Til’s Tidbit (October 2014)

Quitting your job, jumping on a plane and hitting the road in a sweet bus with your best buds. It’s the daydream of many nine to five workers…and the reality for a tightknit crew of young Australians from Toowoomba.

Inspired by a Facebook photo that was captioned “buy an old school bus, rip the seats out and travel with your best mates”, the six friends— all under twenty-five years old, among them a lawyer, an engineer and a financial adviser — did just that. They then rolled through an impressive list of American states that eventually included Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York.

A propane-powered 1986 Chevrolet Bluebird – part of the Go Series – the bus was purchased in Calgary at the start of the year, found using Canada’s version of Gumtree, ‘Kijiji’. The people-mover was dubbed ‘The Spruce Moose’, after crazy Montgomery Burns’ small wooden airplane, and also because of Moose Street, where all six of them lived while refitting the bus.

The crew tore out all the seats apart from four, and laid down a click-click floor, ply walls and a ply roof – all with insulation behind, so they wouldn’t freeze on the road. With temperatures of up to minus -30 degrees Celsius outside, they used the inside of the bus as a workshop, building bunk beds, couches that turned into beds, window frames, storage cupboards and drawers, dividing walls, lighting, a bookshelf, and an electrics box that housed all the switches for the water pump, stereo, sub, appliances inverter, lights and the fridge.

The project consisted of long days, and even longer nights, making The Spruce Moose a reality – and it all had to be done in time so they could fang it down to California for Coachella Festival. Talk about rocking up in style.