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Old 04-06-2012, 02:31 PM   #101
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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: http://www.johnsondaniel.com/News.html 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: http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0 ... 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
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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 life...it'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
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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 (http://calearth.org/). 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
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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 (http://www.pringlecreek.com/explore.htm), 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.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:37 PM   #108
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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...
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:41 AM   #111
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Re: Green Energy Project

Tygercub- Thanks, I use a digital projector as a tool with most commission work to help cut down time/price and for jobs like this one where the surface isnt flat. Projecting helps keep the image in proportion over all the ridges and multiple surfaces like when it laps the garage door and siding. Mine is about 5 years old now, InFocus brand I think? I bought it new from Circuit City for $500 and it has paid for itself a million times over. Surprisingly I've never had to change the bulb, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll last till we make it home. They have an hour rating, not sure what mine is but I'm positive I'm waaaay past it. We use it a lot at home to watch movies on outside, fun times

Today we parked at a Park&Ride and took the metro into downtown Portland and had a blast! I'll post pictures tomorrow if we find a coffee shop, our phone internet data is dwindling for this month. When we got back we wanted to switch up Walmart's so we tried 2 different ones in Vancouver, WA and were told by security patrols no overnights by state law The only place I've ever seen a no overnight in Walmart was in Flagstaff, and that was a marked sign when you entered. So we went back across the river to Troutdale, but not before blowing a trailer tire Its raining and late so I'm going to change that in the morning.. lousy way to end such a fun day. oh well. Tomorrow we'll be staying with a friend of a friend and hopefully get a much needed hot shower.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:04 AM   #112
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Re: Green Energy Project

you can stay at the woodburn and both salem wal marts, as well as there is a huge parking lot on mission street where k mart is where the semi's park. also camping world wilsonville allows1 nite.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:21 AM   #113
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Re: Green Energy Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by dangie
... When we got back we wanted to switch up Walmart's so we tried 2 different ones in Vancouver, WA and were told by security patrols no overnights by state law The only place I've ever seen a no overnight in Walmart was in Flagstaff, and that was a marked sign when you entered...
We used Allstays to locate places to park overnight. Lots of places besides Wal-marts. We prefer Sam's Clubs (you need to be a member but a "business" member ship is only $35 per year and you do not need to prove you area business. Just make up a name. We have also stayed at several Cracker Barrels (love their food.. ice tea, biscuits and grits.... yum, yum!). Have had nothing but good experiences in Truck Stops (mostly Flying J... we eat supper there and purchase fuel... their showers are pricey). Many Lowes and home Depots will let you park overnight as well. You may want to check out the Allstays website to get an idea of where to look.

As for NOP... we have run into a few Wal-marts that do not allow it but we can park next door at the Sam's Clubs. I think it has something to do with the membership thing. Probably similar for Costco members. Wal-Mart does seem to get targeted for the NOP. Expand your criteria. We may call it wallydocking but we can wallydock (park overnight) in other places.

BTW, we also found a lot of open (free) wifi sites while parking overnight. We needed an external antenna to reach some of them, but many restaurants, hotels and other business have an open wi-fi signal. I use a cheapie USB antenna in my desktop computer (no air card) and the laptop I got (bartered) from one of my daughters has an external air card in it. I need them to access the free campground wi-fi anyway. Some Sam's Clubs have a wifi. Home Depot (and probably Lowes) does as well.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:15 PM   #114
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Re: Green Energy Project

Yea thanks lorna, im bookmarking that one. I like their explanation: "Some us are frugal and don't like paying $25-$70 just to park and sleep. We may not need a pool and all the luxury items that many resorts and KOA parks have. Those are great when we need them but sometimes we just want a break and to fill up on supplies." Exactly how we feel.

Here are just a couple pictures from yesterday, Portland was SO much bigger than we had thought it would be. I'm glad the lightrail system reached out so far, driving the bus & trailer downtown would not have had a happy ending....


Angie in front of some Blaine Fontana sculptures at his solo show in Hellion Gallery. (http://thefontanastudios.com/)


Right beside the Hellion Gallery was a clothing store/gallery called the Upper Playground that was covered with murals by lots of my other favorite artists, behind me here is some work by Sam Flores (http://samflores.com/)


Playing the original Tron arcade game at Ground Control arcade/bar, the lightcycle rounds were actually pretty tough.. or it may have been the beer

I changed the flat on the trailer but Walmart didn't carry a replacement (4.8-12) they only had 4.8-8 So I'll need to find another one of those soon and then this morning I noticed the right front blinker bulb is out... always something eh? At least we found a nice empty coffee shop to recharge in, I didn't even drink coffee before this trip but I've become quite fond of caramel lattes
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:40 PM   #115
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Re: Green Energy Project

Cool! Thanks a lot, I gotta tell you anytime I tell people about skoolie.net I always show them your motorcycle lift video. Your bus was really awesome, I was surprised when I read you sold it. After all the repairs I've had to make on mine I plan on driving that bus into the grave, but this will most likely be the last cross country trip I'll push it on. Anyway, we're staying just a few blocks away from that intersection you saw us at until Monday if you want to meet up and take a tour of it, lol.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:57 PM   #116
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Re: Green Energy Project

We made it to Idaho!


Angie's aunt has llamas =)


Angie's uncle is a big game hunter, he has some really cool stories.


They turned us on to some fun hikes. We saw some mountain goats today on Palisades Creek Trail!

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Old 05-03-2012, 09:27 PM   #117
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Re: Green Energy Project

What a great adventure! I envy you guys.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:29 AM   #118
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Re: Green Energy Project

8 MONTHS today! Ang and I arrived in Moab Utah yesterday and will be hanging out for probably a week before heading to Boulder, CO. We've transcribed most of our interviews since CA and should have a slew of new blog articles in the next week or so depending on our power availability. Here's some picture updates:


We had an amazing time visiting Angie's relatives in Idaho, we went on tons of hikes and saw more wildlife in those couple weeks than all the critters I have ever seen in my life combined. Angie's uncle took us for a float down the Snake River and we stopped to climb on this waterfall, Fall Creek Falls.

After our whirlwind visit back in VA (to attend family celebrations weddings, graduations..) we flew back to Idaho in time for a Memorial weekend trip to Yellowstone! I had never been before and I'm going to limit myself to 3 photos but it was AMAZING!

Angie and a young ewe (female bighorn sheep).


At one point there was a heard of buffalo crossing a rather large section of the river and we watched in horror as calf after calf got swept down stream. We thought they might drown because they kept trying again and again but finally the mothers crossed back over. I filmed the episode along with our other animal sightings (including griz/black bears and cubs, wolves, elk, snowshoe rabbits..) but its going to be awhile before I get it online.


And here is our touristy shot of old faithful

One last yellowstone picture, I spotted this unusual bus that we later saw shuttle people around the park. It has a canvas convertible top, neat!


So now we're hanging out at Ken's Lake campground in Moab and its HOT. The lake should help us survive the heat as long as we remember to reapply sunblock... but its days like these that make me think maybe I could get over the noisy generators buzzing all around our camp for a few minutes of AC. Oh well.. we've been 8months without I suppose we can last a few more.
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:33 PM   #119
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Re: Green Energy Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by dangie
... but its days like these that make me think maybe I could get over the noisy generators buzzing all around our camp for a few minutes of AC. Oh well.. we've been 8 months without I suppose we can last a few more.
You're supposed to be in cool areas during the hot season and warm areas during the cold season. Somehow we always get that backwards.
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Old 06-02-2012, 09:25 PM   #120
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Re: Green Energy Project

I can't resist! I'd give an eyt tooth and my left-----well you know what I mean to have that beautiful canvas topped bus to turn into a SKOOLIE! My pop drove one of those during the summers of his college days. How cool that they are still around. I've enjoyed watching your travels--stay happy and warm!
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