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Old 04-06-2012, 02:31 PM   #101
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Re: Green Energy Project

We have crossed the 6month marker and are preparing to set out for Portland, OR. We have had the most amazing time in San Diego and have met some truly wonderful people. Here's a recap of some of the highlights:

First of all I painted the other side of the bus, you can watch a time lapse of the painting process on my website: Now I just have to figure out what to paint on the back.

Ron & Stephanie have been amazing hosts for us and have not only shared their home with us, but also their friends, family, and a great deal of their time. They took us everywhere from the coast to the desert and even to wine tastings in the countryside (above photo was from the Bel Vino vineyard). We were very lucky to have found them and are sad to leave.

It was pupping season for the seals on the La Jolla coast.

Queen Califa's Magical Circle sculpture in Escondido.

We visited the Maritime Museum near downtown San Diego which included a tour of this Cold War era Russian submarine.

One of our hosts friends from the Burning Man community came for a weekend and brought his homemade travel trailer!

Salvation Mountain, it was just like in being on the set of Into the Wild!!

The structure on the left is an old water tower that someone actually lives in now! They have 2 dogs that were guarding the door inside, and they raise chickens in the open circular space in the middle of this picture.

Thanks to Mike & Genevieve, we were able to come out for a weekend at 'East Jesus' in Slab City to participate in a "sculpture slam". We made sculptures out of recycled materials, had a big pot luck, shot off fireworks and rifles, chocolate martinis, propane fire blowers... It was a pretty fun weekend that was in honor of the founder of East Jesus, a man named Charlie Russell who recently passed away. There is a great community of his friends who have stepped up and now keep the place running. We talked to them about the colossal solar system they have and some of their future plans. You can see a lot of the place in this video: ... 53,00.html

When the owners of this bus got to East Jesus their transmission went out. After replacing my shortbus trans I can only imagine what it would have cost to fix theirs.. whatever it was they decided it was too much and decided to turn it into an art installation. They buried the back half and then re-leveled all of the tables and cabinets on the inside. There were people staying in it when we visited so I didn't get any good shots of the inside but it was very wild.

Several of our new friends are really good at fire spinning, another nightly activity while we stayed in Slab City.

Unfortunately, outside of the 'East Jesus' area most of slab city looked like this.. just lots of trash and abandoned torn up vehicles. There were certainly exceptions here and there but I had envisioned it being much different.

We have seen several urban gardens and one huge community garden here in San Diego. This one is Mike & Genevieve's and they taught us a lot about worm composting.

We explored the mud caves in the Anza Borrego National Park and got very dusty. The caves are made entirely of dirt, you can pick apart the walls as you go along if you want, very foreign to us since the only caves we have in VA are made of rock like the Luray Cavern. Some parts of the cave are so small we had to crawl and wriggle through on our belly for several minutes, not something to do if your claustrophobic!

After the mud caves we hiked into the hills and found some massive desert oasis's that were just amazing! Probably my favorite site of the trip so far.

The tread on this tire blew out just as we were getting off the highway to go see The Hunger Games. The inside tire kept going flat too so I replaced both with Geo-Track tires totaling $320 which was less than I expected.

To pay for the above tires I painted this mural for a guy building a man cave in his garage.. jealous!

OK OK ENOUGH!! Looking back on the last 2 months its amazing how much we've fit into this visit. This coming week on our way to Portland we're trying to stop by the Cal Earth foundation and interview someone about their sustainable housing project, and then hopefully stop and see some Red Wood trees too! I'll try to do a better job posting more frequent updates so I don't have one huge one at the end. Thanks for reading! If you know of anything really cool to see in Portland or the surrounding area let us know!!!
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Old 04-06-2012, 05:13 PM   #102
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Re: Green Energy Project

Cool update,thank you....keep having fun
Our build La Tortuga
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:53 PM   #103
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Re: Green Energy Project

Most Excellent!!! --- Continue to enjoy's an incredibly swift trip from cradle to grave. Many thanks for sharing your adventures.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:53 PM   #104
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Chassis: Chevy Van G30
Engine: 6.2L
Re: Green Energy Project

Well we made it to our friends in Hesperia but just barely. Most of our longer legs in this trip have been plagued with overheating problems, particularly since leaving Abluquerque, but this time it was much worse. Our friend Bob took a look under the hood with me and we decided the gasket in the thermostat housing was leaking and the fan was spinning too loosely. Replacing the fan clutch was easy and gave me a chance to change the belts too, but I wasn't convinced that was going to fix our problem so I took it into a radiator shop. Below is a picture of the calcium build up we found... it was also cracked along the side so I had to order a new one, but man WHAT a difference. We've since driven all the way up the CA coast and into Oregon without the temp gauge moving past the quarter mark once, even while driving up hill for miles foot on the floor in 2nd. Life is SO much more enjoyable driving when you dont have to constantly check the temp gauge

Changing the fan clutch.

You can see the pipes are almost completely blocked up.

Before we left we did get a chance to interview someone from Cal Earth Institute ( Here are a few pictures:

This is a 2000sqft model home with a 2 car garage was appraised for $350k but built for only $100k, and most of that is labor cost. Dirt is cheap

Dome in progress.

Big Easy made it to the redwoods!

She didn't quite fit in the drive through tree...

Also wanted to share this picture. Saw this guy in a Mc D parking lot. Cool!

Today we're headed up to Salem to start a mural job I've been working on for an auto business. Keep your fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate!
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:47 PM   #105
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Re: Green Energy Project

Galldurn tree huggin' hippy!

You guys ROCK!

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Old 04-24-2012, 01:30 PM   #106
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Chassis: Chevy Van G30
Engine: 6.2L
Re: Green Energy Project

Quick update:
We've finished the mural here in Salem along with a couple other side jobs too. Here's a link to a short video of the project:

We drove over to the coast yesterday to celebrate. On the way we listened to a local radio segment on Oregon's logging problems and then witnessed some first hand. We have clear cut areas in VA but this seemed worse somehow.. maybe because the trees in this area are SOOOO much bigger and amazing.

Today we're hoping to interview someone from Pringle Creek (, a nationally ranked sustainably built community that has some really fascinating features. I find their porous asphalt particularly interesting, it allows 85% of rain to penetrate and filter back into the ground leaving only 15% surface flow. Regular asphalt has 70% surface flow that collects a lot more runoff pollution. After that we're going to head up to Portland and poke around for a few days but will be heading to Swan Valley by the weekend.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:28 PM   #107
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Re: Green Energy Project

You crazy kids! What a life!
If you make it to the northeast, you got a gig doing a mural of my race car on a trailer.
Don't make a fuss-just get on the bus!

my bus build
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:37 PM   #108
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Chassis: Chevy Van G30
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Re: Green Energy Project

That sounds fun! What state are you in? Angie got accepted to AL grad school and will need to be back in VA by Aug. so we're probably not going to make it further than that this trip but I'll keep it in mind
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:33 AM   #109
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Re: Green Energy Project

Great video of the mural painting. Do you prefer to work with a projector, or freehand art? What kind of projector did you use? That looks like loads of fun!
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:37 AM   #110
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Re: Green Energy Project

nothing better than the sound of a chainsawcutting down a tree with a spotted owl in it...
Jesus Christ... Conversion in progress.
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