Monday, May 31, 2010

Hey! Look here!

Yeah, keeping up two blogs that say the same thing is a bit crazy, so until further notice, LOOK HERE:

If we have a disaster there, you can always check back here. See you there!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Here we are...In a gravel parking lot... surrounded by big trucks, and graders, and cement the middle of an industrial area, kilometres from food, and entertainment.

With the right tag wheel off, and the wheel bearing taken apart, we were able to pull it out of the shop, into their yard. They did let us plug in to power, which is great.

Caleb, Ethan and Cameron walked from the bus to the “nearby” Walmart, 3km away last night to get provisions in the pouring rain. By the time they were done shopping, they took a cab back to the bus, with food for the next couple days. Since then, we have been reading books, watching movies, and playing games to pass the time here in the rain.

Cameron barbecued some burgers in the rain for supper tonight, and we realized that we need to eat up our fruits and veggies before crossing the border tomorrow, after the repairs are done. It will be exciting to have a wheel that rolls again!

We thank God for our many blessings, such as a comfy warm (if immobile) bus to sleep, eat, and play in, that the tire coming apart didn’t end in disaster, just a little inconvenience, and that we have each other to be with and pass the time.

Lovely Lethbridge

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wheel Bearing it, bearly!

Well, here we are... on the road... or is it beside the road?

Made it as far as Lethbridge. Heading down into the valley the right tag axle wheel that we had been nursing along since Nanton, totally locked up, sending out smoke behind us.

A call to AMA, and a huge tow truck later, we were at the repair shop, to find out two hours later, that the problem we thought was a brake problem was actually the wheel bearing, toasted. It took quite a bit of work to get it apart.

So we are camped here in the industrial area of north Lethbridge, until Monday when the parts (hopefully) will arrive, so we can pay our bill, and be on the road again. Caleb Ethan and I walked to the Walmart Supercentre that is about 3km away, and then took a cab back with enough groceries to wait out the weekend. It's going to be quite peaceful here, since we have no way of traveling around, so we'll sit, in the rain, and hang out.

That's all the news for now, but I'll add more to the blog tomorrow.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wooo Hooo!

Happy birthday Caleb! Swizzy 17!

It’s been eventful since we last spoke. Caleb and Ethan and I went with My niece Morgan (who won the tickets!) to the Arrogant Worms concert in Airdrie. It was a blast!
The kids have played with cousins, and been in the mud, the snow, and all manner of dirt. We have been trying to stay out of Grammies way, but not succeeding very well since we have been living in her house. But we do have some news.

Well, it finally happened.

February 26, according to the stamp on the import papers, I brought the bus across the Sweetgrass/Coutts border crossing.
April 25, nearly two months later, I took the inspection report to AMA registries, and the Rubicon was assigned Alberta plate ZTZ 138.
It has been declared fit, and ready for the road (Praise God!!), albeit at 180% of the estimated repair price.

Just a few items to attend to before it’s ready to go south:
1- Webasto (the diesel heater for our heat and hot water) is malfunctioning. It will run fine for a while, and then quit working and drip diesel out the exhaust pipe. It was in to be fixed on thursday, but they seem to have missed something. The service manager at Nortrux seems to have diagnosed the problem, and is looking for parts. We’ll know more on Monday.
2 - Interconnect between the coach (the bus) and the House (the inside house of the bus) batteries doesn’t work, so the batteries for the house only charge off the generator, or if you are plugged in, but not when we drive, rather annoying to have to run the generator when you have loads of excess power from a 270amp alternator doing nothing.
3 - Bunks - we have the mattresses, and the frames, so we need to install our extra two bunks in the bus, so everyone has a place to sleep.
4 - Trailer needs to be cleaned, and have the flooring laid in it so we can list it for sale.
5 - We need to get everything we need into the bus, and everything in its place.

We’ll keep you posted (hopefully a bit more frequently than we have been;-)
In the meantime, here's a short clip of our work towards our first podcast:

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Break

Bus Update!

The bus is done it’s welding stint, and has moved on to the mechanical repairs needed.

While it waited to get in to the shop, I installed the water system, so now we have RO drinking water, wherever we go, which is nice, since you never know what flavour of water you’ll wind up with on the road.

It was a fun weekend, with a huge easter egg hunt with all the cousins. A great time was had by all, and many candies were harmed during the production (but no bunnies).

Ethan went and took his learners test this week, and cleaned house, so now I have two chauffeurs to take me from place to place. I can just relax and watch the scenery. Except neither of them wants to drive the bus. That’s all up to me.

Hopefully we’ll hear from the repair shop soon, so we’ll know when the bus will be ready to go, then we can say, “What’s next?”

Monday, March 22, 2010


I bet you’re soooo happy to be reading another post about our preparation. NOT! Most people are looking forward to reading some posts about where we have traveled, and what we have done, and how our large family has left it’s mark on the geography where we were.

Well, I’m sure we’re leaving a mark, but it’s mostly welded in the psyche of Grammie (Tanya’s Mom) and the other family members that are having to put up with us in close quarters.

And speaking of welding, the Rubicon is in at Keith’s work, being welded on (he put in the first day of work on it today) to get it up to standards for Alberta registration. He has a few more days of work to do by his estimate. Then it’s back to Akitt Mechanical for the rest of the inspection corrections (tag tires, left front suspension air bag, clearance lights, backup lights, more in depth brake lining/drum checks, left tag wheel bearing, and other items) before we can pick it up. Then we do the aforementioned bunk installation and water system installation, and after that we will be more or less ready to go. We were beginning to settle in to the bus a bit, so now that it’s in the shop, and we’re back at Grammie's house again it feels like somewhat of a step backwards. The kids are doing remarkably well throughout all of this, and are adapting to homelessness.

Liam was saying he misses the house last night. When I asked him what he missed, he said “The table”. He liked having the kitchen and dining room tables to eat at, and draw and write at. We may have to find another solution to the cheesy particle board table that is in the bus now.

Tanya seems to be doing better with her tooth/jaw. The dentist had to do some grinding to make the teeth meet properly, so that should take care of the discomfort in a couple days.

All in God’s time. Talk to you soon!