Chapter CY2: Our First Cross Country Vintage Bus Road Trip

Damn skippy we made it.

From our wild ride on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in New York, down the mountainous Blue Ridge Parkway, across tornado alley, and over the Hoover dam– we soaked up, survived and surrendered over 4,000 miles together on this cross country road trip.

Lubricating this road trip was our deluxe accommodations; our new vintage 1978 Bluebird Wanderlodge bus with our Honda Civic in tow. Making the journey spectacular was our visitors and visits along the way. We arranged sleep overs, and play dates, hitchhikers, new acquaintances, and reunions. Now, we hang out a bit longer, pack our cupboard with unnecessary amounts of spoils for sharing, and even take mini road trips (on top of our main road trip), in the car to expand our local reach – it’s freakin’ awesome.

The Numbers:

  • Distance driven: From Long Island, New York to Southern California = 4,062 miles
  • Fuel: 666 gal or $2,456 big bucks (cheapest per gal was in OK at $3.69, and the most expensive fuel was from CA $4.59)
  • Days to Cross the country: 84 (March ’till June)
  • Number of States Visited: 14

This is it; our next chapter begins with a bang.

Summed up shortly and sweetly; you’ll find below a photo essay of our vintage bus road trip across the U.S.A. Who says you can’t just hop in an old bus and drive it across 4,000 miles of unpredictable adventure-filled country?

East

Navigating through the "No RV" areas of Baltimore, MD.
Navigating through the “No RV” areas of Baltimore, MD. We stick close to our City Bus cousins driving around congested urban areas.
Working on the road - capturing free wifi at a cafe in Virginia.
Working on the road and capturing free wifi at a cafe in Virginia. Really it’s an excuse to drink coffee and watch the locals.
Sleeping at a truck stop near the northern entry of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
This familiar hum has become cozy and Cleo loves the sound of the air breaks hissing all night. Here we are snuggling with the big CATs at a busy truck stop near the northern entry of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
A visit to Monticello.
A visit to Monticello was worth it, although a bit beyond our normal budget. Sometimes we play “vacation” and do touristy things- I want my Marty Moose Mug!
Mini Graceland in Virginia.
We can’t pass up an Elvis shrine and there are dozens all over the U.S. Here we found a Mini Graceland in Virginia. I felt like Godzilla.
Foamhenge!
Foamhenge! Roadside art keeps us venturing off the interstates- this was pretty awesome even though it was chipped away to its underfoam roots.

South

We drove the Honda to Ashville, NC and left our Bus parked in VA - to visit fellow Bus Friends.
We drove the Honda to Asheville, NC and left our Bus parked in VA – to visit fellow Bus Friends.
New tires in Kentucky.
New tires in Kentucky.
Reunited with friends - after over 9 months of travel. This bottle was along for the ride.
Reunited with friends – after over 9 months of travel. This bottle was along for the ride.
Bird Barn in Knoxville.
Deluxe accommodations at Rick & Marylyn’s “Bird Barn” in Knoxville. From here we were able to visit the Smoky Mountains and downtown Knoxville, too!
Found these two and went to see the Charlie Daniels Band at the Ryman in Nashville.
Found these two and went to see the Charlie Daniels Band at the Ryman in Nashville.
Two heads in Knoxville.
How often does one get to see at the back of one’s head?
Filming a live music video on the streets of Knoxville.
Knoxville seems to be bellowing music from every direction. We experienced the Rhythm and Blooms Festival, a country music video being filmed on this street corner and we were introduced to some seriously awesome wizard rap!
Yum. Southern BBQ!
For those of you who have been following us for some time, you know that we can’t pass up some good ass southern BBQ! Here we are at an old gas station turned BBQ joint. Brisket smoked on site and accompanied by classic trucks.
For the love of old buses. This was in Memphis, TN.
We thought this might be a bluebird but it had no markings… except “Love & Happiness” and that was good enough for us. Memphis, TN.
Took my mom to Graceland.
This wild Elvis fan flew all the way out to Nashville and slept in our bus for a week (subject to our tiny bathroom and wee accommodations) for the chance to go to Memphis for the weekend and see Graceland. Does she look excited? Can you tell she’s Jeanette’s mom?
Learned to make Pimento Sandwiches.
This “spread” is sold by the tub all over the south. So, we learned to make Pimento cheese and spread it on our sandwiches on afternoon. Guilty – we made it with wheat bread and substituted the mayo with Tahini.
Our Southern souvenirs- and favorite morning ritual- COFFEE!
Our Southern souvenirs- and favorite morning ritual- COFFEE!

 

Central

Smitten on Oklahoma City... and each other. Ahhh.
Smitten on Oklahoma City… and each other. Ahhh.
The SkyDance Bridge in OKC. Yes, we're just escaping the big Tornado...
Do you see that? Yes, the SkyDance Bridge in OKC is summoning in a big Tornado. That’s our queue to exit, and quickly!
The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas, TX.
An unexpected trip to Dallas was met with great friends, un-birthday celebrations and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge seen here.
Our cool friends in Texas.
Keeping cool with our longtime and little friends in Texas.
We started a love lock tradition in Dallas... can you find it? This marked our 10 year wedding anniversary.
We started a love lock tradition in Dallas. Hidden along a lake. This marked our 10 year wedding anniversary.

 

Southwest

Crashed a Bluebird bus rally!
Caught in the act! Here’s Jeanette lurking around a Bluebird bus rally, eating up all the good food. Hey, that “Putz” doesn’t even see this smooth criminal.
Exploring the Grand Canyon was awesome. Even met some new friends!
Even though it was our fourth year traveling around this beautiful country, this was our 1st time visiting the Grand Canyon. What a sight to see, its beyond photos and beyond words.
The drive to Las Vegas was wild... and hot. We just made it.
The drive to Las Vegas was wild… and hot. We just made it.
The Blue Hole in New Mexico.
Yes, a giant deep blue hole in New Mexico. It’s natural, cool and full of divers wetting the back of their fins!
Our cool camp out in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.
A slightly off grid camping spot in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. We had time to chill and make ice cream sundaes with homemade caramel. See what being off the internet will do to ya?
Follow our old trails. Rt. 66 Tucumcari, NM
Sign chasing through Rt. 66. Where it all started a in 2008: the road trip and neons that are to blame for our fulltiming wanderlust-lifestyle.
Whoah, hitchhiker in Las Vegas. Really, that's our niece and she loved the bus!
Whoah, we picked up this lil’ hitchhiker in Las Vegas. Really, that’s our niece and she loved the bus!
Over the Hoover and through the hills!
Over the Hoover and through the hills! Actually, going OVER the Hoover dam was easy, it’s the climb after it that pushed our ol’ bus to it’s limits… in temps nearing 100 degrees.

 

Got to San Diego and what do you know? An east coast cousin showed up!
Got to San Diego and what do you know? An east coast cousin showed up!

 

We’re never far from home; we carry it with us.

We’re never far from family and friends because we keep arriving and keep moving forward. Our travels on this adventure across the country were amazingly without a hitch!  From coast to coast in our 35 year old, vintage bus, we’re still loving life on the road and we’re excited to be on our next chapter.

Thank you all for keeping in touch, having us over and sharing the spoils with us along the way.

Love and Gratitude.

9 thoughts on “Chapter CY2: Our First Cross Country Vintage Bus Road Trip”

  1. Oh what a joy to see a CY post in my RSS feed this morning… wonderful to share a bit of your journey last year, thank you. Cheers to many more adventures ahead, and hopefully a long overdue rendezvous!

    1. Yes! We also did a road trip in our G20 Van up the California Highway 1 last summer; awesome stuff still to come. Thanks for saying hey on the blog… and yes, a much overdue rendezvous is in order.

  2. Oh! A freshly baked post! 🙂

    Loved meeting you! Hopefully our paths will cross again, for longer.

    Lovelock, NV has a whole bunch of places to clip love locks. 🙂

    1. Hi Linda! It was awesome meeting you in person this year, and I’m sure we’ll cross paths again! Oh and our next anniversary is quickly approaching, May 10th… maybe a trip to “Lovelock” is in order?
      Cheers!

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