Friday, August 29, 2008

One for the books!

Well, it started out innocent enough.. I was on the road heading north out of Virginia at 4pm. My goal, be in Stockton, NJ by 9pm... so, I hit I95, made it to I495 (the beltway) and all stop! Same all the way to I695 - the Baltimore beltway... slow going. I made it over the Key bridge ($6)

and then the first toll on I95 ($15) then about 10 miles up the road, another toll ($7).. man - I was gonna go broke before I even got out of Maryland. So, it went well from there until I hit Philly where traffic was again all going from 3-4 lanes to 1 for construction.. ugh!! So - I then was hell bent to get into NJ before the VAP was to start, since last night was year the start of year 3! So, I made it, but then my gas light came on... good luck finding a gas station in NJ after 9 in small towns.. they are all closed, and since you can't pump you own, the pumps are off too. I ran out of gas on Exit 2 of I95... about 30 minutes from Stockton. I was heading to pick up a Dometic AC and Heat Pump w/ a solar trickle charge that mounts on top. So, there I was and I taped the VAP from a parking lot... I then called my roadside assistance and it paid off - he brought me a gallon of gas, and took me to a 24 hour gas station, where I filled up for $3.60 a gallon. I made it to David's at 1am... where I courtesy parked. I loaded up, had breakfast (thanks David) and gave a tour, then headed north..... where I'll post later this weekend for THE REST OF THE STORY! Stay tuned!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A few more of the Factory and our stickers

If you know me or follow theVAP, I'm an avid collector of old vintage water decals made by the likes of Impko, Lindgren-Turner, Baxter Lane or Goldfarb... I'm always looking for the places we've been or desire to go to, such that when we take the trailer there, it earns a decal... sort of a history on the door piece of art... well, here's our latest collection from this year since the SOTR's been on the road. I've still got a Letchworth State Park (the Grand Canyon of the East) decal to add that I scored from my main man Frank, and then a Thousand Island one that we'll earn this upcoming Labor Day weekend... oh yeah - another family trip... people ask how I do it - just that - we just do it!!!! You only live once!!!
Also, a picture of the SOTR 50 years after it leaves the factory getting some new grease on the old bearnings, and then finally one of the T@B parked next to us this past weekend... turns out he was a Track runner from Penn State that he and his family are from York and we had lots to talk about come to find out... only I found out the last hour we were there together... enjoy!!! As I told him - see ya down the road!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A great weekend!

Re-enactors in Harpers Ferry.

The boys after going to Carl's Ice Cream in Fredericksburg, Virginia - where we used to live and the Marine Corps National Museum here in Quantico - if you haven't been, you should stop on your way up or down I95.

Here are just a few more pictures of the events the last two weeks with Zoe' and the boys here. Now it's back to the commuting on the weekends to NY. Next weekend is a long one and we'll be up in the Thousand Islands I thinkto Sig VanDamme's Labor Day get together... Braedon's ice cream smile says it all!

Harper's Ferry, West Virginia

As Bryce said last night - "FIRE IN THE HOLE!!"

Zoe, me, and Stanton, Bryce and Breadon overlooking the Potomac and Shenendoah River's where they merge.

Going over to the C&O Canal.

I'm trying to get Zoe' to buy one of these dresses - she'd look good in one!!!

This weekend, we pulled up to Harper's Ferry when I got out of work. It was about a 2 hour pull, but we stopped off in Manassas, Va to drop my fridge off at Calbo Custom Coaches to leave it and see if Dometic would fix it.. the cooling tube had cracked right in two at a curve... I had bought this fridge off of Ebay from an Airstream that had rolled... I thought it was a 2004 fridge, but the guy says it's a 2000... so - now I'm looking at a fridge.... Hmmmm - what to get - this guy swears by Norcold fridges, so we'll see - I'll keep you posted.

We pulled up here and were here by 530pm. Right next door there is a T@B parked next to us. We wanted to spend some great family time together as Zoe' and the boys were headed back to NY after this weekend to start getting ready for school.. and a great time we had! The weather was perfect, the town of Harper's Ferry was perfect, and the family was perfect. We did alot of hiking yesterday down in town and up to Jefferson's Rock. We did lunch in town, came back to the KOA to hit the pool, hiked around the campground, ate supper, and then did the ice cream social. The boys were super about going to bed at a decent hour too!

The SOTR is great. It was warm, but let me tell you that with all the living room windows open, and the roof vents, you get a great breeze through the trailer! Those 8 windows up front really keep it comfortable. So, besides bringing back the door in the door, and the baby moons, maybe Airstream should bring back these Hehr windows too!!! No AC and we were very comfortable all weekend. We added our Ohio and Michigan water decals to the door yesterday and then also added a very cool Harper's Ferry decal I've been saving. As we were adding that decal, the KOA host came over and told us that I had won the drawing to be able to fire the cannon!! So, last night at 6pm, I pulled the lanyard to fire the 6.5 pound Cannon - it was fun and the boys really got a kick out of it.

This morning, we got up, went up to the Pancake breakfast and the boys played on the playground. Zoe' was busy getting things packed and then we hit the camp store one last time for some drinks and ice. So, sadly, now they are out on I81 headed north, as I pack things up here with the SOTR. Everywhere I look I see evidence of little hands - and it puts tears in my eyes.. only knowing of the great memories we are making with our little family!! I love my family!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Trip West to the Mother Ship

Here's a 48 Curtis Wrght and "The Trailer" of Steve and Amy

Inside shots of the 48....

Gotta love the 70s...

The boys loving the pond at the campground...

The 56 Overlander that Dave and Rhonda own...

Lots of Airstream Interstate vans in the factory parking lot....

The granddaddy.... the gold trailer was out in the back looking rough... it was off limits...

Ok, so last week, we departed for the Factory as reported in the last post. We started out around 330pm on Wednesday and headed for Morgantown, West Virginia. It was a good pull through Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. Lots of hills through WV and finally, around 830pm, we arrived at Bill Jacobs place, a fellow WDCUer.Before we got to see Bill, I had passed his driveway up in the hills of WV and had to figure out how to turn around.The road kept getting narrower and narrower and finally we came up to a road to the left and thus a "T" in the road. Perfect. Zoe' got out, and as I was backing around, the only two cars in the county were coming down the road. I pulled back in to the little road to the left and waited. They passed. Zoe' was in the back, helping me back around and as I was backing, she was no where to be seen. Finally, after backing a few more feet, I stopped and got out... glad I did because she had fallen in a rut in the road and torked her knee really well and well... if I hadn't stopped, I would have backed over! Her knee is killing her still today. So, we CLIMBED Bill's driveway after turning around and going back down to his place, and up on top, it was great... nice and quiet. We talked for a bit, and then hit the hay! We got up at day break and were on the road at 645am as we wanted to be in Jackson Center for the 2pm tour. We pushed and pushed, but with three kids, it's hard to make great time. We were in contact with Rich Luhr who was at the Factory but was leaving. I knew if we did not make it today, we could tour the factory on Friday, but I wanted to see the factory in progress and the tour on Friday's is with no employees working as on Friday's, the factory shuts down before the tour. We made it into the Factory parking lot at 1245 and the Luhr's were on their way out as we were coming in. We parked in the Terraport and went into the factory store at 130pm. I was like a kid in a toy store. WE hit the tour. It was loud but Don, who started at Airstream in 1958, gave a great tour. I told Don we had our 1958 Sovereign in the Terraportand after the tour, he came over to the trailer to see it. That was a treat, to have a guy that could have helped build our trailer 50 years ago. Very cool. Here are a few pictures of the front of the Mother ship. After Don's tourof our trailer, I went back over to the Factory and met w/ Bob Wheeler, the leader of Airstream. That was great, to sit and talk Vintage with him, as Bob has a 50 Flying Cloud all restored by David Winick. Thanks Bob, that was a blast. We taped the VAP later that night and I did it from the Airstream parking lot - that was a hoot too!

On friday, we were up and we had the trailer ready to go. Where... well before we were to head for Milan, Mi to the Metro Detroit rally, the SOTR was going into service for wheel bearing repack. It went in and did not come out until 3pm... alot longer than we expected. That gave us the opportunity to headed over to Sidney, Oh to eat at The Spot and then to head east of town to the WBCCI headquarters to see what was there. The President was there in his classic Motorhome and I stopped in and talked for about 15-20 minutes. We talked change and Wisconsin and of course the WDCU! It was fun. We headed back to the factory and by 330pm we were on the road for Milan - only 2.5 hours away. About a half hour out, we stopped into a rest stop, and I jumped into the trailer for a snacl for the boys... AMMONIA is all I could smell. Ugh... it was really strong. I jumped into the truck and continued on.We pulled into the KC Campground around 530pm. Finally. I opened up the rear of the fridge access hatch, and there was all this yellow sludge.. our fridgewas dead on arrival. Bummer! Serious Bummer. I think Dave and Rhonda were surprised that we actually made it.
Well, our time at Milan was great. We hit a garage sale on Saturday and they had three very nice Coleman coolers, and I asked how much.. she said, $1 a piece..and all three coolers were what we used the rest of the trip. Perfect find! Open house was a blast as was the Potluck Saturday night. We had a blast at Milan. Thanks Dave and Rhonda. Meeting everyone was a blast, and we had alot of fun at the open house.

On Sunday, we got up at 6am, were on the road at 640am and arrived Quantico at 9pm. It was a long day! Whew, what a weekend. Perfect weather, great placesto visit and awesome friends! Thanks everyone.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

7 poler

Tonight, I installed the 7 pole flag pole holder I had made as a trial run. It turned out well. Here's a picture... it was getting dark, sorry for the quality.. I'll take another one tomorrow. Now, I've got to get to Lowe's for two more flag pole holder and two more flags (a VAC flag and a Canadian one). Enjoy!