Category: Journal

Rainbow Falls State Park, WA

Rainbow Falls State Park

We’ve been staying at the Rainbow Falls State Park this past week. It definitely felt like fall at the park. It was my first full week of work where I relied 100% on my hotspot and cellular booster for internet. There were challenges. I realized how bandwidth heavy the work that I do is – lots of phone calls, lots of WebEx meetings… But I’m learning ways to optimize, like only doing one task at a time, only keep applications open while I’m using them, use webmail instead of Outlook over the VPN, move files to my local drive while I’m working on them, etc… If you do bandwidth-heavy work over the internet while you’re traveling, I’d love to hear your tips.

One Year Busiversary

So we have passed our one-year anniversary of buying Cuddlebus! What a year. It all started out like this: Brad and I were talking, and he says to me, “Ok, I’ve got a crazy idea, but just hear me out… What if we bought a van and converted it into a home with room for our skis and gear? We can drive to the mountains, park at trailheads, and have a warm space to come back to after long days of climbing and skiing.” I said, “That’s not crazy!” That had been my dream for as long as I could remember. I was obsessed with books on “small spaces” when I was a teen (before “tiny homes” were a thing). I was inspired by an Apartment Therapy story about a woman converting a double-decker bus into a home, before “bus life” was a thing. My Pinterest page was full of articles and stories about van conversions and nomadic living.

We had been looking for a property because we wanted to build a treehouse home, but were getting discouraged at not finding the right one. So we started looking at vans on Craigslist and doing research, watching videos. I wasn’t really sure how we would convert a vehicle into a home. We had never done anything like that before. Were we actually going to follow through with it, or just dream about it?

After looking at a couple of vans, we decided they were too small, and started checking out box trucks. There were a lot of options out there, but nothing felt right. Then I got a Craigslist search alert for a shuttle bus being sold by a local church, and as soon as we saw it WE KNEW. It was the one! Two days later we owned the bus. Demolition started immediately. We were committed.

There was a lot of literal blood, sweat, and tears shed over the course of the next nine months. Perhaps there were some profanities uttered also… Moments of pure frustration at seemingly impossible tasks. Fighting with tools and equipment. Trying to stay organized. Everything took many times longer than planned. Motivation and energy were tough to maintain while working days then coming home and working on the bus at night, sometimes in the dark and the cold. Not feeling like we had any time to just relax. Not having the energy to cook dinner. We had differences in opinion and differences in aesthetics. We learned a lot about each other working on the bus. We learned how to communicate better, how to compromise. How to find joy in the accomplishment of building something with your own hands. And realizing we are not too old to learn how to do things we’d never done before, like electrical, plumbing, fiberglassing, and woodwork!

Now we live full-time in our tiny home on wheels. We’ve moved from Oregon to Washington. Brad quit his job and I’ve become a digital nomad. Our lives have changed dramatically and will keep changing. I love change. What will the next year look like for us, I wonder?

Cedardale Orchards, Mount Vernon, WA

Mini Donuts and Cider

We got Cuddlebus back today, sporting a brand-new fuel pump! There would have been no way to plan for the fuel pump giving out, I’m just glad it happened when and where it did (we had cell service and another vehicle). So on the way to pick the bus up from the mechanic, we stopped at the cider mill that we didn’t get to go to last week as planned. We celebrated with fresh, hot mini donuts and delicious apple cider. We are surprised that there aren’t more cider mills in Washington. Washington is famous for apples. Look at these beauties!

Deception Pass, WA

Temporarily Homeless

Noooo, Cuddlebus!! After our long weekend at the amazing Deception Pass State Park, Cuddlebus wouldn’t start. We learned a few things about our AAA service, most notably that they will not tow a converted vehicle (non-standard RV) for whatever reason. Disappointing. We did have it towed eventually for some out-of-pocket $$$. We knew the day would come at some point when our home with all of our belongings would have to be in the shop, just didn’t know it would be today. Had to pack a bag really quick and empty / unplug the fridge. 😜 I miss our bus already, but since I have to travel for work this week the timing is ok.

Deception Pass, WA

Pinch Me, Is This Real?

What a dream. We are staying at Deception Pass this weekend, and after next week (I have to travel for work) we are going to come back and spend a couple more weeks here and down the Olympic Coast. This is the view I get while I work! Pinch me, is this real?