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Breanna's Journal

Moving Into The Bus

josiah-driving

11 Days in a Bus

It has really been crazy living in our school bus for the last week & a half. We love it. We hate it. We never regret it. The 9th of September we set out on our voyage to Campbellsville, KY. It took us in total about 8 hours between two days to get to the place we now call home. On Friday night we slept at a truckstop in Seymour, KY. At about noon on Saturday we arrived at Green River Stables where we will be staying till the end of December.
Once we picked our spot, the fun began! I have been waiting for this moment for months. Finally, I could decorate and place all our knick knacks on display from past travels. It took about 3 hours to get everything set up in just the right place. Over the next week we would spend time reorganizing + pitching things that we just didn’t have room for. There’s several ten minute projects that we would continue throughout the week. Some of those projects were; leveling out the bus, putting more caulk on the roof (specifically on the screws), leak proofing the plumbing to the sink, mounting the tv, & hanging up the curtains.

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While here, we will be working for Amazon in one of their fulfillment centers as pickers. Hopefully we can make some decent money while here and leave with some great memories. Everyone that we have met so far has loved the bus. We expected a lot of hate from the Rvers parked around us who have spent well over 40K on their rigs. The only rude comment we received was “Do you have air conditioning in your bus?” Anyone could tell from simply passing our bus that we do, since we have a vent out the drivers windows. Apparently, the guy told Josiah he was worried about our dogs, as if we would leave them in a hot bus all day. That really upset me, because I would never do that any animal + especially not my furbabies.


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On that note, our dogs seem to really love it here. We have an end spot so there’s not too much traffic our way & they get to explore the woods and trails often since they’re only a minutes walk away. They’ve been getting along great. I do think their favorite part was the drive, because they would occasionally stick their head out the window, even on the highway.
Overall, the bus has been fun for last 11 days, we have deff thought of high tailing it home, but we won’t give up that quick. We know this is the life we want to be able to travel & not spend our life working away. I’m sure as the days go on, we will learn to love our bus more & more.

Till next time,
XOXO Breanna

School Bus Conversion Videos

Bus is out of the shop & Skoolie Neighbor

Yes the bus is back in action and while we were absent from the storage area a new skoolie friend had started working on his bus. So I ended up going to Trans Chicago to have the bus fixed. Originally I had no idea that it was a Freightliner dealer and when I found out thought that was a good thing. I was under the impression that we were on a Freightliner chassis but apparently its an international??? Go figure because  Freightliner bought Thomas Built Busses in like 98 or 99….. So i don’t understand why it would be an International Chassis but that’s what they said anyway.   None the less they were able to bypass the school bus stuff and get the bus back in action for the low low price of $1,047.91 unfortunately a great deal more than the tow.

Breanna's Journal

Shawnee National Forest

Exploring Shawnee National Forest

It was spring break for my long time friend Emily and I was itching to get away, so we decided to go on a hiking trip. After some debate and a coin toss, we started planning our trip to Shawnee National Forest.

We visited Shawnee March 14th-16th. We had perfect weather and decided to tent camp. Below I have descriptions of each of the places we hiked along with descriptions and helpful tips 🙂 Hope this helps you with your tip to Shawnee National Forest.

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Picking Up Maps

There are two districts within the national forest, Hidden Springs and Mississippi Bluffs. When planning your trip make sure to check which hiking places are in each district so you don’t waste too much time driving. Make sure to stop by one of the ranger stations of the supervisor’s office to pick up a overview map of the park and individual maps for each hiking spot. These will be helpful, as they describe the trail and give instructions on how to locate each area. Do not rely on signage to direct you where to go as the areas are spread out and brown recreation signs are a rarity. Also, there is horrible cell reception and very little data.

Hidden Springs Ranger District

Garden of the Gods: The views here are super gorgeous and will only take you about 45-60 minutes to explore depending on if you climb the rocks and explore a bit. This is a loop trail that will take you back to the parking lot. This place is definitely worth going to. The first night we also camped here for $10, just so you know there are bathrooms, but no showers.

High Knob: High Knob can be difficult to find. Make sure to hang right when you come to the equestrian campground and follow the road up the hill. You come to a super pretty overlook and some picnic tables. It’s a great place to have lunch, but there is also a small tail that should take less than an hour. There isn’t much maintenance, so it can be tricky to find. As you look at the picnic tables from the parking lot, go to the right, and look through the trees a little bit. There will be some stairs that will take you to the base of the rock where you can explore. It is a loop trail and you will end up on the other side of the picnic tables.

Rim Rock & Pounds Hollow: The trail for Rim and Rock and Pounds Hollow can be done together. Rim Rock is a loop trail that will have an opportunity to go to Pounds Hollow. Pounds Hollow is not a loop, so you once you get there, walk the same trail back. Frogs + turtles can be spotted along the way. At first when approaching Rim Rock trail from the parking lot you will encounter 3 different trails, stay to left, this takes you on the lower trail to explore around the base of the rock, you will come out on the right side.

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Burden Falls: Burden Falls was awesome. The waterfall is beautiful but be prepared to get wet. It’s a good idea to bring waterproof shoes since most of the time you’ll be by the creek or in the waterfalls. Don’t be afraid to climb down the rocks and explore! The trail here can be tricky to follow. It stays close to creek and can be found at the top by the parking lot. When you are on top of the hill and feel the trail has ended, don’t worry, just go down the hill!

Bell Smith Springs: This was one of our places and would definitely recommend. It is also within 15 minutes of Burden Falls and has a campground as well. Once again there are no showers. Just note that if you grabbed a specific map for this area from a station it is not updated with the white trail info. There is a map at the trail head that shows the white trail. Emily & I got lost on the white trail. I definitely recommend taking the blue trail and then going onto the lower yellow. Once you come across the ladder it will take you to the upper yellow which leads into the white if you go to the right. Overall a great place to go hiking for hours with colored markers along the way.

Cave-In-Rock It is technically not a part of Shawnee, but is apart of it’s own state park, but since you’re in the area you might as well stop here. It one massive 55 foot opening of a cave. There is not much to do once inside but it’s magnificent to see. Also, sitting by the river is a great place to watch the sunset.

Mississippi Bluffs Ranger District

Little Grand Canyon: This is a great place to do a couple hours of hiking but make sure to bring your waterproof shoes. This is a gem that is easily missed due to sketchy trails and waterfall staircases. Emily and I entered the trail by the parking lot and then when we got to the overlook after wandering and climbing on the bluffs we found the slim trail to the right that takes one down to a waterfall and natural rock stairs. When you get to the bottom there are white trail markers and a defined path. To exit the canyon you will have to go back up another waterfall. You have gone just a tad too far if you hit “private property” signs. Overall, I would definitely recommend this hike.

Inspiration Point: This is one of the most scenic overlooks and makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. It is a very easy hike and suitable for most. Takes about 30 minutes total but words can’t describe it. The hyperlink to trail is the exact format of maps that can be found at the supervisor’s and ranger’s stations.

Pomona Natural Bridge: This is also a very easy hike and is family friendly. There’s a couple large rocks to play on, but honestly Emily and I didn’t find much reason to stay long. Glad we did it, because we were in the area, but left much to be desired.  

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Fountain Bluff: I can’t find much information on them about them on the website but there are some bluffs with a couple of trails. They’re pretty tricky to find and most areas have been covered with damage due to a storm in 2008. But if you want to find them there is a couple trails heading North on Gorham Road from Route 3. The first one will be .5 miles in and you just park on the side of the road where tire tracks should be. Go down a little bit and there will be another trail. There is waterfall and a ladder to climb. The damage made it hard to do to much hiking here. I’d bring a machete to cut branches out of the way. Go North again on Gorham Rd and there you will get to where the bluffs end. Park you car and walk the north line of trees until you come across the path. There’s not too long of a path or much to see but we were determined to find something. We never really figured out how to get to the top of the bluffs. There is a street off of Gorham that goes past a school and there’s a cool view there but not much else. Please let me know if you found how to get up there.

Overall, Shawnee was awesome & Emily was deff the best partner to do it with. We both had a great time & one day I hope to return again.

Happy hiking,

XOXO Breanna

Captains Log

Star Date 4-25-16

Ok well it has been some time since I last made a post. Lots has been going on with the bus and our lives in general. If you haven’t seen the latest video about the bus getting a tow to a shop to get the ignition wiring straightened out here is the link.

Now that you are caught up with the bus and our newly planned trip to Europe! Here are the other things that have been happening as I have been delayed in updating the blog. House is going up for sale in the coming weeks. We have been doing little updates to make it look nice for the new owners such as swapping out the gold hardware for silver, fixing and painting the fence, and also starting to prep for paint.

The plan is that come around June 1st we are hoping to move into the bus and live in it in my parents driveway while we continue to work at our jobs for a another month. This will allow us to have the house up for sale with it being completely empty and dog free. Hopefully we will meet our deadlines that we have set up as there is still a lot of work to do to make it all happen but it sure is coming along nicely.

Just wanted to give a bit of an over view as to what has been going on and what some of our plans are. I will be posting more information as far as Europe ‘16 trip and bus info in the coming weeks. Just need to get everything moving and it should all fall into place. Thanks for reading and following our life adventure!

School Bus Conversion Videos

Gym Floor Counter Top in a School Bus!

So we picked up a used master bath vanity that will become our new kitchen cabinets. As well as our kitchen counter top which will be a piece of gym flooring. Its cool on multiple levels but also sticks with the theme quite well. I mean recess, school bus, and now gym flooring. LOL

School Bus Conversion Videos

Skoolie Conversoin #30

Brief little update on your school bus turned skoolie tiny home! Ran out of the safety yellow paint. So I decided to buy poo brown for the last little part. I couldn’t resist… =) HAHA

Veggie Life

Vegan Protein

What about protein???

So many people have asked me, “where do you get your protein?” It really surprises me that out of everything this is what people care about. They don’t ask about the animal suffering or about the disappearing rainforest, but they sure do care about protein. Don’t get me wrong, being healthy and getting the right nutrients is important to me, but living in a society that is overweight and unfit, I’m surprised and slightly annoyed to hear such questions. No one has ever cared about my protein before going vegan, so I’m not sure why this is so important now. But anyways, this is how I get it.

Breanna

I didn’t stop eating meat because I didn’t like the flavor, I quit, because the animals suffering for my food didn’t set right with me. This is why I turn to mock meats for a lot of my protein. There are several options out there such as Beyond Meat, Beast Burgers, Gardein, Field Roast, and Tofurky. These are just some of the brands that can be found at your local grocer. These are all very popular in my household and get added to our meals daily. The best part is, you don’t have to waste tons of money at whole foods on these products, I have purchased several of these from Walmart + Meijer at cheaper prices than the cost of meat.

Also, these mock meats can be treated just like animal meat. Just last weekend, Josiah & our roommate Scott made skewers with the Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages. They were delicious with some zucchini and bell peppers. Another favorite mock meal of ours is spaghetti and meatballs. We bought veggie pasta from Walmart and used Gardein’s Meatless Meatballs. It turned out absolutely delicious. For all the burger fans out there, Beast Burgers are awesome 1/4 lb burgers that actually contain more protein than regular burgers at 23 grams per burger. They’re easy to cook in the oven, in a skillet, and of course you can toss them on the grill. One more favorite of ours would be Gardein’s Fishless Fish Fillets. Bake those in the oven and top with vegan tartar sauce, a squeeze fresh lemon, add a side of rice + veggies and there you go. So delicious.

Besides mock meats, lentils and beans also are loaded up with protein. A quick look at the package will tell you exactly how much depending on the type. I personally like black beans and great northern beans the best, which have about 15 grams of protein per cup. Check out this link healthaliciousness.com, as it lists 37 different types of legumes and their protein values.

Not only do I get my protein from mock meats, lentils, and beans, but also from protein powder. YES, they do make vegan protein powder. Who knew? Vega is one of the most popular brands out there for protein powder, I currently use Blenditup. I throw it in the blender with a bunch of fruit & almond milk.

I honestly believe that since going vegan and eating the different mock meats, we have become better cooks + we eat better tasting food. Josiah is an awesome cook to begin with, but since we have been forced to try new food, our cooking skills have drastically improved.  If you could eat amazing food, get the right nutrients, not contribute to animal suffering + environmental pollution, why wouldn’t you?

School Bus Conversion ~Live

School Bus Conversion Live

Coming To You Live

 

I thought it would be fun to start a new section of our YouTube channel. Live streams straight from the bus! Hopefully you will find these video’s entertaining as well as informative. We are just a regular couple converting a school bus into a tiny home on wheels nothing special. Well we might be a little special but only in the best possible way. I mean we do own and will live in a “short bus”.

Veggie Life

Vegan Grocery Shopping

I’m not even kidding when I say “I love grocery shopping”. It’s even more fun now that I’m an adult and can really choose what I eat for the week based on my lifestyle. As a kid I simply had to eat whatever my parents bought, and sadly it wasn’t the healthiest food for my body. I remember as kid loading the cart up with hamburger helper and chocolate chip cookies. Yes, I still get chocolate chip cookies, but I get a pack of 12 instead of a box of 40. Grocery shopping should be fun, not just seen as a daily chore. This is the food that you will be putting in your body for the week. It’s the fuel your body runs off of.

As most of you know I’ve been vegan for a while now, but it’s still exciting to go to the store and find new vegan products. Especially, because lately there seems to be new vegan products coming out every week, from Chao cheeses to Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free ice cream there are tons of new options. Also, all the new mock meats from Tofurky, Gardein, and Field Roast are exciting to try. But sometimes those foods can be expensive, if not on sale. For example, Tofurky’s pizza at Fresh Thyme is $8 regularly. To save money I check sales add and stock up on them when I find a good bargain. If I can’t get it on sale, I don’t buy it, which just gives me an opportunity to try something else that is on sale that week.

It can be overwhelming to go to the store and try to flip through the add while everyone is bustling around you. That’s why before I even leave the house I check the sales ads online. This way I know what I’m buying before I even walk in and don’t feel rushed. I really try not to buy anything that isn’t on my list. With so many superfoods these days and colorful marketing, it can be hard to stay on track. I also write down the price of the item from the sales ad so I can make sure I’m getting the right product. For instance, sometimes I get overwhelmed when there’s bagged carrots, organic carrots, baby carrots, rainbow carrots, peeled carrots, and I’m like “uhhh I just need the carrots that are on sale for 1lb/$.99.” Plus when I have the prices written down, I can see if they’re actually cheaper at the first store, even if they’re not on sale.

I hope this helps you guys! Please, in the comments below leave any advice on how to be cheaper & also what to do instead of the produce bags you find at the grocery store.

Thanks!
XOXO

Breanna

Captains Log

Star Date 2-25-16

Hello!

I think that I have done a good job so far in posting more often in here as well as on Youtube. Actually I have decided that I want to have a new video posted every day. Yes you read that right.

On one hand I don’t think that anyone will even really watch all of the videos just like this probably will not be read lol. But I enjoy it and that is what is important and if you’re reading this I am going to assume you do as well if you’re reading this. However my mom did teach me what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of you and me. But I digress….

Ok so for starters we got the bus seat! There will be more on that on a skoolie update post and video and the like. It looks like a brand new seat it really does. We also took the jeep top down and went for a drive to the bus to work on it the other day. I thought the video turned out pretty good. Let me know in the comments what you thought about it.

I spoke with my Aunt about coming to park and finish up the bus at there house. My Uncle has been an electrician is whole life and going to give me some pointers and instruction for the bus. Last thing that I need to do is blow it up or start an electrical fire. All that hard work I have been putting in an will put in would have been for nothing.

So there you have it folks I have stuck with it and been writing more posts to keep the website updated. Also going to be posting new videos daily on youtube! #mynewchallenge