A week with my vintage bus

Hi everyone! It’s time for another Monday travel update. Karen and I finally moved on from Portland and relocated to the Eugene, Oregon area. Eugene is just two hours south of Portland and it’s where my vintage bus will be getting its new interior installed. In case you’re not familiar with the project, I currently live in a modern motorhome/bus conversion but am currently restoring a vintage bus that we will eventually live in. The exterior will look vintage and the interior will feature a modern, streamline design style. To learn more about the project, check out the Creative Cruiser site.

This past week, we’ve actually had both buses parked together in paradise… well, Paradise Coach, that is. That’s the shop that will be doing the interior of the vintage bus. What’s funny is that we’re parked next to a beautiful Silverside coach, which is the other brand of vintage bus I was considering before I purchased my 1963 Flxible Starliner. The Silverside is in the final stages of restoration and when it’s complete, the gang here will be able to focus their attention on my bus.

I’ve spent a lot of time this past week planning out the interior of the bus. Having the vintage bus within 20 feet of my current bus makes it really convenient to do measurements and such. I would go back and forth between the bus and my computer so that I could create the 3D model of the bus’ interior. Then I would spend time researching the right appliances that would fit into the space. One of the tricky things about the vintage bus is that the roof is very curvy so any cabinets or appliances that have to be fitted on the ceiling take some extra consideration.

Above you can see part of my 3D model showing the kitchen area of the vintage bus.

Here I am getting measurements inside the vintage bus.

 

Aside from working on the vintage bus, Karen and I actually went to a few movies this week. The first was actually Pulp Fiction.¬† (yes, you heard that right) There was a one-day re-release of the film that included interviews and special trailers hand-picked by Tarantino. We both really like Tarantino flicks, and Pulp Fiction is pretty much a classic, so we had a blast. The second movie we saw was “Lincoln,” and it was equally enjoyable. The actors were all extremely impressive, especially Daniel Day Lewis, and the lighting was very well done. Karen and I would both recommend seeing it.

Finally, we met some fellow full-timers this week (meaning folks that also live on the road like we do). Steve and Kristen own a GM bus that had its interior done here at Paradise Coach. They’re back here for some maintenance things and we got some time to hang out and get to know each other. It’s always fun to see how other RVers do what they do. Steve and Kristen have their priorities set on hiking, climbing, biking and other outdoor-related activities, so they made that a priority when designing their lifestyle and their bus. The four of us went to dinner at Ubon Thai in Eugene and we just loved it. It’s run by a husband and wife team. The wife is the cook, and she’s straight from Thailand. Yum!

From left, me, Karen, Kristen and Steve.

We’re most likely going to be spending the next week in the same area and I’ll be working more on the vintage bus and other projects. More to come…

 

New Gear & Vintage Bus Progress

Hi from Portland… again! Karen and I usually relocate every couple days, but we’ve been hanging in Portland for a while now. We’ve got no complaints though. Portland is a good town for us. It’s got a funky vibe, and the local flavor suits us. This has been a pretty mellow week, but I do have a few fun things to report.

First of all, I ordered some new gear! I had been waiting to order Canon’s new 24-70 f2.8 II lens, but being such a new product, stores were having a hard time keeping it in stock. I finally was able to order it from B&H. I haven’t had an opportunity to shoot much with it yet, but as soon as I do I’ll be posting images here. I also ordered some new Canon speedlites (the 600EX-RT) and radio transmitters (ST-E3-RT) with plans to use them for some more elaborate lightpaintings and some daylight lightpaintings.

My new Canon 24-70 f2.8 II lens arrived this week, and I cant wait to start shooting with it!

I also ordered three Canon 600EX-RT Speedlights with ST-E3-RT Radio Transmitters.

In my last post, I mentioned that my vintage bus is now located in Eugene, Oregon at Paradise Coach, where it will be getting its all new interior. It’s going to be a long project, but progress started this week. Larry, the head of Paradise Coach, started pulling out the old floorboards and inspecting what’s underneath. The floorboards will be replaced and then the interior built up upon that.

This is the interior of my [gutted] vintage bus. You can see that the floorboards are in the process of being pulled out and the stainless steel holding and water tanks below the floor.

While I spent a lot of time working this week, I was able to process a few of the images I shot while driving the vintage bus from Tennessee to Oregon. You can see two of the panoramas below. We also replaced a lot of the lighting in the current bus. The lights that go around the windows and ceiling have been dubbed the “disco lights” and are now LEDs. We’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Not only were the old lights energy suckers, but many of them had burnt out.

Since I’m on the topic of buses, I wanted to post a video that was just posted from the Travel Channel’s Extreme RVs show. This segment features Flxible buses, the same brand as my vintage bus. This past July marked the 100th anniversary of the brand, and the video was shot at the bus rally commemorating that milestone. I have met the bus owner featured in the video, Bernard, who also happens to be Jay Leno’s mechanic (and if you’ve ever seen Leno’s garage, you know that’s a big job!)

This week, Karen and I will be flying to NJ to spend Thanksgiving with her family. More to come…

Back to Portland

I my last post, we had just wrapped up the California Photo Festival and were heading south to San Diego for a few days. I wanted to visit my friend Mike, who is a SD local. Plus, Karen and I always enjoy spending time there. In fact, it’s one of our favorite places to “winter.” Speaking of winter, this is the first year that we’re not heading south for the cold months so this should be a very interesting change for us. On Wednesday, we flew back to Oregon, which is where the bus was parked and where we will be spending several of the winter months.

The main reason we’ll be hanging out in Oregon for a while is that my vintage bus will be getting its interior “installed” here. If you’re not familiar with my vintage bus project, you can read about it at CreativeCruiser.com. Right now, the bus has received an all new engine/transmission and is waiting for me to pick it up in Chattanooga. That’s how I’ll be spending the coming week: flying to Chattanooga and driving the bus all the way to Coburg, Oregon, which is about an hour south of Portland. You can see the tentative route below.

Once the bus arrives in Coburg, it will be getting its all-new interior at Paradise Coach. I’d like to be around for the start of this huge project, so Karen and I will probably be moving around between Eugene, Coburg and Portland so that we can be in the general area. We both really like Portland and Eugene, so we’re happy to be able to spend more time here. We’re also interested to see how the rainy season affects our opinion of the place. Up until now, we’ve had mostly sunny weather. That won’t last… not in Portland.

Outside of planning for this trip, I’ve spent much of the past week working with a corporate client and getting some personal work done as well. Here’s a fun story though… On Friday, I was out and Karen was at the RV park going for a walk. During her walk, she spotted a Flxible bus (The same brand as my vintage bus) parked in our same RV park. She had never seen one outside of a Flxible rally so she was thrilled and took a picture to text to me. As soon as I saw the photo, I recognized the bus immediately. I had been in it before! I knew that it belonged to my bus-nut friend and radio personality Dr. Dean Edell. What are the chances?! I sent Dean a message and the following morning we went out to breakfast with him and his wife, Sharon. We spent hours geeking out on bus-related stuff and catching up in general. He and Sharon are such great people… the kind that Karen and I could have spent all day with. We spent a lot of time marveling at this excellent coincidence.

Karen and I were so thrilled to be able to spend the morning with Dean and Sharon. That’s his beautiful Flxible behind us.

 Before I wrap up this post, I want to add a few other things:

I’ve got a free “Top 10 Photoshop Tips” PDF up on my facebook fan page. If you’ve already “liked” my page, then click the tips button near the upper right of this page. If you’re not yet a fan, then lick the like button first to gain access to the file.

Lastly, Karen posted loads of photos from last week’s California Photo Fest over on her blog, The Pixel Diaries. If you want a better idea of what that event is like, and what we were shooting, check out her post HERE.

That’s it for this week! Next Monday, expect an update from my cross-country journey with the vintage bus!