Living the Dream No Matter Where We Live: Weeks 11 - 13

We're compiling our latest update into a three-week post, mainly because there's been a lot of life happening and less actual progress made on the bus. However, everything has a way of circling back to this big, crazy life project. In between all the newness that comes with a big move and life change, Alhen has been hard at work on SketchUp developing the master plan for the slow rolling home floor, perfecting measurements, deciding on the pattern of the joists, and determining which materials we'll buy in advance to get started. 

Our subfloor materials list: 

  • 14 @ 2 x 4 x 8' boards
  • 4 @ 2 x 4 x 10' boards
  • 3 @ 2 x 4 x 12' boards
  • 9 @ 4 x 8' (23/32") OSB tongue-and-groove boards
  • 320 total square feet of 4 x 8' insulation sheets
  • 2 rolls of radiant barrier

All-together, our subfloor amounted to about $500. This is after I made an online purchase of insulation that I thought would be healthier choice, but turned out to be way overpriced and not what we'd hoped. Having a Home Depot credit card has been extremely helpful through this, as it helps us keep track of our purchases in one place but also to have an interest-free place to carry a balance should we need to. This list took two trips, one rented Home Depot pickup truck, and a small sacrifice from the 20-year-old plastic Subaru roof-rack. 


On Saturday, September 9, we visited our local crag at the Obed to participate in Adopt-A-Crag day.

What a blast. Surrounded by what seemed like over a hundred other outdoors-folk, shepherded by park rangers and workers through a half-day of general park maintenance, we got to know the Obed just a little bit more. We chose to clear the Lilly Bluff trails that had sustained major tree obstruction during a stormer earlier in the year. There's something incredibly satisfying about chucking logs down a hill. 

Many jokes about Highland games were made that day!

We and about twenty other participants cleared two fallen trees with the help of Matt the Ranger (a familiar face from Coffee & Climbing with the rangers) and a diligently hilarious ranger with a chainsaw in only a couple hours. It took close to ten people to dislodge the second enormous root ball and send it down the hill, but now, whenever we travel those trails, we look at the newly cleared pathways and smile, having been a part of it. 

Soundtrack for Crag Day, by Jubal

The rest of the day was spent climbing, sharing barbecue and beers with friends, and listening to incredible live music. Our friend Jared and his brother Warren joined us at Lilly Boulders where the guys projected routes and I rather haphazardly attempted to lounge in a hot-dog chair. Afterward, we hiked down to the Lilly Pad Hopyard for a delicious dinner, where Warren's wife Summer joined and where Jared's finance Haley tended the bar. A local Knoxville band called Jubal serenaded the evening into night and thousands of stars emerged over the crowd. You couldn't see stars like that anywhere close to St Pete, but just a half hour from our home in Oak Ridge and the lawn in your astronomy tower. 


On September 16, Alhen's family planned and executed a tremendous yard sale, with half the proceeds given to the slow rolling home.

For months, Chris (Alhen's mother) has talked excitedly about 'the yard sale'. It was planned before we even moved to Oak Ridge and it was at the suggestion of Alhen's grandparents that they donate half of the proceeds to our bus. As Alhen and I had already minimized tremendously before the move, most of the items would be coming from Chris and Alhen's grandparents' homes. 

We met early, around 7:30AM, put out the yard signs, and prayed to whoever was listening that the ads in the paper and the Facebook groups would send buyers our way! 

They did! We had a steady stream of folks from Oak Ridge and beyond trickle through all day, leaving happily with unwanted items such as Longaberger baskets (which I spent considerable time learning about their cult following), Christmas decorations, camera equipment, clothing, books, and plenty of odds-n-ends. The day was a long one, but it resulted in $300 for the slow rolling home! This paid for almost all of the wood (the majority of the cost) for the subfloor.

But, most of all, this was a tremendous act of generosity and support from Alhen's family, who have adopted this project and our journey as if it were their own. 

Needless to say, these past few weeks have been a whirlwind of love, excitement, hard work, and living the dream. 

What's next for us? We have a few events on our calendars, including a woodland wedding for the two people who may be the ones who planted this tiny living seed in our lives: Jared & Haley Rhodes! We're also working on a few side projects we can't wait to share with you here in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!