1966 Airstream

Restoring aluminum on an iron chassis

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Wine Country RV Park

wine4

Fourth of July Weekend was time for another Eastern Washington adventure. I was excited to find a spot at Wine Country RV Park, because I neglected to plan ahead and was looking around for a space at the last minute. I had seen this park (from the highway) and was excited to give it a try. It was actually rather peaceful for a place visible from the highway. The neighboring property, under construction (my husband thinks that it is a tasting room in progress), was continuously watering their large pile of top soil with the kind of sprinkler that inspired the dance move, so the sprinkler sound kind of drowned out (pun intended) the highway noise. Add the running sprinkler to the evening chirping of crickets, and the hum of the portable fan that we could plug in due to electrical hookups, and these are the sounds of summer for this Oklahoma girl.

To celebrate the Fourth, we joined to the Prosser, WA kiddie parade. Ella was pulled along on her scooter by me, the patriotic hunchback, because it involved some hunching to keep her two year old body upright, and Shay rode his bike. Some candy was thrown and all was right in the world. After the parade, we played Bingo in the city park. It was Shay’s first experience with Bingo. It was actually great game. I am not sure he would have had the number recognition skills a year ago, but away he went covering the correct numbers. First grade was good to him. Luck was good to me, I won twice, and walked away with $7.75 in my pocket (minus $5.00 total at 50 cents per card. Net winnings/wine fund=$2.25)

Three family members napped in the airstream. July naps in the desert in the Airstream are rather warm. Wine Country RV Park is within walking distance of several tasting rooms, so I may have visited a few. Sit down tastings are all the rage now, instead of standing up at the bar, you sit at a table and they bring you the wine. (I visited 3 wineries, two were offering “sit down tastings” 2 out of a non-random sample size=all the RAGE to this statistician). Anyway, I needed a friend! I didn’t know what to do with all the quiet and alone time. So I drank the wine. I regret not trying the chicken salad with peaches and jalepeno on a cucumber slice at Milbrandt Vineyards. I also visited Gamache Vintners and Bunnel Vineyards. I spent my wine fund, and returned to join the family for a swim in the RV park pool. It is rare to find water warm enough for my tastes in Pacific Northwest Summers, but this one was just right.

Somehow, the family managed to stay awake for the fireworks in Prosser, Washington. I did start to wonder about fireworks shows. There are a lot of small towns. There just can’t be enough “professional” fireworks people to go around on the Fourth of July. It seems there is some skill involved with selecting fireworks, lighting them, and safety. I guess every town needs a pyromanic, and that person should probably join the Rotary Club since they put on the fireworks presentation. My civic recommendation of the day.

Here we are at Wine Country RV Park. The very moist dirt pile is visible in the lower right.

winecountry

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Aluminum Tent Report

In late August, 2011, we took four mini-trips to inaugurate the Sandman. The first trip was to a driveway 20 miles from our home. We enjoyed an evening with good friends and the opportunity to “test it out”. We spent the fall taking a few weekend trips to campgrounds in our area. We did not particularly need hookups, but we camped at Millersylvania State Park where hookups were plentiful. It was here that I learned the dirty little secret of RVing. If you want full hookups, they squish you close together in an area that is reminiscent of “early parking lot.” Everyone has a campfire which makes the area very smokey and everyone has a dog which made the area very barky. I quickly learned that I prefer campgrounds with more privacy and more space between sites, which means more “boondocking”. I thought this sounded like a unheard of form of dance that only the judges on “So You Think You can Dance” are aware of (really, had you every heard of “krumping” before this show ) but come to find out it is camping without hookups of the electric, sewer, and hydro sort. My husband was overjoyed, because he would like nothing more than to install solar panels. It is quite possible that we will spend more on the Sandman than on our house. On which my husband commented wistfully, “I hope our son or daughter wants the Sandman one day…”

It just dawned on me that boondocking must have origins in the ancient Latin phrase “in the boondocks..”

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Things Need Names

If you are looking for a blog that will tell you how to restore an airstream, I am sorry. That really was my intent. To write about the journey of restoring a 1966 airstream and hopefully share some useful and hard-earned tips to save our fellow airstreamers some time. But I had to get real, I sometimes have a hard time using an unfamiliar can opener. I can spend hours in Home Depot trying to find an item that my husband has asked for because I am too ashamed to ask an employee for help because a) I may have only a vague notion of what the item looks like or what it does b)I do not know a noun to describe this item and c) I can’t even properly categorize the item to even know where to start looking ie “used for “plumbing” vs “made of wood” vs “sticky substance that will dissolve my hands.” Sadly, categorization and description are both skills linked to intellect, and in this area I definitely have to fight my way up the bell curve.

Now, I have my strengths, but if you want someone who can help you survive the apocalypse by constructing you a cabin out of found materials and then building some sort of water system to pipe in fresh water from a stream, you should make friends with my husband. The Pioneer Woman has her Marlboro Man, the woman who writes a blog read by my Mother has “Left Brain”, and I have the honor of being married to someone so talented it is hard to come up with one word that describes the person who would assure that me and my children survive any disaster/apocalypse/home improvement project/ construction job/ or repair that the world may throw our way…I think I shall just call him the Canadian, and leave it at that. He will already think that I have revealed too much information about him as it is.

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Chronology

Axle Arrive

  • New axel and tires installed – Aug 14th and 15th 2010
  • Camper fits under the carport! – August 15th 2010
  • Door unlocked and work begins – Sept. 6, 2010
    (very fitting – Labor Day)
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