The number “21” has popped up a lot for us over the last few years. We brought Ernie home on November 21st, 2020. Our “shakedown cruise” to Tennessee commenced on March 21st, 2021. We’ve landed serendipitously on campsite 21 and pumped diesel at island 21 dozens of times as we traveled the country.
On the 21st day of our journey we settled at this very campground in The Ozarks, on site number 21.
And on February 21st, 2004 in Wakarusa, Indiana, this bus rolled off the production line — our beloved Ernie turns 19 years old today.
For the last two years, save a few weeks after the shakedown and four months last summer at Second Chance Ranch, this hasn’t been merely a “home away from home.” It’s kept the flame of our Life, carrying it to far corners of America we never dreamed we’d see.
In the process, it hasn’t set any speed records. That’s on us, not the bus, just our style.
It’s seen torrential rains and hammering hail, feet of snow and gale-force winds. It’s baked in temps as high as 115°F and shivered in wind-driven chill of -40°F.
And now, as we build on The Mountain, Ernie is the Home we know.
If not for this 19-year-old diesel pusher, we wouldn’t have lived our dreams. That reality comes with a certain attachment — a 16-ton bus is, in no small way, part of our family.
So here’s wishing a Happy Birthday to our Big Boy. Long may you run.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.