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DUTCH OVEN COOKING • SILVER SISTERS • CALIFORNIA COAST • VINTAGE ALUMINUM

Online Edition

Fall 2010


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Editor’s Page

A Good Time Was Had By All

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The official Airstream lifestyle magazine Editor and Publisher: Rich Luhr rich@airstreamlife.com Layout and Design: Ellicott Design lisa@airstreamlife.com Advertising Sales: Brett Greiveldinger brett@airstreamlife.com (802) 877-2900 Ext. 2 Editorial Illustrator: Brad Cornelius Chief Financial Officer: Eleanor O’Dea Customer Service: Lisa T. Miller Associate Contributors: Tom Bentley Becky Blanton Jody Brotherston J. Rick Cipot Fred Coldwell Renee Ettline Bert Gildart John Irwin Roger Johnson Forrest McClure Charles Spiher Contact Airstream Life 411 Walnut St #4468 Green Cove Springs, FL 32043 Telephone: (802) 877-2900 Fax: (802) 610-1013 www.airstreamlife.com Airstream Life Online Edition You can get Airstream Life online, for free! Each issue we select 15-20 pages of the upcoming magazine and make it available on the Internet to readers who sign up at www.airstreamlife.com/online. It's a sneak peek, with no cost, no obligation!

PHOTO: ALISON TURNER

It’s just like a bunch of Airstreamers to tow their trailers hundred of miles to park in a rough muddy grass field in the middle of Ohio with thunderstorms and tornados threatening daily – and have a great time. That’s the spirit of our community, and I love it. As many of you know, Airstream Life magazine sponsored the first-ever “Alumapalooza” event at the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, OH. It’s always tough holding an event in Ohio in June; highly variable weather is par for the course. But we knew we could count on the unsinkable nature of Airstreamers to make it a great week. The reviews from people who came have been wonderful to read. For those of you who didn’t get to come, there’s good news. Airstream has asked us to make Alumapalooza an annual event, so we’re already working on plans for an even better Alumapalooza 2011! By the time this issue reaches you, our website should be available at www.alumapalooza.com. There, you’ll find photos and videos from this summer’s event, as well as a copy of the Official Program, testimonials from attendees, and information about next year’s Alumapalooza. Online registration will be available too. If you are thinking about going to the Airstream factory next summer, sign up early, as we expect the event to sell out. We’re also working on some other events for our friends out west. At this writing it’s too early to make announcements, but I expect we will have some news on the Alumapalooza website this fall. You’ll also see information in upcoming issues of Airstream Life magazine. In the meantime, we’ve got a great issue for you. The second half of our two-part series on the “Origin Of The Species” is here, explaining the rest of the connection between the first aluminum Airstreams and the Bowlus trailers. Also, Fred Coldwell continues his series on vintage Airstreams with an interesting review of the 1949-1952 models. One of the big joys of camping is cooking outdoors, so Tom Palesch’s article on Dutch Oven Cooking is a favorite of mine. Just editing it made me hungry – and afterward I wanted to rush out an buy a Dutch Oven of my own, which is pretty incredible for a non-cook like me. I think you’ll enjoy it too. This issue Bert Gildart takes us to the “heavenly” spot of Zion National Park, in Utah. Even if you’ve been to Zion already, Bert’s colorful description of this premiere destination will make you want to go again. Or further to the west, Pam Biery’s tour of the central California coast showcases the beauty of that unique part of America. People are continually popping up with all kinds of interesting applications for their Airstreams, and so we are increasing our coverage of these. In this issue, you’ll hear from a couple that chose to have their wedding photos taken in an Airstream, a group of “silver sisters” who bond and inspire each other through their ladies-only camping trips, and a couple that collects vintage Airstreams Two Alumapalooza attendees fly kites in the field. simply for the love of it.

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CUSTOMER SERVICE Airstream Life’s world headquarters are the dinette table of a 2005 Airstream Safari 30 We’re always glad to hear from you, but if you have a simple question, please check our website for help first. There you can subscribe, renew your subscription, change your address, get advertising information, download writer’s and photographer’s guidelines, notify us of an address change,and get answers to frequently-asked questions. See www.airstreamlife.com or call (802) 877-2900. Airstream Life (ISSN 1550-5979) is published quarterly by Church Street Publishing, Inc., 411 Walnut St #4468, Green Cove Springs FL 32043. Subscription price is $24 per year. Periodicals postage paid at Ferrisburg VT and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Airstream Life, 411 Walnut St #4468, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043 © Copyright 2010 by Church Street Publishing, Inc. AIRSTREAM ® is the property of Airstream, Inc. Licensed by Global Icons LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in CANADA.


PHOTO: ALISON TURNER

President of Airstream, Bob Wheeler, takes in the view during Alumapalooza.

Roger Johnson continues his diligent work of uncovering the good and bad, logical and illogical about buying Airstreams online, in eBay Watch. For example, Roger shows cases where two Bambi trailers continue to receive extraordinarily high values, while a good 1960s Caravel goes begging. Mr. Tin Hut was unable to write us for this issue, but fortunately Mrs. Hut has explained why, and you can read all about that starting on page 64. (By the way, a reader recently asked if the Huts were real people. I can only say they are as real as you want them to be. Don’t we all know someone who is a little like them?) And of course there’s much more, including Andy Thomson’s third installment on hitching and towing, John Irwin’s “Great Ideas,” and an Archive photo from Italy in the 1950s. Enjoy reading this issue, and traveling in the wonderful fall season. See you on the road,

Rich Luhr, Publisher and Editor

About our cover... This issue’s cover features one of a series of paintings of polished Airstreams, by Canadian artist Taralee Guild. Each painting emphasizes the distortion that is visible in the aluminum. Taralee comments, “These compositions create an object-ground relationship similar to animal mimicry, where the trailer hides in its surroundings through reflection. In this way, the paintings reference concepts in historical Surrealism, such as animal print camouflage, doubled imagery and formlessness. The viewer is presented with the imaginary pictorial space behind them.” Taralee Guild currently lives and works in Vancouver, BC.

HELP YOURSELF TO MORE! Now it’s even easier to change your address when you move, find out when your subscription expires, or renew your subscription to Airstream Life. Just visit www.airstreamlife.com/renew, and identify yourself with your email address and zip code.*

With just a click, you can see what issues you’ve received, which issues you are still due to receive, change your mailing or email address, and renew your subscription!

It’s quick, easy, and secure! Visit www.airstreamlife.com/renew *If we don’t have an email address on file for you, log in with the username and password printed on your mailing label instead, as shown here.

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What's Coming: • Airstreams in the movies • Save (or ruin!) your tires • Geocaching • European camping

AIRSTREAM LIFE ONLINE EDITION • www.airstreamlife.com

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Inbox

Collecting Postcards To The Editor: I just wanted to pass this along in the spirit of historical understanding and accuracy, not in any way critical. I enjoyed the “Collecting Airstream Postcards” in the Winter 2009 issue very much! I will point out that the QSL card on the upper left of page 14 is not an amateur radio (Ham) call-sign. Historically, the FCC issued call-signs to CB radio users of this time period. The call fits the typical pattern for a CB call-sign. U.S. Amateur radio call-signs follow a different format of being only 1 or 2 letters, a single number, and 1 to 3 more letters. Hence why the card mentions the (then) 23 channels. The “73” in the upper left is indeed a ham radio expression, however. The CB bands were much more civilized in those days! TAKE CARE, DALLAS PEAK, MD FRANKLIN, IN Happy Birthday, Abe This is a photo of the birthday cake melissa had made for my mnsurprise 50th party. No detail was missed and it was very tasty!!! “ABE” LINCOLN

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Memories of Polishing Airstreams I just received my first copy (Summer 2010) of Airstream Life in yesterday’s mail. After a lifetime of admiring Airstreams, we finally got one to refurbish and have found this magazine to be a wealth of good information as well as being enjoyable reading. The thing that caught my eye was on page 26, “Hunting for Number One” by Rich Luhr. In the photo of the serial number tag is also a dealer I.D. tag - Murphy Sales Co., Mt. Sterling, KY. This brings back many pleasant memories in that, when I was 13 years old (summer of 1965), my first job “off the farm” was polishing Airstreams for Murphy Sales Co. My older brother was a full time employee there doing various repair and service work. Using pink Met-All polishing compound (almost gel-like) a twin head airplane buffer and lots of red shop towels we made a lot of aluminum shine that summer. I believe I made the princely sum of $1.00/hr. There were many other chores I did, but the polishing stands out in my mind. Paul S. Murphy was an Airstream dealer for many years and local legend has it that he was the first dealer east of Salt Lake City. Many Airstreams were sold in that dealership all over the USA. As I am now into redoing an old Airstream I thought it appropriate to drop you a note about this. While Paul and I share the same last name, we weren’t actually related. His son lives

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in Florida and nieces and nephews live here in Mt. Sterling. One of our local “coffee groups” is composed of some former Airstreamers who occasionally tell amusing stories of their travels. JEFF MURPHY MT. STERLING, KY A “Horrid” Magazine? Dear Sirs: I am in recent receipt of your renewal notice for Airstream Life. A friend had subscribed to your magazine for me over a year ago. To say I was greatly disappointed would be an understatement. The main reason for the consternation is the horrid content. I was of the opinion when I got the first notice of your magazine subscription, that I was in for a real treat. I was looking forward to extensive reviews of the current line of Airstreams, technical tips on repairs and towing problems, and many other items related to Airstream ownership. What I got was a quarterly travel and history magazine. Now, if I wanted to see a restored 1960 Bambi, I was in the right place. But … if I wanted to know how to properly load one of your trailers, well … So, do I want to renew your magazine? Well, that would be a big NO! If Airstreams were built with the same integrity as your magazine exemplifies, their roadworthiness would be measured in tenths of miles. God bless your salespeople because the magazine sure adds no income to your bottom line. THE BEST TO YOU, CHARLES TREADAWAY The Rest Of The Story ... First of all, Airstream Life is a great magazine! Second, regarding “eBay Watch,” (Summer 2010) I spotted the two photos of my trailer, the 1990 Excella, on page 10. This is the same trailer, a standard Excella; not the Excella 500 or Excella 1000. My numbers 11305 refer to the Wally Byam club and SMART (Special Military Active & Retired Travel Club). You will note the other military decals and the Newfoundland decal on the back window. Additionally, there is a SMART decal on the front window. This trailer encountered a severe “micro burst” hail storm on July 20th, 2009, in Wheat Ridge, CO, a northwest Denver suburb. The Airstream trailer survived better then most other brands in the RV park. The insurance was valued at $13,894. The salvage buy back was $5,240. In retrospect I should have kept the trailer, and done the minor fixes such as replace the Fantastic vent lids, bathroom vent, and the A/C shroud. The “Pings” would have been my battle scars and the source of great conversations. Whoever bought the unit still got a pretty good deal as the trailer had been mostly

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refurbished including new furnace, refrigerator, re-upholstered sofa, and twin mattresses. Keep up the great work! SINCERELY, JIM RIXMANN Due to an editing error, Jim Rixmann’s trailer (identified with the WBCCI number 11305) was depicted twice on page 10 of the Summer 2010 issue. The upper left photo in the original article showed the correct trailer description and price. It sold for $8,500 at auction. For more about this auction, see eBay Watch in this issue. Free Camping By The Water Rich, I bought an Airstream Sovereign, about 22 years old, in very good condition, last year. I own a Lexus LX470 and I chose this unit because I did not want to buy a new towing truck to tow a trailer. I can tow 6,500 pounds, and this unit is 5,000 pounds. I live in Spokane, WA. With the cost of fuel and the time it takes to tow somewhere i decided to make a point to visit Idaho, Washington, Montana and later British Columbia. The front of my trailer was marked up badly and the previous owners had a bra on it. New stone guards would not cover up all the damaged areas so I took the unit to a Rhino Hide dealer and had them shoot two tone Rhino Hide on the front of my trailer (for $350). It glistens in the sun and makes the trailer look newer. I like this trailer because its mostly open. I have two couches which are fold down beds. I like that a lot better than towing an extra couple of thousand pounds of bedroom that I only sleep in at night. At night the whole unit becomes a bedroom and a bath. I work diligently to find beautiful places that are free and by the water. This particular campground is called Boundary Dam. It is north of Metaline Falls along the Coeur d’Alene river very near the border. DAVE PAPERD SPOKANE, WA

AIRSTREAM LIFE ONLINE EDITION • www.airstreamlife.com

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Pioneering Spirit, In A Pan

Dutch Oven Cooking

PHOTO: BERT GILDART

By Tom Palesch

CLANG, CLANG, CLANG... “COME AND GET IT,” shouted the cook. Thus was born this story of

Tom Palesch fires up breakfast in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, using a pan as a wind and fire shield.

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Dutch oven cooking while Airstreaming in California’s Anza Borrego desert. A cowboy breakfast of sausage, hash brown potatoes, eggs, salsa and cheese all came from one dutch oven resting on and covered with charcoal briquettes. It fed a group of five. We were celebrating a beautiful spring morning looking at mountainsides covered with blooming desert wildflowers. My wife Sandi and I had rendezvoused with Bert and Janie Gildart, popular contributors to Airstream Life, and an Airstream retiree from British Columbia named Murray with his dog Sandy. Sandi and I had pulled out our

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cast aluminum Dutch oven and whipped up a hearty breakfast while the others finished their daily morning hike. The meal, along with a surprise pot of Montana roasted coffee, was a hit and sealed a bond of friendship. This one-pot breakfast was the first of several Dutch oven meals we enjoyed together while camped in the desert scenery. Dutch oven cooking (DOC) is a skill that complements the lifestyle of those who travel in Airstream trailers and motor homes. Learning a few simple skills and acquiring a minimum of additional cookware ensures a banquet at the end of the day. Cooking this way will also pique your neighbor’s curiosity and give you the opportunity to share a meal with inspired and now hungry camp neighbors.

SUMMER 2010


ABOVE: Entries in an International Dutch Oven Society cook-off. RIGHT TOP: Toni’s BBQ Monterrey Chicken Breasts; MIDDLE: “Godblessamericacherry” Cobbler; BOTTOM: Sausage and Veggie Boil.

Dutch ovens have been around for centuries. The explorers Lewis and Clark made good use of their cast iron pots as a fast way to feed a large number of people efficiently. It’s quick (thirty to sixty minutes once the coals are going), healthy (baked or roasted), tasteful (a special taste, much like the difference between grilled and fried) and easy to clean up afterward. It’s perfect for an Airstreamer. Once you’ve learned the skills, virtually any thing you can cook in your home kitchen can be done on the trail in a Dutch oven. You can whip up meals that range from basic stew or chili, to gourmet roasts or fowl with all the fixins. In another oven you can make a wide variety of breads or biscuits and in another a dessert that will have your guests raving. Men, DOC is not a girly-man thing for you to learn. You’re working with metal, long tongs, big pots, claw-like pliers, and hot coals. Short of tracking down dinner and dragging it home to the fire, DOC is the best thing to put you in touch with your primordial self. And ladies, here is an activity where you can support your man by giving subtle directions and suggestions while he’s playing with fire. This is a win-win situation resulting in good eats, minimum effort and cooing accolades from your guests.

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You don’t need much in the way of new equipment to try out DOC. A versatile Dutch oven with a minimum size of 12” and a lid is a good place to start. Most people buy a cast iron oven that is pre-seasoned (a “seasoned” oven is very important). The author prefers a cast aluminum “hard anodized” oven, which gives it a stick-free cooking surface. Aluminum heats and cools faster than cast iron and is easier to handle because of its lighter weight. In either case you will also need a hook and/or large pliers to lift the hot oven and lid, heat resistant gloves to safely handle the ovens and tongs to place hot briquettes on or around the oven. You’ll need a place to build your cooking fire. A campground fire pit works nicely or you can use a metal pan to avoid fire-scarring the ground. A simple heavy steel baking pan or an inexpensive metal auto oil-drain pan available from NAPA or other auto repair centers works just fine. This will serve as contained fire-starting area, a windscreen while cooking and a place for hot coals to burn out. You will need serving spoons, spatulas, forks, serving platters, etc., all of which you would normally have on-board anyway. Thus, you can get into this program inexpensively and add to your kitchen tools as your interest and cooking skills improve.

DOC in its basic mode is cooking the pioneer way. You cook basic foods such as stews and soups, or like Lorraine and Marcel Mercier from British Columbia when in their hunting camp, a moose roast at the end of a long wet day of hunting. We got to know them while in Arizona on the Colorado River by inviting them to a dessert of Dutch oven cherry/blueberry cobbler that was simple to make and tasted wonderful. The cobbler was patriotic for us, in that it was red (cherries), white (white cake mix straight from the box) and blue (blueberries).

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GETTING STARTED Interested in trying Dutch Oven Cooking? A great start comes from the websites and DO cookbooks listed below. Read about time/temperature techniques and how simple it is to season your cast iron ovens and clean them up when done with the meal. Start your cooking with simple menus. You can combine easy-serve or pre-mixed items (Bisquick, canned pie-fillings, de-hydrated or frozen hash browns, canned beans, etc.) to minimize the initial hassle-factor when cooking. Mix doughs and other messy-bowl ingredients in plastic bags so you can throw them away when done. Line the oven with foil or foil-pans to ease cleaning. Serve from the oven instead of serving dishes, to keep things simple. Make sure you are cautious when handling hot ovens full of food. They are heavy and off-balanced if you lift by the bail alone. Use hot-gloves suitable for the job (welder’s gloves work great)

and set the tables before people are seated around it. Use good safety sense and caution and you will have a wonderful meal. Be prepared to be the darling of the campground when the meal is over. Everybody will rave over your meal and be envious of your skills. Dutch Oven Websites and Blogs www.idos.com www.dutchovenmadness.blogspot.com www.marksblackpot.com roguedutchovencookers.blogspot.com www.airforums.com/forums/f484/dutch-oven-cooking-40090.html For more links and recipes, see airstreamlife.com/extra/fall2010

That got Lorraine talking about her Dutch oven cooking of wild game recipes. Marcel expanded the conversation to huckleberries, a delicious staple of their area also greatly desired by grizzly bears. He thought they would be a perfect cobbler fruit. Following this pioneer way of cooking, some have moved DOC up to an art form. There is a group called the International Dutch Oven Society (see them online at www.idos.com) that has thousands of members across the U.S, Canada, Australia, Japan and several European countries. They hold regional rallies, cooking contests, world cook-offs, clinics, and make videos about the art of DOC. IDOS makes it clear that they are a family-oriented group celebrating and promoting DOC to as many interested people as they can find. A visit to their website will give you all the detailed information that you need to begin this new hobby. Looking at the photos of what some of their contest winners have created will make you think you are downtown at the Ritz for dinner. Toni Black, a mother of seven living in Utah, caught her “passion for DOC” recently. Late last year she decided that she was going to salvage that old Dutch oven packed away in her basement and begin to use it to feed her family one meal a day for a year while blogging about it on the Internet (see her writing at www.dutchovenmadness.blogspot.com). We talked on the telephone on “Day # 129.” By then, her children and husband had come to prefer DOC to traditional fare, and she had found that cooking is much easier DOC style, including cleanup. Toni says the skills one needs to develop are not difficult to learn. Understanding how to control heat and oven temperatures is crucial, but easy to do by following instructions and tips published in many places. She claims to have never burned a Dutch oven meal, even in the beginning. Each meal has been an adventure from which they learned and rose to greater heights the next day. Because her Dutch oven is used for daily family meals, she uses many pre-prepared foods and ingredients. Bisquick, canned fruits and veggies, and cake-mixes make life much simpler, as does mixABOVE: IDOS contestant waiting on dinner; RIGHT TOP: Cowboy breakfast; RIGHT BOTTOM: Corn Bread Cake

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AIRSTREAM LIFE ONLINE EDITION • www.airstreamlife.com

SUMMER 2010


ing and blending in plastic zip-lock bags or foil-liners. If you carefully look at tips offered on the IDOS website about temperature and cleaning, you’ll start ahead of the game. If you decide to use cast iron, make sure you read about seasoning your oven before you start cooking. Jack Wallace, Director of IDOS Education, suggests to use Crisco for this purpose. To clean your cast iron, never use soap or water. Jack says to wipe it out several times to remove food remnants and then scrape it with a shaped plastic scraper (available from outdoor and camping stores) to remove stuck food. Then, wipe again and dispose of the entire toweling or crumpled newspaper. Spray the surface with a mix of one-part apple cider vinegar to three parts water. Wipe again and when the towel comes up clean you are good to go. If you are cooking on anodized aluminum, wipe clean, wash with soapy water and scrape out stuck food. DOC and Airstreaming are a perfect combination. DOC gets the heat of cooking outdoors where it belongs, has a tasty and unique flavor, and without exception Dutch oven cooks claim pot cleanup is quicker and easier than with conventional cookware. But most importantly, DOC attracts others to your site, either by curiosity or invitation. It’s a wonderful social stimulator. As Debbie Hair, President of IDOS instructs, “Cook good food and share with your neighbors.” Jack Wallace claims DOC “keeps the pioneering spirit of America alive and hones our survival skills.” This makes us more self-sustaining should we ever be faced with a social or energy crisis. He’s got a good point, as it feels good to be self-confident of our basic skills. It goes hand-in-hand with being an Airstreamer. •••

SUMMER 2010

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• • • • • Rivet

Bits

ABOVE: A group of “Silver Sisters” gather at Lake San Antonio, California, in March 2010. Clockwise from bottom left: Shannon Sharf, Lianne Goodwin Sanders, Meredith McCurdy Klassen, Francis Manuell, Laurel Viola, Martha Bubel, Julianne Campbell, Alison Turner, Becky Cordova. RIGHT: Organizer Kristiana Turner with her vintage Airstream Bambi.

By Becky Blanton ozens of Airstreaming women are learning that it’s fun and easy to tow an Airstream, set-up and break down camp, with the help of their “Silver Sisters.” They’re also learning that it’s a lot more fun if you do it with a bunch of other women. For more than a dozen avid Airstreaming women, gatherings of the Silver Sisters are a chance to bond with other women and to learn new skills at twice-yearly rallies.

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Whether they’re new to RVing, or just interested in learning a new skill, the Silver Sisters are there to teach, support and encourage them as they learn. “There’s a mix of responses from the men,” Meridith Klassen, a member of the group says. “Some take it better than others. My husband is supportive. Maybe there’s a little bit of forlornness around the edges because he’s always been the one to do all FA L L 2 0 1 0


the things I’m doing now, but I think he’s proud of me.” Klassen and a growing number of married, single and attached women are learning to handle their Airstream trailers by themselves. Whether towing, hitching, setting up, traveling in a caravan of likeminded women, setting up camp, dumping the holding tanks, or building a campfire – they’re empowering themselves by learning hands-on skills. A Silver Sisters rally may involve the women teaching or learning how to change a flat tire, how to boondock and other things they’ve traditionally relied on men to do for them. You don’t have to have a husband or man in your life – only a desire to learn to do the things a man might traditionally do. Single women, female teens and widows of any age are welcome. The twice yearly “women only” rallies are “officially unofficial.” There’s no cost aside from the regular camping fees and expenses. It is, after all, simply women helping each other learn basic RVing skills. The name “Silver Sisters” isn’t even official, although it’s how they refer to themselves, along with “Western Women” on online forums. Their small organization comes complete with no rules or slogans, save one: “Empowerment.” “So many women do depend on their husbands to do these things,” Klassen said. “These rallies are a powerful experience because there are no men there. It’s a bunch of women supporting each other and saying, ‘Yes you can.’ The encouragement and positive vibes and having someone say, ‘you can do it,’ is wonderful.” Women who lose their husbands, or whose spouse becomes incapacitated often give up their Airstream and quit RV’ing. They don’t believe they can do the things their husbands or partners have always done. Feeling unable to handle their trailer alone cuts them out of travel and companionship at a time when they may most need good friends and emotional support. “When we have someone new to doing all this and they come out and do it, I offer them an incentive, a silver badge,” says Kristiana Spaulding, a jewelry maker and designer.

Spaulding, one of the founders of the group, remembers the first time she towed her own Airstream to Twentynine Palms. It was an 18-hour trip for her. She noticed two other women camping in Airstreams at the end of the park and introduced herself. By the end of the weekend they had all exchanged information and the idea of a “girls’ only weekend rally in the Airstreams,” just sort of evolved. “We agreed to keep meeting and we have,” Spaulding says. “And we agreed not to have official rules and we haven’t,” she said. “But the group just keeps growing.” Now in the fourth year, every rally brings more women as the word spreads. Along the way the idea that women could teach themselves and each other how to do the sort of thing that their spouses or partners had always done just made sense. “I had always relied on a man to tow my Airstream,” Spaulding says. “Then one day he wasn’t around and I said, ‘Why don’t I just do it myself?” She did, and it wasn’t as hard as she thought, even though she chose a location down a difficult, winding canyon road her first time out. “After that first towing experience I didn’t have anywhere to go but up!” she laughs. “It got a lot easier from there.” She hasn’t been the only woman to feel that way. “Towing is probably the biggest challenge for most of us,” says Martha Bubel. “The first time out for many women they realize that it’s not as hard as they thought. I think once they realize that, the rest is easy.” She now owns a 22-foot 1965 Safari. “Towing is a learned skill," Laurel Viola, one of the founders of the Silver Sisters points out. “No one automatically knows how to drive or tow a trailer… both men and women need to learn how. And it's not as hard or mysterious as it seems. Anyone can do it.” Technically men are allowed at Silver Sister events since there are no formal rules, but Spaulding notes that the men are strongly encouraged to stay home or out of camp if they do come. The power and attraction behind the Silver Sister rallies is that these meetings are for women to come

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together and empower and support each other. The only males truly welcome are the dogs, the women joke. And besides, being on their own is the point for the Silver Sisters. As Bubel notes, the experience of being in charge of your own well-being is empowering. “It’s a wonderful feeling.” •••

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Bits

By Tom Bentley

TOP OF PAGE : The Hershberger’s 1967 Globetrotter and their 1961 Overlander at “Airstreams in the Wild” rally in Ohio. ABOVE: April and Andy Hershberger (and their four furry friends) sit on the bumper of the 1967 Globetrotter for their Christmas photo.

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ndy and April Hershberger’s Airstream adventure started out innocently enough: They bought a used 2005 CCD a few years ago specifically for an extended family trip. Before the purchase, they were so unfamiliar with Airstreams that April said that oft-heard comment to Andy, “I wonder if they still make those silver trailers.” Andy too, had only a passing understanding of the brand, commenting later, “I wasn’t sure what she was referring to, so we looked them up on the Internet and sure enough they did still make them.” But with Airstreams, one thing leads to another. And another and another. Now, the Hershbergers have what might be considered a small museum of vintage trailers, and some of them are doozies: 1939 Clipper 1948 Liner 1949 Limited 1950 Limited 1955 Cruiser “whaletail” 1959 Sovereign of the Road International 1961 Overlander International 1962 Bambi 1967 Globetrotter The couple very much now understand all things Airstream, and then some. It does help that they live on an acre of land with no harsh zoning restrictions. It also helps that the Hershbergers are not merely collectors—they are active restorers. The Globetrotter was their first vintage coach, and it was nicely restored by Colin Hyde. However, expense and interest put the Hershbergers directly in the restoration driver’s seat. They do farm out some welding and cabinet building, but they aren’t afraid to tackle the serious jobs. “Our first shell-off restoration we are working on is on the 1949 Limited. It is a pipe frame that we are

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converting to a ladder frame. The trailer was gutted when we received it so it was a good one to start on,” says April. They plan to restore the vehicles to their original floor plans, with some modernization. They are rebuilding the frames from scratch on the ’49 and ’50 Limiteds to allow for black, grey and larger freshwater tanks. “The 1950 Limited is one we plan on keeping for ourselves and modernizing by putting in a shower and modern electronics, which it did not have originally. We want them to look original from the outside and somewhat original inside, while having the modern amenities of a new trailer,” says April. Some of the trailers will be restored for sale; in the past year they sold a 1956 Overlander on eBay to a man in Switzerland. As well as the ’50 Limited, they plan on keeping the ’39 Clipper, the ’48 Liner, the ’55 Cruiser and the ’59 Sovereign. April says, “My favorite is the 1959 Sovereign of the Road—it was in a movie and it has nice clean lines despite its immense length. Once it is restored we will use it for our longer camping trips.” The ’61 and ’67 trailers are the ones the couple currently use for camping trips and for guest bedrooms on the property. Last year, from April to October, they used them at least once a month for camping. They are doing extensive research on the proper restoration for the very rare ’39 Clipper, which they intend to pair with a ’39 Chevy 5 Window Business Coupe for towing. April also sells Airstream-embossed stationery and Airstream-inspired earrings on eBay and also does some blogging about restoration projects and Airstreams in general on their site. However she’s been pretty busy with a brand-new baby the last few months, so some of those projects are hibernating for now. They’ve done a lot of camping with four dogs and a lot of goods—seeing how deeply they jumped into Airstreaming after a tentative start, we’re sure that baby will be singing a sweet song in a beautiful campground soon. For more phot os o f the trailer collection, visit the ir website a t www.ClassicAluminumTrailers.com •••

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TOP OF PAGE: The 1939 Airstream Clipper at the Vintage Trailer Jam 2008, in Saratoga Springs, New York, staged behind a 1930s truck. ABOVE: Andy Hershberger puts the gleam on a 1967 Globetrotter.

AIRSTREAM LIFE ONLINE EDITION • www.airstreamlife.com

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• • • • • •

Parks Showcase

North Texas Airstream Community Washington Land Yacht Harbor

Hillsboro, Texas

A 100% Airstream Community, "Full Timer" & "Winter Texan" base. New Terraport with pull thru sites & 50 amp full hookups. 153 membership lots, many with permanent villas & houses. Free Wi-Fi, new laundry in Clubhouse. Located in the heart of the Dallas, Ft. Worth, Waco triangle at Exit 368A, I-35. Pets are welcome. Winter Texan “WBCCI” Rates: Daily Parking rate $15, weekly $90 1 month $350, 4 months $700*, 12 months $1,200*

2 months $400*, 5 months $800*.

3 months $600* 6 months $900* *(plus utilities)

Reservations: 254-582-5566 E-mail: ntacmgr@aircanopy.net

www.ntaci.org

Always open for Airstreams to visit year-round! • 163 spaces with 3-point hookups • Harmony Hall & Gatehouse available for rental • Homes for sale on leased lots • Close to shopping – Wal-Mart, Costco, Cabela’s • 2 miles off Interstate 5 • Free WiFi • 60 miles from Seattle & 60 miles from the ocean! • Close to Mt. Rainier, Mt. St.Helens & Olympic NP

PETS WELCOME www.washingtonlandyachtharbor.com (360) 491-3750

9101 Steilacoom Road SE, Olympia, WA 98513 Charter Member of Airstream Parks Association

Minnesota Airstream Park A member-owned RV resort in the lakes area of mid-Minnesota.

• 125 sites with full hook-ups on eighty acres of natural oak savannah. • Transient accommodations with daily, weekly, and monthly rates. • Tennis courts, a nine-hole executive golf course, heated swimming pool and sauna, horseshoe pits, and a shuffleboard court. • Good fishing and boating lakes nearby. Four miles from public access to the Mississippi River. • Free wireless Internet access • Clubhouse with a kitchen and meeting space. • Activities scheduled all summer long. • Ownership opportunities available. Visit us this during Minnesota's beautiful fall season! The park has 35 rally sites with water and electrical hookups available. Just an hour’s drive from the Minneapolis/St Paul metro area.

www.airstreampark.com • (320) 743-2771 8795 82nd St, Clear Lake, MN 55319

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Land Yacht Harbor of Melbourne FL It's all here! • Over 300 days of sunshine with an average temperature of 72 degrees • Long term rentals, and transient sites available as well • Close to Kennedy Space Center, Disney World, golf courses and beaches • 304 sites, large air-conditioned recreation hall with a library and billiard tables • Free WiFi throughout the park Please explore our website and look at the activities and attractions we offer. Stay a day, a week, a month or a lifetime.

www.landyachtharbormelbourne.com Between exits 180 and 183 off I-95 201 N. John Rodes Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32934 (321) 254-6398

Highland Haven Airstream Park • Mountain setting • Blue Ridge parkway less that 5 miles away • Bluegrass music every Friday night at the Floyd country store • Hiking trails with waterfall • Weekly activities in the clubhouse • Beautiful sunsets • Wireless internet

vahighlandhaven.org 540-651-9050

Come visit us! Top of Georgia Airstream Park

CUMBERLAND PLATEAU T E N N E S S E E

CAMPGROUND

Crossville, TN • www.tcpconline.com

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• Located in the beautiful north Georgia mountains at an elevation of 1800 feet • Full hook-ups, cable TV, limited free Wi-Fi available • Open year round—no reservations—limited sites available during the winter months • $7/night; $180/month—during rally weeks rally fees will be an additional charge • WBCCI members only • Close to trout streams, waterfalls, hiking trails, scenic drives, Alpine Village of Helen and so much more. 14255 Highway 75N • Helen, GA 30545

home.windstream.net/topofga/

706.878.3590

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• • • • •

Destinations

CENTRAL COAST SAMPLER:

BODEGA TO BIG SUR Story and Photos by Pamela Biery

S

tate Route 1 (SR 1), commonly referred to as Highway 1, streams alongside some of the most beautiful coastline in the world, in California. But following it through the cliffs, valleys and coastal towns finds SR 1 running concurrent with U.S. Route 101 (US 101), scrambling through farmland as a two-lane blacktop and duly routed through cities and towns. Watch for name changes as this famous road weaves its way from Orange County to U.S. Route 101 in Leggett. SR 1 is variously designated as Pacific Coast Highway (PCH, Southern Cal), the Cabrillo Highway (Central Coast), and the Shoreline Highway (Marin County).

Leave time to wiggle your toes in sand, walk a beach or listen to the waves crash. But whatever name SR 1 goes by, it’s worth slowing down for California’s Coast. Leave time to wiggle your toes in sand, walk a beach or listen to the waves crash. Consider covering less ground and exploring a bit more. For a Central Coast sampler, travel north from San Francisco to Bodega Bay or head south along SR1 to Big Sur. The rewards are ready and waiting. Take the stress off, enjoy the views here and then head back to Highway 5 or Interstate 80 to cover easy, big distance miles or visit urban centers like San Francisco and San Jose.

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BODEGA BAY, POINT REYES & BOLINAS On the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The vision and persistence of a few preservationists kept huge swatches of California’s coast open to the public, and as a result Marin County is dotted with parks, preserves and beaches. Bypass some of the traffic, twisties and crowds by heading out 101 North after the Golden Gate Bridge. By taking the Lucas Valley Road exit, much of the traffic and cutbacks required for heading directly to the coast by Muir Woods are avoided. Plus, there are wonderful rolling hills and a very nice campground at Olema Ranch Campground

TOP: Big Sur, California as seen from roadside along SR 1. MIDDLE: Sunset at Santa Cruz Harbor, Twin Lakes Beach. BOTTOM: Follow these Airstreamers and reserve a view site at the end of South Whales, Costanoa Resort, Pescadero, California. FA L L 2 0 1 0

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• • • • •

Destinations Italian” at Stellina, where everything comes from Marin County. A bit off the beaten path, this small town has plenty of character and charm with a good deal more elbow-room than Marin’s more urbane cities. From Point Reyes, it’s an easy drive to Bolinas, Stinson, Drakes Bay and Limantour beaches. Leave the Airstream at Olema and head out unhitched for some first class bird watching, hiking or beachcombing. Or head north to Bodega Bay, Jenner and beyond.

Nepenthe has been providing a perfect perch over Big Sur since 1949, with indoor and outdoor dining and a gift shop.

(see sidebar). This is an hour or so from Golden Gate Bridge. From the Olema Campground, it is a few miles into Point Reyes Station. Point Reyes and West Marin are home to one of the earliest agricultural land trusts and are near Strauss Family Dairy, Nimen Ranch, and Drakes Bay Oysters, just to name a few. Tour Cowgirl Creamery and try “Point Reyes

HALF MOON BAY, PESCADERO & SANTA CRUZ SR 1 from Pacifica to Big Sur contains so much variety in 150 miles, that if you are traveling only part of the coast, you should drive this section. Unlike the northern “Lost Coast,” or south of Monterey, Highway 1 from Half Moon Bay to Monterey is straighter and tamer. While winds can be gusty, exposure is less than in either the far northern or southern reaches of SR 1. Pacifica and Half Moon Bay have their share of fog, so soak in the sea breeze with the realization that other parts of the coast may be sunny and warm. The famous Mavericks Surf Contest is held just north of Half Moon Bay proper, near the Ritz Carlton Hotel. This area gets big waves throughout the winter.

Pescadero is about 18 miles down the Cabrillo Highway from Half Moon Bay, with many beaches along the way. Cumulus clouds whisk by, or a squall may quickly move through. Welcome to the California’s Central Coast, where the weather constantly changes. Tucked behind the rolling hills along a road lined with Eucalyptus is Costanoa Resort. This resort offers a KOA Campground

The Slow Coast

Dana and Julia Nichols, with Slow Coast’s emblematic Safari, at Swanton Berry Farm, off of Highway 1, south of Costanoa.

There is a very special stretch of Highway 1— wrapped between sunshine,

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salt-spray and lush farms, with kiteboarders flying high over sandy beaches. Take extra time just north of Santa Cruz from about Wilder Ranch to Half Moon Bay. Just about mid-way is the small town of Davenport. Living off Highway 1 in Davenport, California suits the Nichols family perfectly. Dr. Wallace J. Nichols is an internationally recognized marine biologist, especially well regarded for his sea turtle research. Dana Nichols has extensive training in organic food production and preparation, and with two growing daughters, has a keen interest in sustainable practices. Together, the Nichols have coined the term ‘Slowcoast’ to describe the slower, more organic regional lifestyle, and engender a sense of wonder and appreciation for this micro-region of the Central Coast. Playing off the Sustainable-Local-Organic movement (SLO), they are working with

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local growers and businesses to define a Slowcoast identity. In the middle of the project sits a 1954 Airstream, the current and future home of Slowcoast’s assorted products and seasonal produce. In the summer it is found at the Swanton Berry Farm off of Highway 1, run by the Nichols’ neighbors, where its classic, welcoming shape invites visitors to sample and buy products made by local farmers and artisans. Along this fertile coast you'll happen across world-class wine, beer and goat cheese makers; wheat, berry and flower farmers; coffee roasters, woodworkers, surf board shapers and glassblowers. If you travel here, be sure to check out Swanton Berry Farm, the Pie Ranch and watch for more news of the Slowcoast at slowcoast.org.

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Find your way to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for a day of beach combing and a picnic.

north of Davenport, marked only with a coastal access sign; locals know this beach as Greyhound Rock. There is plenty to explore off the highway, so check out some parallel side trips and destinations listed in the regional map. Entering Santa Cruz, to visit the Redwoods, turn right on Highway 9 toward Felton. There are two RV parks on this curvy, two-lane, six-mile route before nearing Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Santa Cruz is chock full of great shops, food and entertainment. Streets are narrow and parking is limited. Some areas have one-way streets without clear alternate routes. A reasonable option would be to visit the Redwoods and unhitch in nearby Felton for an easy visit to the Surf Museum, Boardwalk stroll or shopping on Pacific Avenue.

with incredible views, tasteful facilities and an easy 1/4 mile stroll to the beach. Services include a grocery store, restaurant and spa. Besides the RV area, there are tent campgrounds, cabins and tent cabins. From here, explore inland and by traveling east, see Silicon Valley below Skyline Ridge. (See map.) Pescadero, San Gregorio, Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park (in Pescadero) and Davenport each offer stunning beaches, friendly, small rural towns and lots of laid-back attitude. Watch for coastal access signs and partially concealed parking lots along the way. One especially roomy lot is after Waddell Creek and just

MOSS LANDING, MONTEREY & BIG SUR It is 56 miles of flat and easy highway miles from Santa Cruz to Monterey. The road becomes a two-lane highway for a number of miles near Moss Landing. Cut out of the heart of Steinbeck Country, the fertile farms along SR 1 are worked year round. Take a quiet surfside break just before Monterey, in the town of Marina. The Marina Dunes RV Park is just 1/4 mile walk to the beach. It is about 10 minutes drive to historic Monterey, Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Leaving Monterey takes one back to the ocean, whether via Carmel, 17 mile Drive or another route, SR 1 from here becomes more scenic, exposed and dramatic. During

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the winter, expect temporary closures and power outages around Big Sur. The Riverside Campground has RV sites right by the river, but during the winter only reserves 10 days in advance. Whether called SR 1, PCH or the Cabrillo Highway, these views and places suggest simply: Drive less. Live more. For a list of websites of businesses and attractions listed in this article, visit www.airstreamlife.com/extra/fall2010 •••

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Here’s what’s in the Fall 2010 print edition of Airstream Life! Subscribe today to get this issue! 1

Fall 2010 The official Airstream lifestyle magazine

6

Inbox

8

eBay Watch: Mail Order Airstreams

12 Pioneering Spirit In A Pan: Dutch Oven Cooking 17 Bowlus, Origin of The Species (Part II) 25 Rivet Bits: Mixing Moonshine with Your Airstream 26 Rivet Bits: Smoothing Out the Wrinkles 28 From the Archives: Caravanning Southern Europe 30 Rivet Bits: Silver Sisters Empower Each Other 32 Central Coast Sampler: Bodega To Big Sur

Dutch Oven Cooking, page 12

PHOTO: TOM PALESCH

36 Old Aluminum: 1949 to 1950 Airstreams 42 Zion National Park 49 Secrets of Torsion Bars and Sway Control 53 Great Ideas: Saving Time, Saving Trouble 56 Fun Page

Angels Angels Landing, Landing, Zion Zion National National Park. Park. See See page page 42 42

PHOTO: BERT GILDART

1949-1950 Airstreams, page 36

PHOTO: COURTESY OF AIRSTREAM, INC.

64 Last Mile: A Horse is a Horse


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Airstream Life Fall 2010  

This is the Online Edition of Airstream Life magazine, Fall 2010 issue. This contains a selection of articles from the full 64-page print m...

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