Toowoomba boys take magic school bus ride across the USA
QUITTING your job, jumping on a plane and hitting the road is the day dream of many nine to five workers.
These six people made it happen.
Five Toowoomba schoolmates and another friend have discovered internet fame after they chronicled their adventures stripping and upgrading an American school bus and travelling across the United States.
Former Downlands boys Lindsay Crawford, Chris Crawford, Charlie Green, Matt McIver and Gerard Martin and friend Olivia Murdoch, all aged in their early 20s, threw in their various professional jobs or study for the trip.
Chris said the successful conversion of the bus, now dubbed the Spruce Moose, had only happened through a lot of hard yards while the five men worked together at a Canadian ski field.
The team had been inspired by a Facebook photo that was captioned "buy an old school bus, rip the seats out and travel with your best mates".
"Actually finding the motivation to go outside and begin the manual labour in minus-10 to minus-30 degrees Celsius temps was difficult.
"It was so cold that you're fingers actually cease working and simple tasks like using a screwdriver become difficult.
"Removing the seats was the one of the more annoying parts.
"One of us had to be under the bus on the ice in up to negative 30 degrees Celsius to hold the bolts while the other guy inside the bus tried to drill them out."
The team set off from Banff in April, and has now made their way from the west coast to the east coast of the US.
The photographs of the Aussies "living the dream" have not gone unnoticed online, with an article in the UK Daily Mail, and an album of the bus conversion on social media site Reddit has attracted nearly 300,000 views.
Chris said the internet fame had come as a shock.
"We had no idea that the album Charlie posted to Reddit would get to the front page within hours," he said.
"We were so humbled by the massive influx of people offering a hand or some advice or actually offering to buy the bus.
"We've even had people come up to us and ask "are y'all the guys from Reddit?"
"The feedback we've gotten is mostly people thanking us for proving inspiration and showing that with when you have a 'doer' attitude and put in the hard yards, something like this is possible for anyone."
Despite the thousands of kilometres under their belts, the Spruce Moose has proved a happy home for the group.
"There have been times where we've pushed each other's limits, but I think it speaks volumes of the mateship we share to have spent so long in such a tight space without any serious issues.
"No one has thrown their toys out of the cot, so to speak. The little things that would normally annoy other people just brush off our shoulders.
"I feel like the whole trip has been one big high."
How they made the Spruce Moose
Settled on a design for the interior.
Stripped the inside of the bus.
Removed seats, which required the removal of eight sets of bolts for each of 25 seats using a drill and angle grinder.
Built the enclosure for the fridge, which required a ventilation hole to be cut in the side of the bus.
Painted the bus, which took five people three days to complete.