1966 Airstream

Restoring aluminum on an iron chassis

Flashback: The Eagle River

On the Eagle River near Sicamous, BC we spent the last day of our four-day stay at the Shuswap Guest Ranch just hanging around our 1966 Airstream and exploring the very local sites. After a breakfast of campfire potatoes, baked in last night’s campfire coals and sauteed with garlic and whatever was left in the fridge, we “suited up” (lifejackets, sunscreen, swimsuits, and hats) for a paddle boat ride on the Eagle River. The goal was to simply get across the river so we could spend some time on a sandy beach located on the other side. It sounds simple, but the current was quite swift.  We paddled the boat upriver first, hard and furious, like we were in some sort of recumbent spin class. This provided just enough speed to keep the boat in place. No progress was being made. Shay found a floating stick and used it as an oar. With a combination of paddling, propelling ourselves with sticks, and grabbing onto any strong looking vegetation on the bank for some forward momentum, we slowly made it a half a kilometer up the river. It was time to aim for the other side. With some frantic paddling and a successful grab for some riverside vegetation, and we crossed the river, our only task now to do some gentle steering as we were pushed along by the current to our beachy destination. We arrived at the beach area and got out of the boat. My husbands first discovery was some bear footprints on the beach that would make our last night in our Airstream all the more exciting, the noises outside just that much more thrilling. A fallen tree that had floated downriver provided a perfect buffer between the beach and the swift moving current, and doubled as a diving board for anyone brave enough to jump in the cold water. Shay was this brave. I was not. After our beach fun, Shay hopped in the river and towed our boat slightly upstream so that we could aim for the dock on the other side of the river.  Derek told the story that his Mother’s ancestors were “river folk” who came to Germany from Austria to work transporting things up and down the Rhine. He said that they used a combination of horses and human power to tow the boats back up the Rhine after they had floated downstream.  Evidently, this is where Shay has gotten his rather considerable skill at river towing.  We had lunch and tried to get our kids to nap in the coolness and shade of the willow trees. Nobody napped, so we abandoned this plan and headed to the D Dutchman Dairy for some ice cream.

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