Dropping Out


“Totally New Year on tap, and one thing I feel like doing is “dropping out.”  Most people would be making resolutions to “hang in there, and make it better.”  Not me.” 

2013 a New Year!  We should finish out our bus this spring, it has been a long, long walk down the path, but the end is in sight.  It should all come together this year and that will be it.  Today I am reading the bus board and a guy who has a bus just like mine, that has had him stranded for four or five days because it will not start says …. “I am going to lie underneath it and let it speak to me.” And I suppose that is my cue to exit this kind of non-sense.  So in 2013 I am giving up bus boards and will no longer waste my time adding to them or reading them.


It wasn’t all that long ago, we embarked on this adventure of sorts.  We searched high and low for the perfect used bus and dove in head-first.  Welcome to the bus community and Internet bus boards.  And there, began the education of sorts, on buses of every shape and model and bus guys.

A bus guy will find some worn-out old bus, sitting in a field or a lot next to a church somewhere.  Locate the owners, talk them down from $10K to $6,500 and some change and (if it starts and he is lucky) drive off with his prize.

Only to discover it is shot, hasn’t been oiled or lubed in over ten years, needs tires and lot of TLC.  So the next logical step is to come on the bus board and inquire if anyone has any free tires, they want to give away.


Boring is often a word I hear mentioned when it comes down to bus owners.  This close knit fraternity that is often referred to as “the bus community” is kind of like a dysfunctional family of sorts for lack of a better word.  One outfit claims to have a membership in the high 300’s and when they have a meet, it is the same tired bunch of owners who show up, a handful, 10-15 less than 10% of the status quo.

Don Smith Bus 010

A great many bus owners are also snobs.  Whatever I am driving is the best in the west, and everyone else, well, they kinda suck.  The unique thing about it all, is it just not only one brand of bus or buses, it is several.  Little cliques of folks who believe their particular brand of coach or bus is the best and to hell with the rest, seems to be a common thread in the bus community.

And now the saddest commentary on this entire thing.  

I find that I now think it is “normal” to walk up to the fuel desk and tell the guy … “$400.00 on pump six” and not even think twice about it.  That is pretty lame and most of the time it doesn’t come close to even filling the tank.  I remember a time when I did not have a bus, was making $27 a day and a lot happier than I am now.

When $400 was some real money.

Having been on both sides of the fence, owning a bus and driven RV’s of varying brands and/or makes.  I can say this.  All the sticks and staples outfits cost me far less money in the long run, and the caliber of the people I met that had them were far superior to bus people.

Totally New Year and one thing I feel like doing is “dropping out.”  Most people would be making resolutions to “hang in there, and make it better.”  Not me.

don's bus 014

It is time to leave all this to those who enjoy it.  With the New Year approaching and a fresh start, I feel it is time to remove bus boards from my life and get back to basics.  Which is good for me, I desperately need a change of pace and I have always enjoyed new beginnings.

2013 may bring a surprise or two and from time to time, I may find myself still at the table, patiently waiting on the deal, that is to be expected. Surprisingly, I have very few misgivings at this stage in my journey.


New or Old … One thing is for sure, I have tired of bus board banter, and bus boards in general.  Won’t be playing that game any more.  That part of my journey is now behind me.

2013 will much like 2012 it will roll in one day at a time.

2013 will find me trying to keep a 30-year old museum piece (’83 model bus) on the road and in good working order and at the same time, allowing my grandchildren to see a little more of the country, one state at a time.  In other words, I will take the cards that are dealt to me and do the best of it as I can.

We have few options other than that.


4 thoughts on “Dropping Out

  1. Sounds like time to let go of the old and be ready for new. We either use our tent and must admit would like to upgrade..lol! or ride the train which for me is wonderful! Happy New Year!


  2. I can tell you for a fact Don that people that show their “rides” at local car shows that I enter my ’48 Chevy into, have that same attitude you’ve pointed out regarding bus owners. It’s ‘specially true amongst the “women” owners of the hotrods !!! Those folk are to be avoided at all costs, as life is just too short for one to get involved with ’em !
    Another thing is the cardindal “sin” to “knock” these people’s ride: OUT LOUD !. One can think to him/herself whatever, but never outloud so they’re able to hear you !


  3. Love the photo journey of your bus! Glad to hear that you are keepin’ on………….Would love to see the inside of it…………..just sayin…………Happy New Year, bro! <3


    • Well, well, what a delightful surprise in the comments section. Hello Sis. Hope you are well and in good spirits and ready to take on the New Year. The bus is still a work in progress, ironic that you mention the interior because that is the next heavy duty item to get some TLC and hopefully it will be finished before summer.

      It will be done sometime this year and then it will hit the road, most likely Seattle at the end of summer. Cannot swing it thru California as they want all that CARB stuff and it is old style (two stroke) and would be a hassle.

      Glad you stopped by and thank you for the comment.



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