- Written by Brock Butterfield
Dear Bus Life Community,
Seeing the 3D visualizations and images of Australia on fire has rocked me. I have always been aware and supportive of efforts to resolve climate change but it wasn't until seeing a few of these images online that something inside of me awakened.
I'm writing all of you because out of all of this I've realized that the biggest thing each of us can do is create more awareness. One Instagram post by you on climate change could reach someone in your circle that isn't fully aware of the magnitude of the issue placed upon us. One conversation with a friend or family member or random stranger could get them thinking and hopefully get them to realize that we need to do everything we can to change what is happening to our little paradise in the unforgiving universe.
There is no bailout option from the universe. Once we're done, we're done.
I've also been thinking about my parents recently. My parents are amazing people with huge hearts that would do anything for anyone yet they don't reduce, reuse and recycle to the extent that I do and they buy cheaper and unsustainable things to make their dollar stretch further. Why? This has been a question on my mind for a while and I have finally realized that it's because they were never taught to. They didn't grow up in a world that is in the state that we are now. Nobody educated them on the effects of their daily routine. That lack of knowledge and education got passed onto myself and my two siblings. I didn't know any better because I was never taught. Sure, there was some light discussion of recycling newspapers and such but nothing about plastic, fossil fuels, over fishing and the impact that eating meat has on our environment.
So rather than blaming my parent's and older generations for the damage they've done to our planet I've decided to do two things to spread awareness:
1) I'm going to do my best to help educate older generations on how to reduce, reuse and recycle along with why it is so important to our existence. I am not going to shame or guilt them for what they may not have known.
2) I'm going to do my best to help educate younger generations on how to reduce, reuse and recycle because they are the future and if we can start to help educate younger generations, our planet might just stand a chance.
I'm also going to personally donate some of my own money to organizations that are doing everything they can to help with the situation in Australia. Not only are there Skoolie mates down under but there are humans just like you and I and I'll bet money that the more of them that survive, the more of them that will be 100% on board to help start making changes to help our climate get back on track.
Patrick Schmidt (our social media manager), his wife Mary and I have looked into organizations that we feel are the best options to donate to so if you're curious and want to donate as well then look into the three organizations below. I personally am donating to all three with as much as I can afford to.
If you're like me and don't have much money to give, you can still make a difference in the bigger picture by helping spread awareness. Take your younger cousin, niece, nephew, etc. under your wing and help get them to start thinking about their future. Post about it. We live in a world were information can be spread across the entire globe at the tap of a button.
Brock Butterfield @brockbutterfield
Founder - @buslifeadventure @thebusfair
- Written by Brock Butterfield
Don't miss out on tickets for The Bus Fair 2020.
Presented by Bus Life Adventure
The dates for The Bus Fair 2020 were just announced and we've even added a whole new feature to the event. We're adding a whole additional day that is packed with nothing but seminars covering 7 different topics. You can see the whole list of seminars here but a few to mention are:
- Solar System Design and Component Selection - taught by AM Solar
- Metal Work / Fabrication / Roof Raises - taught by Chrome Yellow Corp
- Planning and Building The Interior - taught by Yetibus LLC
June 19-20, 2020
2019 Official Video
Tickets went on sale 11/25 and we've already sold over half of our VIP Camping and the limited seminar tickets are going quick as well. Seminar attendees get discounts on camping for both VIP camping and Camp 2, additional day tickets for friends/family and if you buy more then one seminar ticket, a discount is applied to both tickets making it that much more affordable to bring your partner in crime.
Learn from the best and save time and headaches in the long run. What's your time worth to you?
We predict the event to be bigger than last year and the small but beautiful venue of Greenwaters Park could sell out.
Attendees toured 30 Skoolies at the 2019 Bus Fair.
Art and product vendors interacted with over 1,200 people during the one day event in 2019.
A local jewerly maker displays his work at The Bus Fair 2019.
Kids 12 and under got in free and were able to enjoy family friendly games while parents enjoyed local craft beer, cider, wine and spirits.
Norm Coyer took the music stage and entertained the crowd all while battling a fever. That's dedication!
- Written by Patrick Schmidt
That's how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.
It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.
Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished―the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box―she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days...without him realizing it.
Along the way, they'll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there's Gladys...
Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all...but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”
Borrowed from Amazon : "The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise"
My wife was browsing Instagram Tuesday night and came across a bus account (True.North.Bus) which had a caption about a new book they just came across and fell in love with.
A book about road-tripping in a converted yellow school bus? In an International 3800? THAT'S WHAT WE LIVE IN!
Mary went straight to Amazon to check it out and saw the hardcover was on sale for $11.72. She bought it immediately.
Some books have changed my life tremendously and come around but rarely.
"Into the Wild" in 2007.
"The Alchemist" in 2009.
"Planetwalker" in 2013.
"Ishmael" in 2014.
"5 Love Languages" in 2016.
This is one of those life changing books.
“The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise” in 2019 (Buy Book**)
**While we are providing you with an affiliate Amazon link to buy this book, this is in no way a sponsored blog post, nor we are getting paid to promote this book. We genuinely love this novel and want to help the author sell as many copies as possible because he has written something amazing and heart warming. There are no other books like it. We smiled ear to ear as soon as we found it. It's a book about us!**
Two days after ordering the book, it arrived. Mary tore open the packaging, cancelled all her plans, and started reading it immediately.
She started smiling to herself, only two paragraphs into the book. We recently started a fun routine of her reading stories and books to me, because she is a much faster reader than I am. She started reading out loud, until the first chapter was done. We were hooked immediately.
I started working on this article on my laptop in the back bedroom, while Mary continued reading in the living room. Every so often I heard her burst into laughter and a few minutes later heard her sniffle, because she was crying. Then she would laugh again and cry some more. She finished reading it a few hours later.
It is hands down one of the best books we have come across in the last few years. Not too many books have the power to move your soul like the story of Coyote and her dad Rodeo.
“Every mile of the road trip inexorably brings Coyote closer to confronting her past, and its inevitable sadness, but Gemeinhart avoids any sense of mawkishness. He tempers Coyote’s grief with her triumphant growth from a girl whose sole purpose is keeping her father on an even keel to one who realizes that she alone must find, and even fight for, her own happiness.” ―Horn Book
This story hits extremely close to (bus) home. We have not come across ANY stories that relate so much to us, as far as adventuring in a converted school bus is concerned. This is truly a story about US, Bus People, and really solidifies our slogan of "Driving the Miles, Delivering the Smiles."
Little Free Library #82563 - The SkoolieLove Bus
As a Christmas present to my wife, I registered our little bookcase in the front of our Bus as a "Little Free Library"
The bottom two shelves are some of our personal favorites, and the top shelf is a "Take One – Leave One" for those folks we meet during our travels.
We have multiple copies of Into the Wild, The Alchemist, 5 Love Languages, The Shack, Nickel and Dimed, and The Last Lecture because we absolutely love those books, and recommend them to everyone. After reading about Coyote Sunrise, her dad Rodeo, and the friends they meet along their Bus Life Adventure, we cannot wait to fill up our shelves with as many copies as we can find once people catch onto how amazing this book is.
"Sometimes, when you're on the road for a long time, and the highway is humming along underneath you and the sun is shining sideways through the windows and the world is blurring by through the glass, something magical happens. No. "Magical" ain't the right word.
"Magical" feels glittery and fake and cute. This feeling, the one I'm talking about is this: It's a rising up, like you're taking flight and leaving the road behind, like you're in a moment that somehow lifts up free from the rest of your life. In that moment, wherever you just were and wherever you're about to be don't matter one little bit; just for a few breaths, you're everywhere and nowhere, and you can feel your soul touching something big, some kind of truth that's hidden most of the time.
It's like the first time you ride a bike: All at once, out of nowhere, the wobbling world settles down to a thrumming harmony, there's a balance that goes down to your bones, a kind of balance you never knew was there until it came alive all around and inside you; the falling stops and the flying starts and everything just hums, everything just rings true. Its like that, this feeling I'm talking about."
Quote from Chapter 17, Page 127
I have struggled, as a writer, to come up with the "right" and "perfect" words to explain that kind of feeling. And here it was, coming out of my wife’s mouth, as she read this passage out loud. I teared up, as that kind of moment was written exactly as I had felt it before, driving my own International Skoolie bus. The way the moment came together was perfect. Where had I been? Where was I going? Everywhere and nowhere, as I found a hidden truth.
For Parents and Kids
For all current and soon-to-be Skoolie owners, dreamers, and adventure readers - this book is a must-read. A MUST READ!
For those parents who are un-schooling/Bus Schooling/Home Schooling, is this a book for your kids?
It is advertised as being a kid's book, written for ages 9 and up. The mom in the story passes away early, and is a main focal point of the story. The idea of losing a parent is going to be a tough subject for your kids. I do think that the story does an amazing job of explaining it, and has an overall happy and wonderful feeling to it.
However, it's always a great idea to pre-read books like this, to make sure you agree with the message it might give your kids. I would definitely be prepared to have a talk with your child(ren) about questions that might arise about the subject.
Is there a chance you will cry throughout this book? Very likely. It's a book that will move you.
You will love and cherish this book forever. We promise you that!
We are all Coyote and Rodeo, navigating the road of life, looking to find our own happiness. Some of us believe that doing it in a School Bus will help get us there faster. Well, slower, because it's a Bus.
Thank you Dan Gemeinhart for writing this story. For learning and having the ability to move us through your writing. We will all be better off for having read your novel.
Make it a wonderful day everyone!
- Written by Brock Butterfield
A tiny fair showcasing school bus tiny homes.
With the increase in tiny house festivals popping up all over I noticed that many of us skoolie owners where getting asked to come show our school bus conversions. However, the tiny house festivals seem to only focused on tiny homes and the companies who make tiny homes. They also lack in a few of the fun things.
When I decided to create The Bus Fair, at it's core I wanted to see three main things:
- A way for skoolie owners to show their builds
- The option for skoolie owners to sell their art or hand made goods
- Create an after hours environment for those showing their skoolies that brought us all together as a tribe
I've invited 20-30 skoolies to showcase their builds at The Bus Fair. Everything from short, mid-size and full length school buses. The school bus conversions also range in their status of the conversion process. There will be some skoolies that have just been gutted, others that are halfway through and the majority that are completely done. I see this as a way for all of you who are curious about doing your own build to get a real idea of what goes into it and to be able to ask the builders questions. In addition we will also have a couple of professional skoolie builders for you to chat with and get an idea of how much it would cost if you decide to have them do the build for you.
In addition to those core items, The Bus Fair will also have art vendors selling only hand made items that were crafted with passion. Nothing soley produced in the masses overseas. Each art vendor and their product is reviewed prior to being invited to The Bus Fair to ensure attendees have a truly unique experience when browsing the art booths. Interested in being an art vendor? Learn more about it here.
What's a great event without great food? Our food vendors have also been hand selected and taste tested to make sure we're giving you the best chow around. We have a few spots that still need to be filled so if you're interested in having a food truck at The Bus Fair you can fill out an application here.
Guest speakers and workshops
In my travels while living in my skoolie I would get a lot of the same questions such as "How do you make money on the road?" or "How long does it take to convert a bus?" and "How did you figure out how much solar you would need?"
At The Bus Fair we'll be covering these questions and more. I have a handful of skoolie owners who have been on the road for some time now that will be speaking on these topics or leading small workshops.
The little town of Oakridge, OR where the event will be hosted has an abnormal amount of hidden musical talent including a few retired musicians who have been around the globe a few times performing with big name bands. I've rounded up some of my favorites to fill the airwaves with some string strumming ear candy. To see the music line up go here.
Bring your buses, vans, trucks, teepees or bedroll and join the afterhours hangout around the campfire and under some old growth douglas fir and cedars. The sound of the Willamette River tickling camps edge will be all you need to lull you to sleep at night. Camping passes include camping for up to four people and two entry tickets to The Bus Fair on Saturday. For more info check out this page.
Oakridge, OR is known for being the Mountain Bike Capital of the Northwest so don't forget to bring your bikes! But, that's not the only hidden gem in town. There are over 4k miles of dirt logging roads to be explored and if you happen to own a side by side (OHV) you can legally drive them on the streets in town to access restaurants, the Pub and many other businesses in addition to the old logging roads.
Town is only a square mile radius of 2.1 miles and is surrounded by the Willamatte National Forest. With hiking, fishing, fly fishing, waterfalls, Waldo Lake (third clearest lake in the world), mushroom hunting, SUP, kayaking and swimming holes, there's not shortage of recreation to be had.
So join us for year one of The Bus Fair.
Online ticket sales are available and 25% off the normal day of event gate fee. I've even created an ambassador program so that you can essentially go to The Bus Fair for free if you share your unique discount code with friends and family. Get your tickets here and I can't wait to see you at The Bus Fair!
Founder - Bus Life Adventure