new plates and no lettering!

With one of Christian's recent and few morning's off, we finally got around to registering the Campbulance in Colorado. We'd been driving around with quickly deteriorating 30-day temporary Ohio plates since the first of May, so our time was running out. After a few stops and fees paid, Campbulance is officially a Colorado gal.

With only a little bit of the vinyl lettering remaining, we got to work in the hot sunshine (when it comes off most easily) to get the rest off. Turns out, the worst part of the vinyl removal was the fact that we'd left the painter's tape on for the better part of a month. As you can see in the following photos, the painter's tape has dried onto the Campbulance and left it's dried and crumbling mark. We're hoping a hot soapy bath and some elbow grease will take the rest of it off. In the meantime, at least all the lettering is off.

With the vinyl removed, we were able to see the ghost of the lettering from when Campbulance was an actual rescue vehicle. I could make out only a few words, but paired with some Googling, I was able to find out that its original home was Lambertville - New Hope in PA/NJ. We'd actually come within 40 miles of it on our big road trip out east, which I thought was pretty cool. Christian thinks we should have them sell another decommissioned ambulance to T-Dubs to hold onto for 7 years and we'll go get that one for a future conversion to add to our fleet.

- Chelsea

me special.

We bought a fairly large portion of astroturf to cut to fit as a temporary flooring while we strip the old flooring up. Knowing we'd probably eventually haul some kayaks and other outdoor gear in the future, we figured it could also be used as a protective covering in those instances.

We'd had so many people say we should turn it into a putting green that we went to the nearby thrift store during a break to grab a few putters and golf balls.

The old laminate has proven to be a monster to remove. We've spent hours upon hours scraping and sanding the old floor to try and get it down to just wood to treat it and cover it back up with a secondary sub flooring before we put laminate over it.

While Christian worked away at the flooring, I painted the back wall of linoleum to see how it'd look in a warmer tone other than the grey that covers most of the surfaces. It's amazing what a difference a coat of paint can do for a space.

Cutting the astroturf.

After hours of scraping, we'd hit a wall with the floor and decided to put the astroturf in and get to work on removing the vinyl lettering on the outside (something that's been bugging me for quite a while).

This proved to be another tedious job since we want to keep the orange vinyl stripe and much of the lettering was on top of that. For that reason, we chose to forgo the use of a heat gun and work to pull it off using the heat of the sun.

We made fairly good progress and worked until the sun went down. We didn't finish the task completely, but instead left a few remaining characters and called it a night.

- Chelsea

demo time.

Now that we've finally finished up all the road trip blog posts, it's time to dive into the work we've been doing on the Campbulance since we've been home.

"Before" tour of the interior.

When we arrived back in Colorado, it was still cold and snowing pretty regularly. This made work a bit difficult, but we were lucky enough to be able to use the not yet active space in Christian's rafting boathouse for some of our work as we waited for it to warm up.

When I arrived to help Christian get some work done, I'd found that he'd pulled the metal anchors (used to secure gurneys) to reveal the plywood flooring beneath. It was right then and there that we decided we would be ripping the linoleum out of the box.

Some of the spots were easier than others, so a mallet and a wedge tool provided just the amount of force we needed to strip the old linoleum out. As is true with most projects like this, things got more complicated as we worked and we realized that the linoleum was so old and brittle that it was leaving behind most of the paper backing on the wood. Add that to the fact that there were multiple spots of dry rot in the wood and we were fairly convinced we'd be replacing the entire sub flooring as well.

We took turns working on the floor, making little to no headway and getting discouraged fast, Christian decided it was time to attach the airway chair box that we'd decided to pull out. Nothing but screws stood between us and that empty corner, so Christian began working to remove them. Sadly, the screws were so deeply in there and very much stripped that any attempts with a screw driver were in vain. A Sawzall was finally taken to the box to make the screws more easily accessible so we could try and drill them out. 

Christian celebrates taking a Sawzall to the airway chair box after struggling with getting to the screws.

We've made a lot more progress in the last few weeks, so I can't wait to keep posting and updating about it as we work.

- Chelsea

homeward bound.

It's probably obvious that Christian and I have been strapped for time to blog since our return to Colorado. He's been working every day but two since we got back and those two days were spent working morning to night on the Campbulance. For this reason, I've decided I'm going to just have to write the remaining posts on my own so we can get caught up and finally start updating you on our progress!

Christian got word that he needed to be back to work Saturday morning for a rafting trip going out that day. This meant we had only two days to drive 1600 miles (Google maps told us it was 25 hours, but we were going slower than the speed limit, so we knew it'd take longer). We knew it had to be done, so we loaded up on coffee and kept our stops to quick breaks at gas stations knowing that every minute counted.

Given our mission, photos were few and far between on that first day of driving. We set out to get to Kansas City, but fell short by a little less than 100 miles due to pure exhaustion and a pretty hefty dose of insanity.

Well into the next day's drive, Christian got word that the trip had been canceled and he was now off the hook. We looked at each other in utter defeat and I said, "Find me a Cracker Barrel…now." (I'd had to give up my hopes of stopping at a Cracker Barrel or Waffle House along the way due to the time constraints.)

The universe was on my side, as the very next exit had a sign for a Cracker Barrel. We pulled off with relief and excitement to be enjoying a meal that wasn't eaten behind the steering wheel of the Campbulance.

It was Christian's first experience at Cracker Barrel and he was not disappointed. We stuffed ourselves silly with unhealthy breakfast food and then decided we'd take a nap in the Campbulance before getting back on the road. Let me tell you what…there has never been a more satisfying meal at Cracker Barrel than one immediately followed by a nap in the shady parking lot.

I hung my camera from the ceiling grab bars to try and take a "staged" photo of our nap…I should've known better.

Knowing we now had an extra day to get back, we opted to spend the night on the east side of Denver and drive the mountain pass during the daytime. We'd stayed in truck stops the entire way and it'd become "our thing" by the end of the trip, so we decided the best way to spend our last night on the road was one final truck stop.

Insanity from the road has obviously started setting in.

We passed a train carrying windmill arms.

We hit the road the next morning with the Continental Divide on our mind. The Campbulance handled the climbing roads with no problem, but we took it slow just to be safe. We stopped just after getting across Loveland Pass and the Continental Divide to breathe a sigh of relief and revel in the snowy landscape after days of heat and humidity on the road.

Less than an hour later, we were home and never happier to be off the road and in close proximity to a shower. For the first time in ten days, I parted ways with Christian and the Campbulance and watched them drive away to their home down the road in Eagle.

Stay tuned over the next few days and we'll be posting updates on the actual work we've been doing to the Campbulance!