A MSU student and MSU alumnus have recently created a business from the ground up that provides a “mobile basecamp,” to cater to individuals seeking an authentic Montanan outdoor adventure. The basecamp is custom built from a 1960s Bluebird schoolbus, providing customers with the ultimate unique experience.
Bresfold, a fourth-generation Montanan, was brainstorming possible uses for his father’s old school bus when he and Anderson, from Gastonia, North Carolina, came together to create Finding Bluebird Days. Bresfold’s father purchased the bus from Bellingham, Washington, where it was used as a mobile reading lab for elementary education. The bus underwent renovations, done by Bresfold’s father, and it was transformed into an RV for family use. Eventually, the bus was bequeathed from father to son after Branden pitched the idea for his and Anderson’s current business.
With Anderson actively pursuing a business degree in marketing at MSU, the two are combining modern business practices with the desire to explore Montana’s great outdoors. Bresfold graduated in 2014 with degrees in cellular biology and neuroscience. “We had the bus, and we wanted to put it to use,” said Anderson. “We originally applied for a grant from National Geographic, but we wanted to do something more,” Anderson continued as he explained how the grant eventually fell through.
”[Bresfold] and I had a conversation about a possible business plan for the bus after I took a bad fall rockclimbing. Soon after that we had to design a product or service in my business entrepreneurship class, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put something together.” The two started working towards their goal in November 2014, and have made quick progress since with their first customers in January.
Anderson commented on their first challenge of identifying a demand that was being met with little supply, while thinking within areas they shared both expertise and passion in. “We both love the outdoors,” stated Anderson. “We just needed to figure out a way to turn that passion into a business model that exposes the amazing world of Montana’s wilderness in a responsible manner.”
As it exists now, the freshly renovated 1960’s Bluebird Bus, with four beds, a stove, wood oven and additional sleeping space has serviced two groups of adventurers, with more trips planned in the near future.
This summer, Finding Bluebird Days will be turning away from ski trips in the mountains and focusing on fly fishing in Montana. Anderson expressed interest in working with nonprofits such as the Upper Missouri Waterkeepers in an effort to operate Finding Bluebird Days a business that gives back to the public lands and rivers they utilize. Anderson also expressed interest in teaming up with Montana based businesses for promotional events and miscellaneous excursions.
One of the immediate goals of the duo, as described by Anderson, is to establish themselves as “Bozeman’s bus; Bozeman’s basecamp where you want it, when you want it.”
“We’re a business that was founded and based in Bozeman, MT,” Anderson said. “It’s in this spirit that we want to work with other businesses in the area that share our vision and values in the Montana outdoors.”
Anderson discussed a possible fly fishing video made in collaboration with a Bozeman film production company, expected to be made this fall. He continued explain the supportive business relationship they have with Montana Cold Snacks, the company behind Montucky.
“We’d love to eventually expand to a fleet of busses that help people explore the otherwise inaccessible areas of Montana,” envisioned Bresfold. “With the bus, we can show another side of the outdoors,” continued Bresfold. “People have some of the luxuries of an indoor basecamp, and still participate in rugged exploration and adventuring. I love that it’s our bus and business that can provide those experiences.”
Both Anderson and Bresfold expressed raw passion for their business, and truly believe in its future success. “We’re a generation that wants to experience the outdoors in new ways,” explained Bresfold as the bus has the capacity to accommodate larger groups with their respective gear and equipment.
Anderson, with his marketing focused education, expects advertising their services to an audience outside Montana might prove to be a challenge, but currently have their focus on providing their services to persons in the surrounding greater Bozeman area.
Finding Bluebird Days is a business that is open for public business, and is actively taking reservations for both trips planned by Anderson and Bresfold, as well as custom adventures as defined by the customer.
Finding Bluebird days can be contacted at findingbluebirddays.com for all inquires including bookings, and found on Instagram @finding_bluebird_days.