At Custom RV, Vina, Alabama...
Among the best things about being retired and roaming the country fulltime are the people we meet and the unusual things we see. Our visit to River View RV Park near Natchez offered up one of each.
As we were slowly navigating Phannie between rows of parking spaces to find the one we were assigned, I suddenly brought her to a full stop. Parked in one of the spaces was a marvelous old Flxible bus that had been restored into service as an RV:
The owner and his wife were sitting outside and, after getting Phannie parked, I strode over and introduced myself, asking the gentleman's indulgence, as I knew he must have been confronted by hundreds of admiring strangers like me. He brushed off my concern, saying that he and his wife enjoyed meeting new people this way.
I probably asked him the same questions as countless other guys, but he had his key at the ready and happily showed me around all the bus and its compartments--except for the interior. (I didn't ask, but I wanted to.)
He told me the only question he would not answer is how much the restoration cost. After seeing many detailed photos of the project from the ground up by master craftsmen, I can only imagine that it was a frightening sum--maybe even embarrassing. If you would like to see some amazing homespun engineering by the firm that performed the restoration, you owe it to yourself to click here.
This bus was manufactured by the Flxible company in 1950 and served for many years as a sightseeing bus in Colorado. The original had a straight-eight Buick engine that was replaced with a Cummins diesel and Allison transmission. That adaptation and retrofit was itself amazing to see in the photos provided in the link above. It has all modern electronics and appliances, as well as two "mini-split" residential air conditioners tucked into the lower frame.
The treble horns on the roof are from a locomotive engine and are unbelievably loud.
Leaving Natchez, we had to backtrack a bit to get on the clearing west side a massive rain system that moved through early on departure morning. This added about 30 miles to our original 332-mile leg to Red Bay. But we stayed well out of the rain, aided in navigation through the weather by my trusty RadarScope app (see previous post).
Here is Phannie in the photo below, all set up for the night at Custom RV, where the new refrigerator will be installed tomorrow. Alongside is another Phaeton, also awaiting the installation of new toys:
Stay tuned, and we'll show you how it goes.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.