Rally #2: Area 33

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I cannot overstate the beauty of this location. Hard by Mt. Adams, the view is spectacular. But, one of the best things about finally getting our Airstream has been meeting the people. Hands down. It’s such a diverse, friendly and deeply interesting bunch with stories and music to share that it sort of takes one’s breath away.

While Airstreams are definitely the main source of conversation, there are doctors, retired National Park Service, teachers, musicians, engineers, repo-men, non-profit workers, etc. all held together by the common thread of loving their Airstreams both new and vintage. This rally saw more vintage models than last and it was great fun to tour them and see what they’ve done. I was impressed by the creativity and ingenuity – and the attention to keeping much of the units as close to vintage as possible.

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Nestled under the trees were 19 Airstreams beautifully restored or taken care of by their owners. I was impressed that, for some, they’d brought just one from their collection of Airstreams at home. I found that amazing.

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Rob and Diane’s vintage was blessed with a rainbow on the last day of good weather. Rob let us borrow his solar panel, which we hooked up for an afternoon to restore some much needed power to the batteries. I think we’ve decided to go solar for the time being as it’s quiet and green.

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We took the scenic Hwy. 14 to the site, which was beautiful, but where I got my first real scare driving through a narrow tunnel with two oncoming semi-trucks. But the Columbia River was quite beautiful, and John loves the lore of the Lewis and Clark Trail so we stopped for lunch in Stevenson.

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When we came upon the camp, here was the view we had. Stunning. Snow-capped Mt. Adams and a wide field where the light and clouds were constantly changing.

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Carmella and Ruth’s Airstream had the best view. A rare lenticular cloud formed over Mt. Adams on Saturday night, which I was able to get in a time-lapse with the help of Rob and Diane’s vintage Airstream. Click on the photo below to see the movie here:

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Rhonda Coleman’s Design Within Reach Bambi was fantastic to see. Christopher Deam (watch his TED Talk here) designed 25 coaches initially, which started a renaissance of design in the Airstream line, modernizing them for a new set of owners. Ultimately, only 60 were built and all were sold quickly and have become collector’s items. It was so good to see Rhonda who writes extensively about Airstreams for Airstream Life and Airstream.com.

All three nights we were treated to wonderful music from glampers with guitars, mandolins and a cello. It was quite funny, moving and wonderful to listen to music by a roaring fire. I took portraits of several of our members as well, and had a great time doing so. Here are some of the portraits.

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John, who loves to mountain bike, broke in our bike rack for the first time and took Buster on a long run up the side of Mt. Adams. He told me he made it to the snow line, but I didn’t quite believe it.

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Our camp hosts, Janet and Gary, did a wonderful job putting it all together, cooking, playing music, and being such gracious and lovely people with a killer, newly restored Airstream.

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We really do believe that we have found our pot of gold under the rainbow in our Airstream and are endlessly thankful to my Grandmother, Airstream of Spokane and the many people who’ve we’ve met so far online and in person.

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So to the great people and our little village of Airstreams under the beautiful Washington sky, we say thank you and we’ll see you next year.

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THE GOOD: The people, the location, the views, solar power, our bike rack, not running out of water or power, the potluck dinners and breakfasts, the sky, Hwy. 14, Buster’s new friends – Olga, Roadie, Wally, and Ziggy, Our new friends. One dog-tired Buster, sharing my novel, AIRSTREAMING, with many of the Glampers, The camaraderie of ‘streamers, the music! Oh, and the breakfast at Bette’s in Hood River that finished the trip.

THE BAD: The tunnel scare, realizing the 4 Runner was simply not up to the task of pulling Margaret.

THE UGLY: The traffic coming home on I-5, which is not so ugly given that the bridge at Mt. Vernon collapsed (thankfully no one was seriously hurt) and ruined many other people’s Memorial Day weekend, which saddened me.