The Aluminum Asylum

In 2008 our lives underwent a major change. David had a falling out with the person he was remodeling for. So he had no more job. The bottom fell out of the building market in Western North Carolina (along with a lot of other places). David decided that he wanted a career change. He was tired of banging nails for people who didn't appreciate the work he did and he wanted to take back a little control over his life. He decided to operate a hot dog cart. 

Well, with David being David, that meant we looked at a lot of commercially built hot dog carts and decided we could built one that suited us for far less money than what we could buy new. So we built one that conformed to North Carolina Health codes at the time. David started selling hot dogs in March 2009 on the street in Franklin, NC.

David and Stacey in the cart set up in front of Denny Vanhook's Carpet in Franklin, NC.

Our daughter, Anna, had been saying that she wanted her sister, Stacey, to come out to New Mexico to stay with her. So while we were building the cart over the winter, I was also researching routes to take out to New Mexico and working on getting rid of all our stuff so we could make the trip out. Stacey packed, repacked, threw away piles of junk and repacked again. We were doing the same. We had two 10X20 storage units filled with stuff... our stuff, Stacey's stuff and a little of Anna's stuff. We managed to thin everything down to one 5X10 unit and Stacey thinned her stuff (and a chunk of Anna's stuff) down to an even smaller unit. We discovered that the rent for a moving van would be over $3000 plus we only had two days (at 25 hours per day... that's not a typo) to travel 1600 miles.  So we started looking for an alternative to haul all our stuff out to NM. That's when we found.. the skoolie!

David and I had always talked about going out west and seeing the country. Here was our opportunity
and we couldn't pass it up. You never know where an opportunity will take you. We left Franklin, NC
on July 3, 2009.  David drove the bus, packed up to the ceiling with all our stuff and pulling our Jeep,
Stacey drove her Jeep and pulled the cart. I drove our old vintage Class C .

Here we are spending the first night on the road. We are parked at the Super Wal-Mart in
Tiftonia, outside of Chattanooga TN .

Traveling thru Texas during the middle of summer is not something that I want to repeat. But after 11 days on the road, we finally made it to Socorro, NM. The bus ended up being parked in Anna's back yard. And we ended up in an RV park. We spent two weeks getting set up to sell in New Mexico and hit the street. We discovered that the umbrella we used in North Carolina was not going to hold up for long in the New Mexico wind. So we made a few changes.

I've always liked Victorian Gingerbread and polychrome "Painted Ladies".
The inspiration for the curved roof came from a truck camper that we saw in
Socorro. It made me think of the old Victorian Gypsy Vardos. One thing led to

We ended up spending the winter in Corpus Christi, TX. We had to remodel the cart to comply with Texas state regulations. that included adding  a triple bowl sink, a hand wash sink... and enclosing  the cart in. 

But that wasn't the end of the changes!