and hoping to hit a brewery on the way. There were a bunch of little things to do and we needed to stop and get fuel for both the bus and the van. This would be the first time we had to put fuel in the bus. We were leaving a bit later than we had hoped but were all buckled in the bus was running and I hoped in the van, turned the key, and click, click, click. Its didn't start. The van had just been to the shop before we left Medford and we felt really good about it but now, crap. We tried to jump the van with my sister's car, and no dice. Crap. So off to Advanced Auto I go to have the battery tested. It was the longest drive to the automotive store, I kept hoping it was really just the battery and not something more serious. I really didn't want to delay our travels any more. When I got the battery tested they told me it was the dealer battery and it was done so I should get a new one. So, new battery in hand I'm on my way back to my sister's to put the battery in and presto! We could now finally go! A few more goodbyes and we are on our way.
Nick drives the bus and I follow behind in the van, after a lot of discussion this was the traveling option that we are going with right now. We had talked to our friend Neil about a custom hitch and we are exploring that but for now I drive the van behind the bus. It's actually quite fun because I can see the looks on people's face as the bus passes by. We left my sister's and several miles from there is a diesel station that we were planning to stop to fuel up. As the bus popped up the driveway to the Conoco and there was a trickle of fluid coming from under the bus which turned to a gush, the bus's water broke, it was the grey tank. A PVC pipe had come loose, perhaps broken and we emptied the grey tank all over the ground at the Conoco. Well, at least we didn't need to stop to dump the grey tank now.
The GPS said 3 hours and 47 minutes to the farm we were suppose to stay at that night, well that is probably based on a car going the speed limit, not a bus barely going the speed limit. We needed to be at the farm by 6:00 pm and half way into our trip we knew were going to have to skip the brewery to make it. About an hour later we knew we weren't going to make the farm by 6. So a decision was made to at least go to the brewery, Rushing Duck, and then sleep at a Walmart. Early in our bus life planning I decided I would avoid sleeping in Walmarts unless there was an emergency and now on our first night on the road we are going to sleep at a Walmart. So onto the brewery.
We turned quite a few heads driving through this little town and as we pulled into the brewery's parking lot. We thought we would be good there because it was in with a bunch of industrial buildings and there seemed to be tons of space, but no. We were quickly informed by the bartender that we couldn't park where we thought we could and were directed to a municipal lot. Nick just about parallel parked our 40 ' bus! We were going to have a beer! The brewery was great, we met some locals and the bartender tried to find us a farm to stay and when that didn't pan out they directed us to the better Walmart in the area. We gave them a sticker, thanked them for their kindness and off we were to Walmart.
It was late when we got there but we went in to pick up some groceries and use the bathroom because until we fixed the grey tank we couldn't our toilet because our urine was now plumbed to the grey tank. That would have to wait until morning because I was too tired to crawl under the bus now. We walked back to the bus and as we settled in a truck with a camper pulled in and two older people hopped in back, and a guy in a Jeep Cherokee was asleep behind us. It was like a wacky campground.
In the morning I crawled under the bus to see what was what. It turned out someone didn't glue the PVC pipe and it simply came loose and was not broken at all. I went to Walmart and bought some PVC cement and we were back in business. Nick went to Panera to get coffee because we hadn't filled our propane tank yet. As I was crawling out from under the bus a car pulled up and it was a lovely woman and her son with a ton of questions about the bus and what we were doing. They took photos with us and were so super sweet, this is one of the reasons for this adventure. We want to meet people we wouldn't otherwise meet and the bus is a great conversation starter.
We ate donuts and drank coffee and then we were on our way, the next farm was not far and we were excited to do some exploring and walking around. We stopped for propane and on to Love Apple Farm. A super cute farm near Hudson, NY. They had a cute market and cafe, a petting zoo, and u pick apples, peaches, and raspberries. We picked a ton of raspberries, pet a donkey, a miniature pony, and some goats. The alpaca wanted nothing to do with us, or anyone else. We then drove to Hudson and walked around, so super cute. The weather was great and so many people were out walking around. We saw some art, chatted with some artisans, and eventually popped into Hudson Brewing Company for a beer
Did everything go as planned? No. Did we expect it to? No. Are we having a good time? Yes.
So our first 48 hours on the road was not what we thought but what in life ever is. I am supper happy that we are finally traveling. We have so many cool things coming up. We are in Massachusetts now and after that we head to Maine for the rest of September and then we head south for the winter. We are learning and adapting to this new life everyday. We are so glad to have you along for the ride.