Rocket Man: Bill Guernsey and his handcrafted Atomic Camper

Nineteen months in the past, copier serviceman Invoice Guernsey was in the midst of a visit to a number of villages alongside the Kuskokwim River when his aircraft crashed into the river ice on takeoff from Higher Kalskag. Fortunately, Guernsey was alive, however he was significantly harm.

Seven ribs have been fractured, and that’s not all. “My again was damaged in three locations,” he recalled. “My neck was whacked out and my scalp was ripped from eyebrow to ear.

“I used to be within the hospital for 10 days. I begged them to let me out.”

However Guernsey managed to show tragedy to triumph through the use of his ample restoration time to concentrate on the positive particulars of what’s develop into one of many builder/tinkerer’s signature tasks — a sixteen-foot-lengthy vibrant pink rocket on wheels that stands out within the quiet mid-Hillside Anchorage neighborhood the place he lives. It’s not one thing one expects to see nestled up between an enormous spruce tree and a two-story grey home.

Invoice Guernsey created and constructed his Atomic Camper.The trailer-camper took roughly four,000 hours to finish.

Although it seems extra like a Nineteen Fifties comedian ebook character’s journey, that is Guernsey’s camper. Truly, the Atomic Camper is photo voltaic-powered and features a full rest room, kitchen and bathe. It’s Guernsey’s house away from house. Throughout summer time weekends, he and spouse Becky take it tenting in Seward, Portage and different spots round Southcentral Alaska.

Guernsey constructed the camper over the course of two years. That’s not two years of weekends and after work. “About six hours a day, six days every week. No matter that works out to,” Guernsey stated. And in an odd means, his accidents helped.

“Lots of the individuals discover the element in there. I did plenty of that once I was in restoration as a result of it’s simply small bench work that you possibly can sit or stand and simply make little issues,” he stated. “You possibly can work on the small print that you simply wouldn’t in any other case hassle with.”

Guernsey has all the time been a builder, a maker. It’s in his DNA. His grandfather on one aspect was a carpenter and cupboard builder; the grandfather on the opposite aspect was a woodworker and steelworker. Their credo: “Construct it, make it, do it.”

Invoice Guernsey…

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