Bobby Glenn here, giving David a break from all the blogging he’s been doing so far.
How to sum up the road west? While incredible, it would be naive for us to try and paint our adventure as a rose with no thorns.
Although Arizona and the Grand Canyon proved to just shy of ideal, Vegas and LA turned out quite poorly. I’m not a fan of big cities to begin with but it seemed as if these metropolises in particular had something out for us. All seemed well when we arrived at the Blooms’ home, some family of Daniel Eisler’s, late Wednesday night in Las Vegas. We woke up early the next morning to begin searching for fuel filters and vegetable oil. However our routine took longer than expected and we didn’t leave for “The Strip” until after ten. Then, right in the middle of Las Vegas traffic, three of the four belts that power our power steering pump, our alternator, and the AC compressor broke. While everyone else walked to “The Strip”, Sterling and I returned the bus to the Blooms’ home to look it over.
The next morning, after a not so eventful night in Vegas, we bought and installed the belts and filters. That evening we were actually able to enjoy the city without technical difficulties on our mind. The light show on Fremont Street and the water show at the Bellagio Hotel were pretty amazing.
From there we drove overnight to Los Angeles where we gave a presentation to elementary students at Camp Heritage Oak. The children were very interested in the bus and we had a lot of fun with them. See below for some photos from the morning at Heritage Oak.
All seemed well until we walked out of an In-and-Out Burger to find a giant puddle of radiator fluid under the bus. After failing to find the leak again, we simply filled it with fluids and kept on trucking. Luckily Chaedria LaBouvier, a college friend of Daniel Doyle’s, washed all of our worries away with a big platter of baked chicken, potatoes, and Persian ice cream. Parking in LA, however, is ridiculous and the only available spot I could find was in a cemetery. When we returned from Chaedria’s all the cemetery gates were shut and locked and we were on the wrong side. Then, as responsible citizens, we called the local law enforcement as opposed to accessing our inner Dukes of Hazard and ramping a rock pile. After several hours the local officer finally showed up and decided to call in back up. Two more cops rolled up in a federal armored truck with a turret. The three cops made us exit our bus while they searched it and interrogated us with ridiculous questions.
When they finally agreed to let us go we were starving. It wasn’t until we were snacking in McDonald’s that we realized how epic our experience was. We had been searched by the LAPD, the Feds, and an armored truck with a turret. The bus was full of laughter that night as we drifted to sleep.
The next morning we drove to Carpenteria, just outside of Santa Barbara, were we met some of friends of Daniel Eisler’s, Laura and Henry Grillo. The troubles of the big city were quickly washed away by the waves. On the Carpenteria beach we soaked up the sun while taking in the view of a beautiful mountain range. Back at the Grillo’s, we were able to knock off the chill of the ocean with an amazing jacuzzi, food, shower, and bed. While the big city might have a depressing aurora, there’s nothing that the beach and a warm meal, shower, and bed can’t fix.