Greetings from New Smyrna Beach, FL fellow defenders of democracy. I hope all is well amongst you. I apologize for taking so long to update you on our status from the road but I have been most busy during these first two weeks of our journey. I feel that I should begin this with some sort of start-date as I have long forgotten the date, day, and day of the week. Time seems to have fallen into a big blur.
The most difficult part of the bus tour so far is figuring out the bus itself. Each operating system has been difficult to familiarize ourselves with. For instance, neither JJ or I had ever dumped an RV waste tank until about a week ago. However, we are not talking any âol RV. We are talking about a duel tank, multiple pump and dump system. It took approximately two and a half hours to dump the tanks and fill the new water tank on our first attempt. In addition, since that time we can perform this process in just under a half hour. Yet another system that had to figured out was the power generator. The organization we bought the bus from had no idea when the generator was serviced last, and no idea where the service manual was either. We ended up parking the bus outside of a NAPA parts store in Valdosta, GA and removing different parts as we went. This included the oil, air filter, fuel and water separator (found on diesel motors) as well as the oil filter. This process again took several hours as we figured out how to take everything apart and put it back together. Again, we had no manual to follow so we had to figure everything out from common sense. After getting everything back together it took over a half hour to get the generator turned back on as there is a special process to prime the fuel pump primer when changing the fuel filter. Needless to say, figuring out how everything operates has been a journey in and of itself. We hope that we are now up to daily operating procedure and can move forward with everything being routing.
While figuring out how everything works I have also spent our nights splitting time driving, sending pictures and video's back to the home office, printing internship applications, materials for press kits, and cleaning the interior and exterior of the bus. I cannot emphasize how demanding this tour has been thus far. I usually wake up around 8am and stay up until 12 or 1am in order to accomplish all of my duties. The nice thing is that every night I get to google the bus tour and see the pres coverage we are receiving multiply several times over as we are getting more and more attention. If our stops stay as productive as those at Young Haris College in Young Harris, Georgia as well as Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama than we will put a huge dent into that group voters that have not been made aware of our existence.
Thus far JJ and I have traveled 2,243 miles through Florida and Georgia. We have made about two dozen stops, including nearly15 libraries in Brevard County. Our first few stops were admittedly slow. Most of the traffic we saw at the bus was from visitors that had not necessarily gone out of their way to come visit. However, with each new stop we have had more and more people go out of their way to come see us at the bus. This past week in GA saw us put at least three times as many people on the bus to view our video. We also passed out about five times as many brochures as we did during the first week.
Next week will take us to FL, SC, and Virginia. I will do my best to update you all as often as I can.
National Bus Tour Coordinator
Project Vote Smart