Friday, May 27, 2011

The Sky Bus Has Landed

Another piece of my project is now in place, and a major one at that - the Sky Bus is now parked on my land.  Getting her there was epic, a pilgrimage, and showed me once again how when plans move from my head and/or paper to fruition, they become experiences that go far beyond what I had imagined.

To begin with, this endeavor was greatly aided by my new friend, Jeremy, who I met one night at the Adobe Bar, the same place I met Rusty.  When I told him about my housebuilding project that night, Jeremy expressed great interest in it, as he does construction work, has some earthbag experience, and would like to build his own house one day.  We talked about him coming out to my land sometime, but made no definite plans.  I just HAPPENED to run into him at the laundromat the day before I was going to move my bus and invited him out.  That was the day we managed to get it started but couldn't keep it running, so he offered to tow it for me the next weekend, as he just HAPPENS to have a monster truck.  

So, last Sunday, out we went again, chained the bus to his truck and started down the bumpy dirt road from the junkyard to my land.  However, his truck started overheating after a bit, so we pulled over and he said, "You want to just see if it will start?"  We put gas in it, and lo and behold, it started right up and stayed running this time.  

It's difficult to convey how thrilling it was to drive that bus, and how very glad I am that I got to do it.  I've never been one to refer to my vehicles as "she," but something happened between that Sky Bus and me, when we were out there plowing through sagebrush and over narrow rocky dirt roads.  We bonded.  First, I started spontaneously singing to her, and then I realized I was involuntarily referring to her as "her."

Driving her was empowering and surreal, and I felt she was driving me as much as I was driving her.  I've never handled anything close to that huge or old before, and she has no driver's seat, just an old wooden chair that I had to perch on the edge of while the tops of my thighs pressed up under the steering wheel.  Also, the gas pedal is missing, and I couldn't brake because she'd die.  So taking those sharp narrow turns, throwing all my strength into turning that ginormous steering wheel, while the bus bounced and rocked and things inside it went crashing around was scarier and more fun than a roller coaster.  Imagine driving a roller coaster that has no track.  Oh yeah - I'm a ninja.  I felt like I was born for it.

She overheated twice, so we stopped for long stretches to let her cool off.  The whole journey of about three miles took several hours, including when we ran back into town for coolant.  During the second rest, Rusty showed up, and ran down to the neighbor's house to fetch us some water, since most of the coolant had leaked out already.  

We then got her started again, and caravanned to the land, the Sky Bus in the lead, Jeremy in his big silver truck right behind, and then Rusty in his little orange truck.  Right turn - bump, bounce, crash.  Left turn - bump, bounce, crash - and then straight down to the land.  Pull forward, back up and turn slowly, try not to run over that huge rock - and voila!  She was parked, backed onto my land with her nose facing east and her butt facing west.  And I turned off the engine and sat there in that immense quiet, and thought, "I'm home."

It's strange that no matter what color the sky is, the Sky Bus matches it.
Sorry about the poor quality of these photos; I forgot my camera so had to use my phone.



Me, Jeremy, and Graeme 


  1. What a fabulous epic, Polli! Congratulations for having driven the Sky Bus to her new home. I have no doubt you're entering a fabulous, most seminal time in your life.
    Your post is fun reading, a bit scary when I imagine you driving your new friend, but so exciting when I think of the great silence and space you're entering.

  2. Thank you, Claire! Yes, it's interesting how close together danger and freedom can be.

  3. this is so cool
    thanx for letting us come along for the ride
    i just love that chimney flu sticking out the front of the sky bus :D

  4. Oh, right. Come on. Jeremy just HAPPENED to have a monster truck? Of course.

    I like that you refer to Sky Bus as a she. That's what she seems like. A her, a hospitable, friendly, occasionally temperamental her. The two of you are simpatico already, I can tell.

    I get the feeling that "SkyBus" would be an AWESOME ride at Disneyland, the way you describe it. Only they'd have to have no track, just so you could get the full experience.

    You're a ninja.

    This is an AMAZING blog. (That brings your score up to 2.) Even if I don't always comment I love coming here and reading up on the latest installment of the adventurous saga. A delightful story and a rousing adventure.

    "And I turned off the engine and sat there in that immense quiet, and thought, 'I'm home.' "

    Your as good as Melville at capturing a feeling.

  5. Welcome home!
    We're near the east side of carson 5 a few blocks from the top. From looking at your pics, my guess is that your bus is a little down hill and to the east. I could be way off though.
    I wish you smoothe sailing and much joy as you arrive and settle in.

  6. I love that Sky Bus and you have an understanding. I don't doubt that my 22 year old Toyota runs as well as she does because we love her and have given her a name...

    I keep forgetting to pop over here because I neglected to put this blog up on my sidebar... I shall remedy that right now.

    I'm about to join you in the 'time-to-simplify-cause-I'm-moving' phase...

  7. Kel - yes, the chimney pipe is endearing - until you have to live with the piece that's sticking randomly (since it's summer) into the "living room" of the bus.

    Postie - "hospitable, friendly, occasionally temperamental" - how do you know me so well when we've never even met??

    Thanks for the comparison to Melville; that's quite an honor (I think; I've never actually read him. Don't tell my students.)

    rebelgardener - wow; it sounds like we're really close. If you happen to find me, stop by!

    It's funny you used the expression "smooth sailing," because my first night sleeping on the bus, I felt like I was on a boat.

    neighbor - what is your Toyota's name? I'm very curious now.

    Hope everything's going well with your move. I'll pop over to your blog when I have a bit more time, and read about your new adventure.

  8. We'd love to see it sometime but I think the blog isn't working proper...let us know.

    Rik Amy Ellery and Willow

  9. Little House - do you mean my blog isn't loading properly?

  10. Cripes, Polli, you had me on the edge of my seat: no gas peddle, no driver's seat... !

    So glad that you are now 'home'. That feeling really comes through in your writing.

    PS - Jeremy looks nice.

  11. Eryl - LOL! Yes, Jeremy is nice, and I will be eternally grateful for his help in this.