WV, PA and New York City!

New York / Oct. 21, 2012 / by Gelb
WV, PA and New York City!

It's been another long week on Bus 52. This week saw us traverse mountains, wander through windy farm roads, and attempted to navigate Stanley around the metropolis of New York - quite successfully, I might add.

We started the week in West Virginia. Sunday was mostly a work day. The campground we were staying in was the KOA in Milton, WV. If you are ever in the area, I would highly recommend this campground. Personally, I think it was the best one we have stayed in all year. The internet was super strong, and the shower and bathroom area was spotless (something you grow to appreciate while on the road). The staff was nothing but nice. It was a great stay.

On Monday, we headed into Charleston to visit the folks at West Virginia Health Right. Pat White and her team run an amazing free clinic that literally offers every medical service you could possibly think of (except delivering babies. "That's the only thing we don't do; deliver babies", Pat said). Pat started the West Virginia Health Right after seeing firsthand the healthcare situation in the country, and in West Virginia in particular. West Virginia is at or near the top in the Obesity, Heart Disease, and Diabetes indexes. The Health Right brings together hundreds of volunteer doctors and community members not just to treat illnesses, but to encourage healthy lifestyles in innovative ways. It was such fun to be with them for the day, I hope we can do their institution justice.

After shooting the piece, we made our way back to the campground to get ray for a lot of driving the following day. After a brief delay due to unexpected maintenance on Edgar, our van, we headed off to New Stanton, PA - about 45 minutes outside Pittsburgh. We stayed at the Fox Den campground. It would have gotten amazing reviews if the bathrooms had been anything above something that wouldn't pass code in a prison. The internet was very good though.

On Wednesday Steven, Chris, Amy Chin and I went off to shoot a story on Jamie's Dream Team. Amy Wallace wasn't feeling so well so stayed back to catch up on some sleep. Jamie's Dream Team is such an inspiring story, it's hard to adequately describe it. Jamie, a young woman with several health conditions that meant that she has had to undergo countless surgeries when she was younger, decided to create an organization that would grant wishes to children and adults affected with debilitating conditions. The dreams vary from organizing daycare for a family whose child had just suffered a stroke, to organizing a dream wedding for a young woman who fell off of an overpass. We were able to follow her around for two dreams she was working on - both were so wonderful and representative of the range of what the team does. To see what they were, be sure to tune in!

After saying goodbye to Jamie and her team, we hopped back in the Bus and started driving. We had a lot of ground to cover in the next couple of days and needed to get a head start. Right when we were about to leave the area, the sun went down. Unfortunately, our marker lights were not aware of this fact and neglected to turn on. What resulted was about an 30 minutes' worth of fiddling and tinkering with the very intimidating looking set of wires that are just behind the dashboard. We finally got the marker lights to turn on and stay on. We were ready to hit the road. They haven't given us any trouble (knock on wood) since. We got into our stop-over campground in Carlisle, PA and then headed out bright the next morning. Destination: New York City!

Many times, when describing old Stanley, we say that 'We are driving in a 40 ft long school bus'. For our drive into NYC, that metric was not the one we had to worry about. After measuring and re-measuring, we were confident in saying that we were a 11.5ft TALL bus. In preparation of the city's insane traffic rules and routes, we downloaded a very helpful city guide for trucks and where they are and are not allowed to be. We actually had little trouble getting into our destination, in Brooklyn, where we were meeting David Ushery, from NBC New York to chat on his show 'The Debrief'. If you are in the NY area, be sure to check it out next Sunday to see us on! After meeting David and his crew, we headed to our campground on Long Island, and got to experience the joys of evening rush hour on the Long Island Expressway. After having some amazing pizza, we turned in. Busy day behind us and another busy day ahead.

On Friday, the four of us save Amy Wallace (she was still getting over being sick), made our way back into the city, this time Manhattan to shoot a story on the Happy Post Project - a very innovative and fun project dedicating to highlighting what makes people happy and showing that happiness to the world. I know you'll find this a fun story, and we certainly had a blast filming it - Steven got his artsy on.

Saturday saw us return to Manhattan so Steven could get some more shots of the Happy Post people involved in their election-centric project asking people what makes them happy about America. It was a very interesting day! Amy Chin and Chris got to see some friends in New York as well, and Amy Wallace and I got to walk and drive around, experiencing the utter politeness that are New York drivers.

This next week will see us in New York and then making our way up to Maine for a really awesome story for next weekend.