It wouldn't be a road trip if something didn't go wrong.
A bit later start then I would have liked to when we left the farm but we had good straight roads for the most part to Wichita so we put the pedal to the floor and cruised at a mellow 65 mph. We were getting close to crossing the Misssissippi river when Bruce started making a terrible "thunking" and "whoomp, whoomp, whoomp" noise. I pulled over immediately and popped the hood to see what was making all the noise. A half blown serpentine belt. Part of it had got caught on a hose clamp and shredded the belt to pieces. I crawled underneath the bus and started pulling parts of the serpentine belt out from the motor. I had barely any bars of service and no data whatsoever in the area so I called my good friend Penny to Google the nearest auto store. We were in luck. Just 5 miles away on the other side of the Mississippi river was the town of Hannibal, MI with a parts store. After I got off the phone I felt something crawling on my leg and reached down to find two ticks trying to make a home. I pulled both of them off and tossed them out the window.
Well here's the problem.
Being that I had half a belt left I limped Bruce along at 3 MPH and crossed the bridge over the Mississippi river right at sunset. This actually made for some great sunset shots and reminded me that sometimes you just have to slow down a bit and enjoy the journey and forget the destination. As we rolled into Hannibal we learned that it was Mark Twain's home town. It seemed fitting that we broke down in a town where stories of boys on an adventures were created. We were on an adventure of our own.
One of the most memorable sunsets to date considering the circumstances.
Thankfully the Auto Zone was still open for 10 more minutes and they had the belt I needed. Another plus to buying a school bus built on a GMC Savana chassis. Parts are easy to come by. It took me a second to read the belt diagram and understand the belt flow before installing it but I had it on and running in 20 minutes.
Get in the Zone. Auto Zone...
We hit the road again with about 4-5 hours ahead of us. I slammed more coffee and popped some sunflower seeds in as we pushed into the night. About 30 minutes down the road Ryan's phone began to blow up with severe tornado warnings. Awesome. I pulled off at the next exit and Ryan ran into the gas station to ask a local about how severe it actually was. The lady let us know that two tornadoes had already touched down just north of us and golf ball size hail was expected any moment in the area. Out came the road map as I planned an alternative route around the storm. It was going to set us back a couple hours but I was all for it.
Driving into the storm.
Right around Kansas City I was too tired to push any further. It was around 2:30 AM and I was exhausted. We pulled off the freeway and into a hotel parking lot. It was hot and muggy so we cracked the windows on the bus and slept shirtless. Not more than 20 minutes went by when someone with a flash light was shining us in the eyes. I was borderline delerious and started shouting to get the light out my face. The person started shouting to open up the door of which I replied "Who the f*ck are you?" Come to find out it's the police. Someone had called in seeing a man taking his shirt off in a school bus and there were concerned for the children... After we got everything smoothed out I crashed on the air mattress only to wake back up around 4:30 AM and start driving again.