Back in Gear

California / July 15, 2012 / by Gelb
Back in Gear

After a long break, we got back into the swing of things and left Thousand Oaks last Saturday, July 7. Pippa's hospitality was so generous and wonderful, that I will say there were rumblings of 'why can't we just stay'? from more than one member of the team!

Nevertheless, onwards. Stanley was packed and we set out in the direction of Yosemite for our re-acclimation into Bus life. Just outside the little town of Oakhurst, CA, we found a really lovely little campground. It was in the middle of the forest, had almost no people, and wifi to boot. We arrived late on Saturday and settled in for our first night back on-board.

Sunday was a lazy day - a day set aside to slowly get ourselves back into the mindset that we live on a bus. Things were properly put away and grocery lists planned.

Monday morning bright and early, we made our way into Yosemite National Park. We knew we wouldn't be able to stay for a long period of time, but wanted to experience the park as much as we could. It was a glorious day - perfect weather. The park is really extraordinary. It is without a doubt my favorite place we have been to so far. The trees were quite magnificent, and the view from glacier peak was absolutely breathtaking.

Yosemite was a fantastic day - I will definitely be back. Monday night we all got back and relaxed. We had our weekly meeting with Elivia, and set about working on strategies for story research, our route, and most importantly, fundraising. Tuesday and Wednesday saw us hard at work. We didn't know some specifics about our future stories and didn't want to enter the expensive San Francisco area too early, so we stayed at the beautiful campground among the trees for as long as we could.

Thursday morning we set off for San Francisco. We got into the area mid afternoon and, after not being able to find our campground manager, we were a bit confused about what to do with the bus. We left it in the campground and bolted into the city to make a shoot with the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center about their Banyan Tree Project. We met some truly remarkable people. More on the Banyan Tree project next week, as we have yet to shoot the main part of this story. After meeting with the kind folks, we made our way back to base and set-up camp.

I had to get everyone up very early on Friday in order to go and meet the founder of Loved Twice, Lisa Klein. This is a really incredible organization that recycles baby clothes for newborns. We also shot the first half of this piece, so more on Loved Twice next time.

Because we were finished with shooting so early in the day, we plonked ourselves down at a coffee shop and got some work done. In the evening we met up with a childhood friend of mine and Chris's, Carter Lavin, who showed us around San Francisco and his home of Oakland. We learned all about the BART, Coit Tower, and had a fantastic meal at a vegan Soul Food place - quite unexpected, but impressive. It was great to see Carter and a nice chance to unwind.

Saturday was a mix of technology frustration and utter confusion, depending on what member f the team you were. Poor Chris had problems wit his iPad, so took it into the Apple Store. He was with them for over 4 hours. While he and the helpful employees were trying to work out the issue, the rest of us made our way to the Westfield mall on Market street to see if there was a coffee shop or some other place where we could work. It was one of the most confusing and over-stimulating places I have ever been to. Circular escalators, unnamed floors, hidden shops, we really felt like the beverly hillbillies for a second. We ended up just getting back into the car and driving around, looking at San Francisco in on a nice day. We picked up Chris and headed back in the evening.

Next week we will be heading out of California, into Oregon. We will be in Portland next weekend, then off to Washington!