The last 48 hours have held a lot for us. I’ll attempt to fill you in on all the juicy details without overloading you.
My friend Jonas picked Christian and I up at 3pm on Wednesday, April 29th, to take us to DIA. By the time we were loading into the car with him, we’d already been seething with anticipation and nervousness about our impending adventure.
Our flight was delayed a bit, so we calmed our nerves with a beer near our gate and mulled over what we’d do if the alternator didn’t arrive by the time we found our way to Ohio.
I happened to have an old college friend located in the Detroit area that had agreed to pick us up from the airport. Unfortunately, Spirit airlines had decided to change our flight to over twelve hours later than it’d been scheduled when we originally booked it, so that meant Coleman would be picking us up in the wee hours of the morning to truck us back to his house. Good man that he is, he waited patiently as we were delayed by a lack of gate and slow luggage. Around 3 am, our heads finally hit the very welcome pull-out mattress and we went to sleep with our fingers crossed about the alternator.
The next day, Coleman took us to his favorite breakfast dive for some much needed grub and coffee before giving us an awesome driving tour around Detroit. While we learned some of the more interesting history of Detroit, we received word that the alternator had arrived and was being installed. It was time to go to Ohio!
When we pulled up in the driveway and saw Campbulance, both Christian and I knew instantly that she was everything we’d hoped for and more. T-Dub gave Christian a tour of the engine work while I eagerly went exploring in the back end. It’d been used as a work truck by T-Dub, so the interior was in tact, but pretty dirty since he’d spent his time and effort (thankfully!) replacing the alternator instead of cleaning. Even through the dust, I could see nothing but pure potential.
The first test drive was to the DMV and it was immediately apparent that this gal had been taken care of. She ran like a dream and drove even better. Christian was all smiles on that short drive to finalize the paperwork and we couldn’t wait to get on the road.
Before leaving Colorado, we’d done some initial research to see if there was anything illegal about driving a fully equipped rescue-ready ambulance around. Thank goodness we did because it turns out that it’s highly illegal to have any red lights on your vehicle, even if they’re off or inactive. In light of this news, we opted to assume other states would have similar thoughts on the subject and went ahead and removed the light bars and all red lights before hitting the road. Seeing as our road trip plans would take us through at least 9 additional states, we didn’t want to chance it.
With all the red lights off and covered with tape, we eagerly found the nearest gas station and topped off the tank so we could get on the road and start heading east.
Being that we were in a fairly rural part of Ohio, I asked Christian if I could get behind the wheel for a few blocks and see how comfortable I was driving her before we hit the open road or traffic. By a few miles, I was happily merging onto the interstate with Christian grinning in the passenger seat. Our goal for the day was to get to Youngstown, Ohio, only three hours from where we picked up the Campbulance. I have a friend there that works at a swanky craft beer bar that I wanted to visit and since it was directly on our route, we figured it was a good destination for our first night.
Since we were planning to spend the night in the Campbulance, we wanted to clean her up a bit. After a Walmart run for some Armor All wipes and other supplies deemed necessary for our trip, we found a gas station with a vacuum and went to town.
Satisfied with the quick cleaning job, we headed to Vintage to meet up with Graig and enjoy a celebratory beer. We settled into a cozy couch at Vintage and let the reality of our new adventure sink in. Later, Graig and his girlfriend AJ joined us, which led to the hilarious realization that AJ had encountered us at the gas station vacuum earlier. Apparently she’d assumed we were two medics cleaning up a particularly horrific disaster.
Seeing as our accommodations were mere steps from where we were enjoying good company and beers, Christian and I opted to stay right there for the night. I woke up a little nervous about our location, so we quickly moved on and found a nearby truck stop to fill up, brew some coffee and grab an extra half hour of sleep before we hit the road.
Yesterday, I found myself happily enjoying the road from the passenger seat as Christian drove us through the fattest part of Pennsylvania. Christian’s brother lives in Brooklyn and I have a slew of old friends there as well, so we made arrangements to meet up with them and enjoy another night of good company before continuing our quest north.