Archive for the ‘miscellany’ Category
The longer I live in Bend, the more surprised I am to discover that Central Oregon is a hotbed of RV notables—including, now, the Nest Caravan. President and designer Robert Johans let me peek behind his fence and inside one of his innovative trailers, rolled out just eight months ago.
Are you returning home from Alumapalooza westbound on I-80? After 13 hours on the road you’ll need a break. Take the half hour detour to Hastings, Nebraska, home of Kool-Aid.
Deep within the bowels of the Hastings Museum, past the antique cars and taxidermied coyotes, remains every possible relic from the Kool-Aid years, circa 1927 to the present. You’ll learn about nerdy young Edwin Perkins, who began his snack drink empire in his mother’s Nebraska kitchen.
According to the RV professionals present at an Oregon Unit Airstream rally, 300,000 accidents occur annually due to backing up. It was subtly implied that a woman was likely behind the wheel each time.
Simmer down, trailer chicks: stereotypes don’t grow in a vacuum, and that’s why a Women’s Towing Session is on the program again at Alumafandango. I have the honor of presenting as well; at “Tow It Alone”, we’ll share concerns, adventures, and tips for women who seek to set aside their fears and experience the thrills and benefits of learning to Airstream solo.
If your coach is in hock at the Airstream factory for repair (as described in the prior post), you’re aware that there’s nothing—I mean, nothing—to do in the village of Jackson Center, population 1450 (unless you’re there during Alumapalooza week).
Panic not. You’re near an area known as “The Greater Grand Lake St. Marys Region of Auglaize and Mercer Counties”. And a pretty neat space museum, only twenty miles from Airstream, Inc.
You know you’re in for an underwhelming museum experience when the docent at the entrance greets you with “We don’t have a lot of exhibits right now.”
There’s a lot to read and very little to see at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California, where Nobel Prize-winning novelist John Steinbeck…I dunno. Was born? Grew up? Went to school? I was unable to differentiate, assimilate and process what I wanted from the barrage of words and pictures and plastic dioramas that make up the permanent collection, all competing for attention.
Since the exhibit hall is essentially set up for children to enjoy, this should be easier.
“On the road again…” Without fail I sing that out loud when I put the 4-Runner in drive with the Airstream in tow. This trip, Ralph was spared (left behind to continue shaping young minds at COCC), but I had Raven by my side as I embarked on a long-ish journey through the Southwest.
Among other activities, I was researching the lesser-known fossil dig sites of the West for a magazine article. My first order of business was to study up on the geology of Nevada. First stop, Reno…and the nearby Nevada State Museum in Carson City.
Despite the terrible online reviews, I overnighted at the Silver Sage RV Park in Reno.
You’re fully recovered from Blue Monday—the most depressing day of the year—only to be thrust deep into Sad January. (Is that a thing? Let’s call it a thing.)
At this time of year those of us up north are either A) preparing to tow south to Alumafiesta or Alumaflamingo, or B) miserably regarding our winterized Airstreams out in the driveway, glumly counting the days until spring. But after learning more about winter towing, I propose option C): beat the post-holiday doldrums by fleeing to, not from, the cold and snow.
Even before we met, I liked Tom.
I had the opportunity to interview him over the phone but we didn’t meet in person until we shared a beer when he visited Bend two Julys ago.
About six months prior Tom published Airstreaming, a story about, in Tom’s words, “family, relationships and characters that would intertwine and cause each other to do surprising things.”
I was curious to find out how, since then, Tom has been changed by both Airstreaming the novel—and his own recent Airstream lifestyle.