Monday, June 14, 2010

I'll Take You to Jail, Son

Gary here. If you are just joining me, I had a few adventures in my travels across the United States from California to Florida in our Treasure Bus, so I'm posting them here on Linda's blog. The Treasure Bus is our storage unit and moving van all rolled into one vehicle, a forty foot diesel bus, formerly a Baptist church bus from Santa Maria, California. Now you might think a bus is a strange moving van, but we've had four different buses we moved with to various locations and we've never looked back. But when you are on the road you have to be prepared for unexpected circumstances, amenable and adaptable to just about anything.

Before I met Linda I never would have taken a photo of a plant or a flower or anything except a jeep, motorcycle or my dog. Over the years the beauty Linda sees in the natural world has seeped into my skin. I find myself appreciating the flora and fauna around me more and more every day.

Saguaro Vase by Linda Starr
stoneware, 10.5 x 10.5 x 4 inches

The first and second photos inspired Linda to make a saguaro vase (pictured as greenware) and a sculpture (not pictured) she deems a work in progress. The next photo is a cactus you would never want to step on or lean against. All those spines have a way of embedding themselves deep into the skin and not wanting to come out.

As I was driving along the highway I felt pretty inconspicuous. What could be more innocuous than seeing a church bus traveling down the highway. I stopped for fuel in Four Corners New Mexico and pulled off the fuel island into some shade to rest a while and stretch my legs. Since it was a pretty hot day, I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and I wasn't the cleanest I've ever been, since I'd just washed the windshield of the bus. Not to mention it was pushing 100F, and I'd just driven hundreds of miles at 61 mph with no ac. The photo is probably of an Ornate Tree Lizard.

Next thing I know I policeman comes up and asks to see in the bus. Well actually he demanded that I open the bus now. I've always heard without probable cause and without a search warrant, we're protected. I had visions of him taking everything out of the bus and having to load it all back in bus by myself in the blazing heat. So I politely said, "No sir".

Then the policeman said "Either you open the bus, or I'll cuff you and take you to jail, son". Times have changed, I opened the front of the bus; then I opened the back of the bus. Then the officer brought his K-9 dog over to sniff inside and outside the bus. It seems the officer profiled me as a drug dealer with a mobile drug lab. He said most church buses don't have black curtains hanging up, usually people can see in or out of the windows. After the K-9 dog got through sniffing everything and the officer found out my bus was just a moving van he said the bus was OK. I decided I'd leave the shade and mosey on down the road, happy to still have my freedom.

If you missed it, my first story was about GPS woes. In a few days I'll tell you about the worst motel I ever stayed in. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


  1. times they are a changing......
    I am so enjoying your travel stories.
    the one about the GPS had both Mark and I laughing.
    It is a good thing you made it to FLA.!

  2. I guess curtains are probable cause?? Sure glad he had a dog and you didn't have to unload.
    Love your travel tales.

  3. Hi Meredith, thanks, we should have a revival after the bus is unloaded.

    Hi Patti, thanks, yeah it was either open the bus or it was curtains for Gary, te he.

  4. It is nice to see that there are other people out there who see the beauty in the desert beside me and my husband. We live in the middle of desert beauty. I hate to say but we do have a lot of people who deal drugs in older buses out here so I can understand. Great story so far. How boring life would be if nothing happened.

  5. Holy Cow! Good thing the Treasure Bus wasn't packed with illegal immigrants that crawled into it while you were inside the gas station -ha! I'd totally be having an ART REVIVAL PARTY when it got unloaded!! hallelujah! I think it's sweet that you notice Nature a bit more because of Linda xox ;o)

  6. Hi Tinkerfeet, thanks, the desert is special. We've learned about the old buses being used as drug labs, no wonder the police wanted to look in the bus. he was probably hoping for a really big bust.

    Hi Cindy, thanks, yeah an art revival party, that sounds like a great idea. We may just do it.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment