ArtBus Quilting Across America

Dear Friends,

It is with humilty and deep gratitude that I am asking for your help. Without you, my Art Bus Quilting Across America mission cannot move forward, literally.

The Art Bus was traveling happily with no problems down through central Georgia, carrying us to quilting friends and classes in Florida, when we were suddenly struck with an engine failure on I-75 outside of Macon, GA, shortly after rush hour on Valentine's Day.

I was able to safely manuever the Art Bus to the shoulder of the freeway after the oil pressure guage indicated a total loss of pressure and before the engine died. The good news is, we believe that the engine quit due to a safety switch that would prevent it from running itself to literal death.

The bad news is, as of 10 AM on February 15, we have not had a mechanic diagnose our problem yet. I am sitting on the sofa, waiting for our second tow, and third tow truck. The towing is a story in itself! We do have an authorized service center in Macon that is awaiting our arrival and they can look at our problem today.

I want to thank Billy for recommending CoachNet. They were great and dispatched a police officer to assist us immediately because we were not in a safe place. The police officer was quite insistant that their tow company be used because emergency road side services never seem to get a tow out quick enough and "you can't be on the side of the freeway like this." I negotiated with CoachNet to pay for the police's preferred providor and they arrived quickly. Unfortunately, they were not familiar with towing a vehicle like ours so several hours attempting to get it towable ensued. They managed to break the handle on the side of my entry door, too. Ugh. Well, in a twist of irony, the police's tow company had to leave us on the side of the freeway. They moved us off of the shoulder and onto a steep hill beside the road. It felt like the coach was going to tip over onto its side from the steepness of our perch. What a thrill to lay there in bed, rolling hard to the right when two tractor-trailers would pass by us at the same time. Talk about wind gusts!

CoachNet sent out a mobile mechanic to fix the air suspension problem that the first tow company claimed made the Art Bus untowable. Turns out, there was no problem with the air suspension, just the people attempting to tow us. Again, I thank CoachNet for picking up the mileage and service call charge. I only had to pay for two hours of labor and the very nice gentleman who did the service took pity on me and only charged me $85 out of pocket.

CoachNet sent out their preferred towing provider, who arrived at 4:15AM. He had no problem getting us towed the two miles down the road to the Pilot truck stop where we now sit, awaiting his return. It was such a relief to get off of the side of the freeway and onto level, safe ground!

We do not yet know if we will be able to stay in the Art Bus on the lot of the bus repair facility, so hotel expence might very well ensue. I have estimated out of thin air what I think I will need to help pay for the repair to the Art Bus and will update that as I gain more information. 

In the event that more funds than are needed to repair this problem are raised I intend to use them to purchase an extended warranty that will cover problems like this that may arise in the future.

I have two large hands-on classes scheduled near Dayton Beach, FL this month that I desperately need to get to and pending events in North Carolina and Virginia. I deeply appreciate the generous help that you can extend to help me get back on the road and Quilting Across America! I look forward to welcoming you into my home, the Art Bus, for coffee and a good visit when I am in your neck of the woods.



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Nichole Wilde 
Darrington, WA

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