|The official bus of Kenogami 2013 contract, during it's paint job|
With a camp bus comes a sense of pride. Every year planters can paint their bus with anything they'd like (barring obscene profanity, usually), adding to that feeling of pride. it also provides a great camp activity for a weekend. Both the outside and the inside get spruced up (spruce, like spruce trees, hilarious, James!) On the inside planters write messages, both to themselves and to future planters, messages like "veterans don't fear the Reefer," or "picking up dimes" (a metaphor for planting trees at ten cents each) or the one below, which was one of my favorites. Often these messages are inspirational or humorous, bolstering a planter's mindset.
|"Into the path where no one goes. They hold no quarter, they ask no quarter." Led Zeppelin lyrics written in the bus|
The bus is what gets planters away from camp on weekends. Some of the greatest road trips I've ever had were on tree planting buses. The sun's shining through the grimy windows, everyone's in the weekend mood, somewhere on the bus Outkast is blaring on a small portable speaker and we're heading on into the next small town, or pulling up to some tucked-away lake in the middle of nowhere.
Not only is the bus great for getting planters to and from work, it's also great to have around camp. I can't count the number of evenings I spent on the roof of my camp bus with my friends during my contracts. There's something relaxing about being up there, watching the sun set and the stars come out, listening to the wolves howl. These are magical moments, and that beat up old bus is an integral part in what makes it so special.
|Nothing like a coldbeer on the bus after a long day at work|
So maybe the bus does smell awful. Maybe the seats are too small for a large group of adults. Maybe it's vital organs are falling off on old dirt roads. There's something special about that bus. It's a part of the tree planting family, almost a planter itself.