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Old 07-02-2012, 04:22 PM   #1
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July 2012 Photo Contest

Hello all you crazy lovely Airstreamers - are you ready?

One of the most enjoyable parts of becoming an Airstream owner is SHARING the experience here at the forums.

With every one of our acquisitions we have needed the help and wise experience of those who travelled the same journey before us here at the forums.

It all started with our 1969 GlobeTrotter - MoonBeam, then our combo, 1961 Overlander with the (donor) 1999 Excella wreck that was going to become the hybrid of the century and be part of our retirement trip of a life time (alas that is not happening), then the sale of the Moonbeam led to the "Flight of the Ladybug" our little project from hell - 1963 Globe Trotter. Years went by with very little trips and getting out there. Life became boring and it was time to inject some "newness" hence the ModPod, our 2005 CCD International - which consequently is now my HOME! and how I ended up being the June Photo Contest winner!

Each and everyone of the airstreams had an amazing story, created a mountain of fun work projects for Peter and I to work on and some not so much fun work at all but the journey was all well worth every cut and bruise and broke pocket book! We learned new skills, met people from all over North America and although me mostly, had some amazing adventures in ALL of them.

This contest is all about YOUR story about a dream that you made come true. Yes you all had it at one time - the bug - to buy an airstream!

This contest is not to be mistaken as a "before and after" submission. It is about the journey not the destination as a friend said to me once....

You have a whole month to complete the three parts needed to qualify you in July's Photo contest.

Part One: First Contact
Short photo essay (Minimum of 3 photos) of your first view of your new to you Airstream - The FIRST CONTACT! You can include a few pics of the outside and the inside as it was found or the day you picked it up or the day you got it home- remember this is about creating a photo-essay. If you have had your AS a really long time - then time to dust off your old photo albums - scan them or take a digital shot of the snap shot - as long as we can see it then that is all you need to worry about - don't spend hours and hours trying to fix the old photos - okay!. Remember to pick photos that you like that tell your story, and that are easy to replicate today.

Part Two: Then and Now
Replicate the above photos but taken NOW (minimum of three have to be replicated) - during the month of July.
Maybe it is a family picture in front of your airstream so take a new shot - with family members today (of course it does not have to be exact - but the more exact the more brownie points in the judging)
To some that time of first contact may have been last week, or 10 years ago or more - does not matter.
The key here is to let your viewers experience your journey in like fashion to time travel. Pick your favourite shots for #1 above and then take out your camera and try to replicate those photos during this month.

Wide open here - it could be the place you picked her up and shoot her there today, or the interior as found and what it looks like now, or the outside when you picked it up and what it looks like now. Or the first shot of her at home on your driveway and what it looks like now - taken in the same spot today gets you more points. Or it could be a renovation you did inside or outside that provides your viewers with the transition. In other words - this part is about replicating yesterday to today.

Part Three: The Journey
A short story. Take that excitement or anxiety and adventures you went through to get your pride and joy and tell us a bit about your journey in bringing your dream of owning an airstream to today. Now of course you don't have to tell us every single detail.

Include these few items in your short story:
1. Why you wanted to buy an airstream (or came into the possession of your airstream)?
2. How long did you search and where?
3. What were some of the things you had to do in order to pick her up?
4. Tell us one or two of the major things you had to do to either repair her, or your major first trips you planned with you new Airstream
5. And lastly add in a bit of humour - and tell us one of the most funny things that happened to you as a newbie with your new AS.

That's it - pretty simple really. I guarantee you will have fun going back to the day you first picked up your AS...the photos are fun to look at and they will bring back all sorts of amazing memories.

When you go to take your new photos of your AS today - you might make it a little adventure...perhaps you picked it up just down the road - or maybe you might take a road trip just for fun (of course not required ha ha) but hey some people need ideas to do something different for a road trip. You will say to yourself WOW - it is amazing all the things we have done with our AS - either travel or renos or meeting new people, rallies you have attended, and vacations you have taken, places you have seen.....

I know....this is going to be a really hard contest to judge - but I'm up for the challenge if you are.

Re- cap
1. Minimum 3 photos of your AS when you first got her.
2. Minimum of 3 photos replicating the first three photos.
3. Short story telling us about your journey answering the 5 questions.

Good luck - and have fun with this one...

PS what happened to the prizes - do we still have to provide one? I have an idea but will have to do a bit of research before I blab it out...but I will try and get the winner something kind of neat and special....

For those who have not heard much about the Kallaste Airstreaming adventures - you can do a search here and find all sorts of stuff. Now of course I write manuscripts - I am NOT expecting that - short shorts please tee hee - remember I have to read and view all this over a month....

Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not alright now, then it is not the end.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:40 PM   #2
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Whew Sharon! Sounds like a lot of work to really upped the ante this month! Can't wait to see the entries of those that take on the challenge ~


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Old 07-03-2012, 01:19 PM   #3
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Love your challenge, but bearing in mind this is July and many are hitting the road, it may be a tad complicated and time consuming.

Perhaps you could streamline/shorten/eliminate some of the requirements or have the contestants pick from catergories 1, 2 or 3? Just a thought.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:11 PM   #4
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Okay - lets make it easy peazy!!!

For those not up for the Challenge - I will let you take the easy fork in the road

Just do a THEN AND NOW.

One photo when you first got your AS and one taken today or this month - that shows the viewers some significant change from then to now.

Come on... it's easy - tons of you have polished or put a new awning on - or even have changed your tow vehicle since you first got your baby.

Most have done some sort of interior change even if it is a photo of the state you found it in and then one after you have cleaned it all up. Everybody takes these photos - it is not hard.

As for the written part - heck just write a little something about why or how you got the bug to get an Airstream in the first place and what was your biggest challenge in getting it.

And for those who are really up for the challenge - the original challenge stands! - bring it on - dazzle me.

As for judging - the easy fork will go to the kitchen table section. And those - who take the time to pull off the challenge will be judged by higher ups

Seriously - this is not hard...

I wanted something different than - sunsets, reflections, rain drops, campfires, rallies, places and people.

I want to see the thrill of you getting your first airstream or one new to you. I want to see your dreams and your plans for changes to make it truly yours come out in your photos. And I wanted to read your stories. I have read 100's of stories and written several threads here of all the goings on in finding an AS, learning about it, getting it bringing it home, all the fauxpaws and the results of photos taken over the years from when we first got them to when where we are now with them or at least some of them.

Life is a challenge - don't give up so easily - you might see that it is a lot easier than you think.
Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not alright now, then it is not the end.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:11 PM   #5
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July 2012 Photo Contest

The story behind my '64 Overlander and I goes back to 1964 when friends of my family ordered the coach new from a dealer in Detroit, Michigan on Eight Mile Road. One of their first trips with the coach was to visit my aunt and camp on her property . . . as a five-year-old, I was fascinated by the big silver trailer and couldn't fathom traveling with your bathroom and bedroom behind your car. My first camping experience was when our friends invited me to go on a weekend excursion with them later that year. I couldn't locate any photos from that first visit, but I did locate a photo taken in 1968 when our friends were visiting our family farm:

As can be guessed from the photo, Airstreams hadn't become my focus, but horses had become my fascination and Trixie, my pony, was posed in front of the Airstream. I am the nine-year-old holding the pony's lead with my best friend, David, riding. My mother's 1966 Oldsmobile Jetstar 88 is in the backgrand along with our farm manager's 1961 Plymouth Valiant . . . and of course, the Airstream.

My fascination with camping began with that first trip and by the time the above photo was taken, I had begun a campaign to convince my parents that we needed an Airstream to take on vacations. My parents weren't convinced that either of them would like camping/RVing, but my father had wanted a pickup truck for years and he saw the potential of getting his desired pickup if he went along with the idea of a "camper". After over a year of shopping, my parents decided on an 8-foot Sunway truck camper that they special ordered from the factory. Simultaneously, they ordered a brand new, special ordered, 1969 Chevrolet C20 long-bed pickup. I was excited with the prospect of beginning family RV adventures, but I was hoping for the roomier travel trailer. Taken in early 1970, the photo below is of the rig that served us through the summer of 1971:

The only one in the family who truely enjoyed the pickup camper was my father, but that was because of the pickup as he hated camping or vacationing in general. My mother disliked the truck, but tolerated the camper as I enjoyed camping and travel. In 1971, my mother had her fill of the pickup and insisted upon a more practical travel vehicle . . . the result was that the SunWay/Chevrolet combination was traded on a brand new Buick Sportwagon that would serve our family for nine years.

The travel trailer/camping bug remained dormant for several years. Once I was able to drive, my mother decided that it might be time to try the camping lifestyle again. We shopped for about a year and settled on special ordering a 1980 Nomad 1780 Light Weight travel trailer with the intent of towing it with our one-year-old Toyota. When the Nomad arrived at the dealer's lot, the hitch fabricator refused to outfit our Toyota for the necessary hitch so it was decided that my 1965 Dodge Coronet 500 would make the ideal tow vehicle with its 383 cubic inch V8 and 3.90 differential gears . . . so it became our tow vehicle for the duration. A photo of this rig appears below:

The photo above was taken during a trip to The Cloud Nine Ranch in Caufield, Missouri. I was approaching my RVing ideal, but something was missing . . . I knew that it was the dream of Airstreaming. The Nomad sealed its fate when a curbside spring shackle failed sending the coach into a 180 degree skid that left us in the proper lane heading in the direction from which we came . . . . the curbside tire, wheel, spring were badly mangled but the rig remained right-side up . . . . the damage, unbelievably was a new spring, new shackles, new wheel, new bias-ply Good Year Marathon tire, and a new bumper guard for the tow vehcile. That experience gave me such a fright that I became a reluctant RV enthusiast as the thought of another such incident was always in the back of my mind (a large, fully loaded semi missed hitting us by less than 10 feet). We had turned down a left-over 1979 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre before ordering the Nomad. I often wonder how thing might have been different had we purchased the left-over Argosy . . .

The RVing bug remaind dormant for several years, but once I was established in my profession the Airstream bug struck again. This time, the decision was mine alone to make and I knew that I would be purchasing an Airstream. I first began looking at the new Airstream Safaris (1995), but something wasn't right . . . . the bathroom was in the wrong place . . . I was determined to have a mid-bedroom with rear bath arrangement. When I realized that no such new model existed in the size that I wante, it was off to look at used Airstreams. My search took me to two dozen used Airstream from 1990 to 1970 in vintage. I found the 1980s models not to my liking, but the 1970s were much closer to what I wanted. I had almost decided on a 1975 Airstream Caravanner . . . it had the bathroom that I wanted, but I was not certain that I wanted a coach where the bed had to be made every day. I decided to think the purchase over, and on my way home, I stopped at a cafe and picked up a "trader" publication to read while I waited for my meal. This would prove to be a fortuitious meal.

While reading the "trader" publication I ran across an advertisement for a 1964 Airstream travel trailer. I hadn't thought about getting an Airstream that old, but it was only a few miles from where I was so I called and made an appointment to look at the coach three days later (it was dark by now and I had appointments scheduled for the next two days). I was up early and ready to go on the appointed day. My old 1984 Jeep Grand Wagoneer took me the 200 miles to the trailer's location near Mendota, Illinois. After battling poor directions on unmarked county roads, I finally located the trailer and its owner. It seemed like the trailer was calling to me from first sight. When I walked into the coach, my immediate thought was of my first camping trip with my family's friends . . . this was my dream coach.

This was in the days before a structured Airstream community on the Internet so I was on my own so far as inspecting and making a final offer. My basic inspection revealed that the coach was missing its fresh water pump, but all of the plumbing and tank were in tact. The mattresses needed replacement, but the drapes, upholstery and carpet were acceptable for several years use. The air conditioner worked well as did the compressor type refrigerator, the water heater was noisy but was doing its job. It appeared to be solid and I didn't find any soft spots in the floors. The owner was asking $6,500 and I offered $6,000 . . . secured my purchase with a $500 cash down-payment. I returned ten days later after I had the opportunity to have my Grand Wagoneer outfitted with the necessary towing gear. The coach followed me home and has been with me for the past 17 years. The photo below is the oldest that I could find and it does represent the coach as it appeared when I first purchased it:

The photo above was taken on the route to the Wally Byam Caravan Club International -- International Rally in 1999. This was to be my second International Rally and first Wagon Wheel Caravan, both of which I have repeated multiple times. The trip was essentially trouble-free (as I had expected after the much longer journey to the 1998 International in Boise, Idaho), and I had the combined knowledge of many experienced caravanners and rallyers who helped me to overcome the minor issues that I did encounter. I had owned the Overlander for four years, and this would be the first time that I was able to use its awning as I was afraid of breaking it if I proceeded without proper operating instructions . . . needless to say this was one of the first things that my caravanning friends helped me to master. The Wagonmaster knew that I was new to caravanning so he had provided me with a list of the various "things" that I would need to have for a stress-free trip - - I paid attention to the list and had everything that I needed, but found that I needed explanation for a few of the items which were promptly provided during the early days of the caravan.

The 1964 Overlander is still with me and likely will be my traveling companion for the years to come. The biggest change that I have had is that I am no longer a Free-Wheeler as I met my soulmate three years ago and we will be celebrating our second anniversary in October. We both enjoy traveling and RVing so I am sure that the Overlander will see many more adventures. The phot below was taken a few years ago following a trip to Helena, Ohio to P and S Trailer Service polish and plasticoat the coach. I opted to go with the "original sheen" polish rather than the "mirror polish" that is so popular because I wante the coach to be the way that I remembered it from childhood.

Over a period of about six months, I had P and S Trailer Service in Helena Ohio restore/refurbish the exterior, and Fowler RV Interiors of Symsonia, Kentucky restore/refurbish the interior. Even though I now know that I overpaid for the coach initially, I know that my total expenditure is still just about what I would have spent for a new Sarari in 1995.

The photo above is of my Overlander with its Vintage traveling companion, my 1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible. This is my time machine of travel . . . a big land yacht of a car towing the most elegant land yacht . . . my 1964 Airstream Overlander Land Yacht International.

As Paul Harvey used to say "and now for the rest of the story".

I had only owned the Overlander for about six months when I was towing it home to show to my family. My route took me close to the home of the original owners' son so I stopped in for a brief visit and to talk Airstreaming. I noticed a marked change in his expression as we approached the coach. He looked at me and said "oh, does this bring back memories," and my response was that I thought that the coach was very similar to the one that his family had bought new in 1964. His response to me was, you don't have a coach similar to our 1964 . . . it is the coach that we had . . . those drapes were sewn by my mother shortly before they sold the coach in 1980, and the upholstery on the sofa was also done by my mother about five years before they sold the coach." This coach has had an ownership history that has taken it from the original owners' home near Springfield, Illinois; to the second owners' home near Branson, Missouri, to the third owners' home near Mendota, Illinois, and finally to my home near Carbondale, Illinois.

The photo below is my most recent, and was taken as I was preparing the coach for its trip to the International Rally in Madison, Wisconsin. I had lived and taught school near Madison so this would be a trip including an extended stay in Wisconsin following the International:

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #6
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Great story Kevin! it really does go to show that the world is not that big after all.

The trailer looks great BTW.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:41 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Great Story!!

Absolutely met the challenge Kevin. What a wonderful and interesting story.
You have had some bad-ass tow vehicle I must say.

Oh Ps you can never pay too much for the right airstream for you. Sometimes you can just never put a price to how something makes you feel!

Congratulations too - that is a really great change from your initial airstreaming days to present. And check out the number of miles you are putting out on the road awesome.

Kudos Kevin for being the first to step up to the plate...great photo's great story! And that grin of yours truly shows "Pride of Ownership" - or is it because your sweetie was inside the Overlander

See all you timid people out there - it is not hard to write and tell the story about your photos...
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:13 PM   #8
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Thumbs up Great job!

Kevin... Great work. Really enjoyed the read.
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:52 PM   #9
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Kevin, Your story is wonderful and written with such feeling, I felt all your emotions. Thank you for sharing your love of camping and following your dreams. I hope we will run into you and your wife one day!
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Contest might as well be over! Great story, Kevin. One of the reasons we like Airstreamin" so many great stories and great people to tell them. Thanks for sharing.

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Old 07-04-2012, 04:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Lucky Dog View Post
Contest might as well be over! Great story, Kevin. One of the reasons we like Airstreamin" so many great stories and great people to tell them. Thanks for sharing.

Exactly what I was thinking. He wins:
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:50 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dowpells View Post
Exactly what I was thinking. He wins:
Well Kevin has inspired me. I may have to enter the July challange. A silver medal works for me.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:08 AM   #13
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Great story Kevin!! Looking forward to reading adventures and seeing more pics in July!!
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:47 AM   #14
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And Miles to Go Before I Sleep – The Story of the Fly at Night

A Winter Morning, January 2011:
Waking-up to the warm ooze of blood dripping down my foot because one of the springs in my old bedroom-suite mattress had popped through the casing slicing my ankle, it was time to buy a new mattress. I found a rather firm queen which suited the purpose. It also came with one large accessory: a 2010 Flying Cloud trailer.

Not too many people go shopping for a bed and end up with a 27’ trailer. But when I archive back to my childhood, it was inevitable. I just did not know it at the time.

Many Years Earlier:
My introduction to rivets involved airplanes. Growing up in the bedroom community of an international airport, almost everyone on our street worked for an airline. An airline war broke out with the kids in the neighbourhood. While riding in the family car - if the airport parking permit dangling from the rear-view mirror of the oncoming vehicle was the same airline one of your parents worked for - you waved. If it was a competitor, you did not. The nervey kids might even stick out their tongue.

My family was the exception as they did not work for an airline. But my best friend next door – her father was a pilot on the Boeing 747. The neighbour on the other side was a retired airline mechanic we called "Old Johnny" who had worked on all the great airliners from the golden age of aviation. Johnny spent many weekend coffee and waffle mornings at our house regaling us with those days. He had a fondness for the DC-3 – “The airplane that taught the world to fly” was how he described it. I was always enthralled with his stories. My favourite was the DC-3 with sleeper compartments. Go to sleep on an airplane and wake-up in a different place? I thought that was the grandest thing I had ever heard. It was certainly better than sharing a bedroom with my older sister who talked in her sleep, then waking up to the same things as the day before.

The best part about the DC-3 sleeper was when Johnny described it as “floating through the clouds, snug in your warm bed, with the clean Rocky-Mountain air gently ventilating your compartment.” It was a vision that would envelop me as soon as I turned out my bedside lamp. Floating through the clouds; the clean crisp mountain air; the warmth of the bed. Sleep would come quickly.

Despite my fondness for airplane stories, my education and work did not lead to aviation. But I had never lost the yearn for tubular cocoons or waking-up in different places. I became involved with a group that was interested in vintage aircraft. One of our first projects involved the rescue and resurrection of an old friend – the DC-3. I wondered if Johnny had ever worked on it, but Johnny had been dead for many years. One of the welders in the restoration crew thought it might have been a sleeper at one time. After many years of hard work and sacrifice, our beloved DC-3 was donated to the B.C. Transportation Museum. (Because of badly rusted-out wing spars, she would never fly again.) But everything else about her was as solid as a steel post. And whenever I looked at her, I was not bound by those surly-terra-firma bonds. I would imagine her floating through the clouds with her passengers snug in their bed - caressed by that mountain air.

Our Project......

The Fly at Night Has Landed:
It was on that anaemic winter morning – on my way to “Sleep Country Canada” to look at mattresses (or so I thought) that I noticed the line of Airstream trailers at the dealership. They reminded me of the DC-3 project, all metal and rivets......

It was like I was on automatic pilot. The next thing I knew, I was on the lot, being drawn to one of the larger Airstreams there. As I got closer, I noticed the writing on the side: “Flying Cloud – Special Edition.” It all came back to me. Floating through the clouds with her passengers snug in their bed....

The future Fly-at-Night or (FaN) at the dealership......

The trailer was pretty well a done deal right then and there. Added to that was the fact that I felt that I needed a change. Whatever happened to waking up in a different place? I was getting old and boring.
A “Sold” sign was soon beaming from the Flying Cloud’s pana window.

I never did get to sleep in that DC-3, but I have spent over 395 nights in the Fly at Night while parked in the driveway.

First week home - in the snow.......

Guess what flies above the dining table? A DC-3!.....

My co-pilot....

I have not had a chance to take her out on the road as much as I would like, but I did spend a week last fall waking up in a different place; the
beautiful Cascade Mountains......

I think that is what I like best about owning a trailer. Like an airplane, it is the draw of the destination. But with a trailer, it is more about the challenge of the journey over the destination.......

Laying in the FaN, I will think of old Johnny, sitting at my mom’s kitchen table. The way his eyes would sparkle when he talked about his favourite airplane. I will remember the best part about the sleeper - waking-up someplace else. The dream has become the reality.

And safe, secure, and happy in my warm bed with the clean country air wafting through those big Airstream windows, sleep will again come quickly. Old Johnny might even be looking down with a knowing smile.

This picture of a DC-3 sleeper is on the wall beside the FaN's bed.....

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