The Bus: Final Chapter
Hello friends! It’s been too long. Yes, we’ve been slacking on the bus blog and we apologize for that. Who’d have known that having two jobs would leave no time for blogging?
Anyway, where did we leave off? Oh ya, here:
Everything was framed. So much framing. A veritable cornucopia of framed things. And then, when I didn’t think it would ever end, when I thought we would drown in a sea of wooden rectangles and 2x4s, everything was suddenly peaceful. An eerie calm settled over the bus. The framing was over.
I say this as if I had any part in the framing. Let’s be clear and honest with ourselves people… I’d like to say I blasted all stereotypes into infinity and beyond by picking up a hammer, a buzzsaw (that’s a thing, right?) and a tape measure and gave that bus something to frame about. I did not. While Todd was working on the bus, I was inside doing some updating on our marketing materials, website, and taking care of the super fun household duties like taking out the cat litter and folding laundry. GOOD. TIMES.
Anyway, back to business. It was a very long cold winter in Ontario, I mean very long, and super cold. But despite the cold temps and lack of available time we managed to get a lot done. Todd had a small propane heater he used while he built, and managed to stay warm even as the harsh gales of winter stormed about him leaving only him and the bus in a sea of white snow. Yes, it was that dramatic. And the drama was worth it! All of the framing is done now, the floor is in, the ceiling is all done with beautiful pot lights installed, the bedroom is done, the wiring is all ran and all the furniture is installed.
…And as the spring dawn rose above the misty fields of planted corn, our lives began to make sense again and all was right with the world. Here’s a picture of the bus in a shocking before and after picture!
Pretty stunning, isn’t she? Needless to say, we were pretty antsy to get the thing safetied and insured so we could get her on the road. In order to get her insured, she needed to be classified as an RV rather than a bus, and in order to do that you need to check off quite the list of requirements, including painting it a different colour than school-bus-yellow. We chose a sort of sandy-beige:
At some point we’re hoping to decal the sides with a silhouette of black pine trees, but that could wait for another day. She was good enough to get safetied and insured so for all intents and purposes, she was ready to rock. How were we to know that she would betray us so badly?
Epilogue: The Betrayal
One fine day, the bus decided it really liked its emergency brake. It liked it so much, it would not turn it off. Now as many of you know, brakes will not allow a car to move. Thus, our bus was stuck in place. Not ideal. By some miracle, Todd was able to get it moving again, but of course the first place we wanted to send her after such a fiasco was to the mechanic to check out this brake situation. We did not want this happening out in the wild.
Cut to – the mechanic’s shop. He decided to cut the emergency brake and see what happened. Next thing you know, we had no brakes at all. Again, not ideal. You see, we needed to find that sweet spot where we had some brakes, but not permanent brakes. We needed someone who lived and breathed busses to tell us what was going on. So we brought out the big guns, a full-on bus mechanic. He gave her a look-see and delivered the bad news like a doctor gives you a bad diagnosis. Turns out it was a faulty hydraulic control unit. His estimate? $2900 for the part, more like $3500 including labour.
OK cool. TOTALLY FINE. WE’RE FINE! We’ll just call up a tow truck and get her moved out of here until we figure out something to do. Here’s how that went:
CAA: Hi, this is CAA.
Todd: Hi, I’m Todd Pearson of the Kintore Pearsons. I’d like to get my RV towed please.
CAA: Ok, Todd. What’s the make and model?
Todd: It’s an International BE-200.
CAA: One moment please.
CAA: Is that a bus?
Todd: Ya… well it’s an RV.
CAA: False. The International BE-200 is a bus. We don’t tow busses, sir.
Todd: Come on. The last guy just sold me the RV package so I could get my RV towed whenever I needed.
CAA: Yes, but that make and model is a bus, not an RV.
Todd: The Ontario government sees it as an RV. It’s classified as an RV, ma’am.
CAA: Well sir, the Ontario government can eat it, mkay?
Todd: Well, what the fart do I do? JUST TELL ME WHAT TO DO.
CAA: We can give you a number of someone that can tow it for you.
Todd: And how much will that be?
CAA: You’re looking at about $500.
So, life’s tough. Not everything goes as planned and sometimes, your dreams die just as quickly as you are about to live them. That day was a rough one. Seeing Todd sad is like seeing a unicorn with a broken horn. It’s both heartbreaking and kinda freaky. But you know what? The key is to never ever give up hope. Things have a way of working out.
Todd took his troubles to work and talked it over with some of his work colleagues. One such colleague was as heavy equipment mechanic who happened to know a thing or two about busses. He looked at the paperwork that the bus mechanic had given Todd and shook his head. He told Todd, “You don’t need the whole hydraulic unit replaced, just the hydraulic pump. You can rebuild or replace that for like $500.”
So you see? There’s always hope. We are still going to have to fix our beauty and pay at least $500 for it, but at least it’s not $3500, right? Life is like a box of chocolates, you know? You never know the kind of chocolate you will receive, or something like that. So here we are, at the semi-end of our bus-journey, a little weary, a little leery, but most of all, we are hopeful that our bus will take us to the ends of the earth, or at least the boundary of Oxford County.
For those of you that have stuck with us through this bus blog, we’d like to thank you for reading. We have more blogs on the way that will thrill, excite and tickle your funny bone, so stay tuned! Until next time, stay fit and have fun… I mean, fuel your adventure.
Love, Candice aka Ride-or-Dice from Kintore Coffee Co.