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So late one afternoon last June, I was running around the Palouse shooting grain elevators and silos in between rain showers, and shortly before sunset I came upon this cool old bus bathed in warm evening sunlight.

Sadly, it was in a most unattractive setting, so I cropped out most of the offending surroundings (other old vehicles, but with nowhere near as much character).

I started pondering what the future might hold for this grand old beast.  It still looked pretty road-worthy…from the outside, at least.

Immediately I started dreaming…it would make a great camper…mobile home…convert it to biodiesel…drive it down to Slab City…no, too dangerous…the Nevada desert…no, too cold in the winter…a beach in Baja (YES!)…write a novel…become famous…no, become rich…travel the world taking photographs of cool stuff…

Wait, I already do that.  Maybe not in style, but I like to think WITH style.  And if all goes according to plan, in just a few years I’ll be doing it full-time.  But probably not in a bus.  It couldn’t handle the type of roads I love:  gravel, dirt, steep, twisty, muddy, sandy…

No, my 4WD SUV is the perfect vehicle for that.  Holds all my gear, big enough to sleep in should the need arise (and it has, plenty of times), and lots of good years left on it.

But what will happen to the bus then?

Anyone need a cool rig for Burning Man?

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4 Comments

  1. Wow. Dreams and hopes, it’s amazing what can serve as triggers for them. Older things often seem to have hidden stories of their pasts and hidden potential for their future. I really enjoyed your posting because it spoke to a part of me, to a tension between dreams and reality, between fantasy and practicality. Your prose and your photo were wonderful.

    • Thanks Mike. (I’m taking a moment to bask in your praise here. Okay, I’m done.)

      I’m intrigued by old stuff, especially the questions of what it was used for in the past, and what it can be used for in the future. Take the bus. Pretty paint job. Was it a local bus company that went out of business decades ago? Was it driven here from somewhere else, maybe hundreds or thousands of miles away? Was it an old Greyhound that got a different paint job after it was retired? Inquiring minds want to know…

      And of course the future of the bus is a great big question mark.

      I appreciate your kind and articulate comments. And it’s always nice to get praise on my writing (in addition to the images). 🙂

      Thanks again,
      RPRT Photo

  2. I felt sad when Iooked at this. Reminded me of Chris McCandless.

    • Hi Meanderer,

      I too can’t look at an old bus without thinking of Christopher McCandless, immortalized in the book and movie “Into the Wild.” Another person I think of when pondering “busted dreams” is Timothy Treadwell. Like McCandless, Treadwell went to Alaska chasing his dream. Treadwell’s dream of living with grizzlies, immortalized in the movie “Grizzly Man,” ended with Treadwell being killed and eaten by the bears he loved.

      We all have “busted dreams,” big and small. I think this is endemic to being human. Every choice we make, we give up something else.

      I guess the point is to have as few regrets as possible on one’s deathbed.

      Here’s to no regrets!
      RPRT Photo


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