Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

No more yellow school bus

Thursday  April 12, 2012
Koreshan State Historic Site


Where did you stay?

I’ve been asking myself that question when I see all the comments on the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge Post.  Lots of folks have been there and I’m wondering, for next time of course, where is a closer place to stay than at Koreshan?  I’d like to visit the refuge multiple days and shorten the drive if possible.   SO here’s a request for information.   If you have visited Ding Darling, where were you camped at the time.  No need for hotel recommends since that isn’t happening.  :-


What an eye catcher!


Gypsy Wife

I see it the minute we drive into the campground.  She is parked two sites down from Winnona so I go down to get some pictures and see if the owners are on board.   I do think about the fact that they must get a lot of curiosity seekers and don’t want to bother them.  But then I thought, gee maybe that’s one of the reasons they have the bus, so they can meet the sorts of people it would attract.  Including me.  So I go on up and knock on the door. But they are gone.   I take some pictures anyway.  I’ll come back.


I do get to meet the creative team.

Next morning just as I am finishing my run and going by the bus, Kim comes out and I say,  “Really love your rig”.  She tells me to come back at the end of my run and she’ll give me a tour.  Since I am at the end I quickly take her up on her offer and go down to Winnona to get David.


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Two nicer folks you will never meet than Kim Marcus and Gordon Hoover.  And do they ever have some great stories to tell.  Including that she is from Arizona and he from Florida and they met at a Subaru dealer in Colorado and had a whirlwind courtship both long distance and close distanced including moving Gordon’s boat from Annapolis to Florida and having several breakdowns.   They figured if they could weather that, they were destined for each other.


Their latest adventure is the Gypsy Wife. 

Back plate Florida, front plate (unofficial) Arizona of course.  


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They have done all the work themselves to convert this old school bus including the painting – Kim – and the awnings – Gordon- and together all the interior modifications.  The took out all the school bus seats, added a pair of more comfortable seats (almost out of the picture in the front left) with seatbelts for passengers and all the comforts of home including skylights, water, electric and AC.  Having had so much boating experience made Gordon full of ideas for using the space in the bus to its full advantage.


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The Gypsy wife has a Diesel cat engine, Allison transmission and freightliner chassis.  Between every window there is a steel roll bar that goes up between the windows and across the roof.   This is one sturdy and powerful rig.



Isn’t she a beauty?? 


I just love the paint job which Kim says isn’t quite finished.  She wants to get rid of all the school bus yellow.  There is going to be a 3rd color, a teal I believe.


Gypsy Wife (1)


Their latest projects have been the awnings and in particular the one on the driver’s side which they’ve been working on during their two weeks at Koreshan.  Ever on the look out for things his Gypsy Wife can use, Gordon got an awning frame from a man who had an old RV out in a pasture with a tree growing through it (David heard this story so I’m getting it second hand).  Gordon installed the frame and then his daughter, who happens to work for the TV News program Face the Nation, mentioned that the program was getting new back drops and she could have  the old ones.  She offered one to Gordon.   Kim & Gordon thought homeland security might not like them traveling with the White House so they chose the capitol building and had it trimmed and stitched to size while they were here.  They got the fabric back and Gordon installed it the day before we both left to go on our separate ways.  I was out running when Gordon came down to get David to show him the result.  AMAZING!!  


How difficult can it be to photograph an awning?


When I go back later to see it and wish them Happy Trails they are out.   So I try, from every angle possible, to get a picture of this cool awning.  It is hilarious.  I stand on the picnic table in the site next to them.

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Well you can see the awning but not the fabric.  Doesn’t even look like it would have helped if I were taller.



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So I go over to their site and try standing on their picnic table.  Still not right.




I try raising the camera up over my head and pointing down while standing on their picnic table.


  This results in some good shots of their ladder on the ground and terrific shots of the awning arms.   And these best of the too many close but no cigar shots.



Really too bad they are gone.  They miss great laughs over my efforts and I’m sure either one of them could have gotten me a picture better than this one which was my star.  BUT you can for sure see the capitol building even if it is from the underneath side.  :-)

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So if you see this bus on your travels be sure to go by and see the awning first hand and say Hi to Kim and Gordon.   Tell them Sherry & David sent you!


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Happy Trails to the Gypsy Wife and her creators!! 
We’ll be keeping in touch so we can meet you again down the road.


  1. BTW, this old bus is actually a model year 2000 with relatively low miles for a diesel, I think Gordon said 160K. I was amazed at all the creative handiwork and especially his installing this awning with no prior experience. A fun couple for sure.

  2. Second life for a skoolie, and well done at that.

    Nice to see one old bus that escaped deportation to South America (where old school buses go to die).

    Too funny your efforts to capture the awning picture. I guess you could have used a step ladder! ;c)

  3. How very cool. The bus and the story :)

  4. What a great story! Love the awning..and the story behind it too :)

  5. I must say your photography skills are similar to mine, Sherry!

    I admire people who are so creative. It's hard to believe because it's so long ago, but I was raised on Long Island in New York. A family down the street from us bought a school bus to move their family to Jupiter Florida. They were the talk of the town. I remember envying them while other's called them crazy. Maybe RVers are born!

    I came across a Class C that had an incredible paint job in Amarillo. Just made me want to meet the people - I felt they just had to be great people and fun to be around. Unfortunately, it wasn't in a campground, it was parked in a parking lot of a mall. :(

  6. Oops, my comment disappeared. It was longwinded, anyway. Just want to say I enjoyed your post. Love the bus.

  7. So, Kim and Gordon did "Meet the Press"! I like that kind of encounter. I'm sort of surprised that school buses get sold with so few miles on them - they probably have about half a million in 'em, don't they?

    Your awning shots were valiantly snapped. I can see the Capitol!

  8. How cool is that?! I'm always envious of people's creativity and ability to do something like that. Their RV is certainly an original. I could see the Capitol on the awning too. Good job Sherry!

  9. We stayed at Perwinkle Campground. It is more expensive. However, we saved gas costs by riding bikes everywhere on their bike trails. We even rode to Ding Darling. Never moved the car once we got their. Only paid the causeway fee once and we were on the island for several days. Probably a wash cost wise to driving back and for!?!?!

    Cool Bus...reflection of the owners!!

  10. Cool beans as Judy says ... what a great conversion :-))

  11. This is too funny. My post went through under anonymous right above my short winded post! Funny.

  12. I should have said as others have said, I could see the capitol!

  13. Very cool, I can't help with DD we stayed in a condo.

  14. very interesting...and kudos to you for all your hard work trying to get pics to share with us all....kewl looking rv.../ bus

  15. Gypsy Wife here.

    This was our MAIDEN VOYAGE & continues to be work in progress. Kim can't wait to empty the paint cans we carry. Gordon's many project pieces that litter our storage bins.

    Kims son Anthony is setting up a Blog for us. For now we are using FB. Friend me, Kim Marcus (I am the Kim kneeling in desert with Burgandy top.

  16. What a great bus and a great story!! Creativity like that is inspiring :)

  17. I met Gordon and Kim in Mexico just some days ago. They are an absolute beauty, very nice and very warm people! Good to read about them in this blog too.


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