Life on wheels
The Clark family of Marshall has a thing for wheels. Between 12 and 18 times a year, Brenan and Laura Clark and their two sons Carter, 10, and Kaden, 8, are in their home away from home – a converted 1958 Silver Eagle bus.
The Clarks bought the bus three years ago in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
“We were sick of getting blown off the road in our little camper,” Brenan Clark said.
The Silver Eagle was originally built in Germany for Trailways Bus Company and used up and down the East Coast before being sold to the St. Joseph Mo. Baptist Church choir. In 1994, it was sold and completely refitted. The new owner raised the roof a foot, raised the front end two feet and moved the door further back along the side of the bus. He also installed a kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom.
“I enjoy the bus because I have a full kitchen and full bedroom,” Laura Clark said.
Brenan Clark said though the bus is a gas hog, they still save because the cost of a motel for four plus meals is more than the gas for a day’s driving.
“I like it because I can have TV and video games on the road,” Carter Clark said.
The Clarks like to go on fishing vacations, but the Clark men’s passion is motocross racing. Brenan Clark has been racing since 1994. Last week the family took the bus to the American Motocross Association’s Amateur National Championship at the Loretta Lynn Ranch near Hurricane Mills, Tenn
“There are 64 qualifiers all over the United States,” Brenan Clark said. “I went to Little Falls. You have to be in the top eight in your class. From there, you go to one of 12 regionals, I went to the one in Millville. You have to make the top six there – I was eighth, but (the) first place alternate and somebody pulled out.”
Brenan Clark entered in the over 30 division B and C class, in which former professionals are not allowed. He finished 18th overall, which puts him in some very select company in the world of amateur racing. About 20,000 riders competed in the regionals.
Back in 2008, Brenan Clark finished 19th overall.
“It’s getting much more competitive,” Brenan Clark said, “and it may have something to do with being five years older.”
Be that as it may, the amateur racing world may be seeing Clarks competing for some time to come.
“During the summer, I take the boys to all the regular races,” Brenan Clark said. “They’ve both been riding since they were five.”