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Old 01-12-2005, 05:13 PM   #29
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It was fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
What a fascinating trip your through hike must have been, Rich, that is truly something most people will never get to do. I have read books about doing that, though am likely to never do so myself, but had not heard about RVrs coming out to meet hikers and offer them some comfort. Very interesting!
Stephanie,

Thanks. It was fun, interesting, difficult, exciting, and everything else you could feel. What so many books leave out are the "true true" life parts. Sitting down in a shelter at the end of the day so tired you don't want to eat. Bursting into tears the 5th morning your boots are too frozen to put on (my wife & I both did that one). And then there are the moments when you know that taking the trip was worth it all.

I've found that the experience made me appreciate seeing new places even more. It also left me wanting to spend long amounts of time in random small towns. One other favorite part of the trail was getting into a town, finding the nearest convinence store, getting a Dew, and sitting in the parking lot for what seemed like forever watching people come and go.

On our trips with both the Eurovan and Airstream I've captured the same exact feeling many times. Erin & I have popped into rest stops along our travels, looked at each other and said, "Remember sitting in the Dairy Queen parking lot in Bland, VA?" Folks probably wonder who the odd folks are sitting on the concrete parking bricks with big grins!

Many people "section hike" the AT over years. I've met several who have friends or family meet them with an RV. They use it as a base camp. Dropped off at one road crossing, picked up at another. No heavy pack when you're slack packing! Might be a great use of an Airstream.

Two of our friends who finished the trail bought a Class A shortly after their hike (sold their house to boot). Each year they go to "Trail Days" in Damascus. As they travel they seek out hikers along their route to bring to Trail Days (most hikers try to make it back for the big celebration). During the week of trail days more campers, trailers, buses, and Class A's crowd the Damascus area. It is quite the scene. Now I'm thinking about a road trip.....

Rich
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Old 01-12-2005, 08:52 PM   #30
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Fascinating reads. Thanks, all. Rivets and rotted floors are great talk too, and necessary (!), but getting into the "heart" of our "addiction" is equally engrossing. As always, I enjoy and I'm impressed by the diversity of discussion on this forum. A good thread!
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:35 PM   #31
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Thanks for *all* of these posts, they make me feel less alone in my refurbishing insanity.

Gadgetat, I read "A Walk In The Woods" as you probably have too, I think what hit home the most for me when I read it, besides the story about the town with the coal fire underneath it that lasted 30 plus years, is when the author, after miles and miles and months of hiking and blisters and beauty and heartbreak, joy and frustration, stops in a cafe that has a map of the trail on the wall. He sees how he and his buddy have only covered one inch on a line that is about two feet long and realizes he's not even close to the halfway done he thought he was. I FELT his pain.

How far did you get, did you finish? (I know that's not the point of hiking it, I'm just curious)

I highly recommend the book. Bill Bryson, A Walk In The Woods.
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Old 01-12-2005, 11:30 PM   #32
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We've been there

I'd like to say how great it is to see such diversity & acceptance in the forum. No one shoe fits all here. Probably being in a more advanced age than some, we've had cabins by the lake, different SOB trailers, almost to many tents & backpacks to count, along with all the gear for each one. We even winter tent camped at -25, now that's an experiance. We found the good, the bad & the ugly in all. From my experiance I'd have to say our BEST travel, camping, etc, was when we would take our weeks vacation & travel the Boundry Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota. We --the wife & I--could really relax --no phone, no TV, no--have to go do this or that & back then we didn't have cell phones. Rainy days under a tarp with a small fire & a good book, Wolves howling at night, the call of the loons, starry skies like you never see at home. The challenges of the storms, lighting, wind, rough water made one realize, it was just you against nature and it could get bad, if not careful. It was hard to beat. Wow!! Memories of times past. Found it was over when lines begin to form at the portages, junk hauled in & left. Just got totally disgusted at the lack of respect for the Great land. Anyway if you ever get to Northern Minnesota, you just have to take a short canoe trip. It's a great experiance. Now on to Airstreaming!!!
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Old 01-13-2005, 12:20 AM   #33
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I moved up to a motorhome as tow vehicle for my racecar. The paddocks at most tracks are okay places. But, when you're there for a minumum of ten to twelve hours a day, and (if you're lucky and don't break) much of that is sitting-around time, it's awfully nice to have a fully-equipped portable refuge only a few steps away.

At the end of a long, hot day, the shower in my Argosy feels wonderful - and it's not 30 minutes away. I don't have to worry about getting to the motel, cleaning up, and then settling for a mediocre meal in some cheesy restaurant that's likely overloaded with other racers and fans. If there's a Saturday evening social at the track, which our SCCA events usually have, I can imbibe and not worry about endangering myself or anyone else on the walk back to my accommodations. The next morning, I don't have the frantic drive to the track for an 8 a.m. (or earlier) on-track session. Instead, it's start the coffee at leisure and visit with the "neighbors."

I assumed that having an air-conditioned space on 95-degree days would be one of the main benefits, and that is wonderful. At one of my first motorhome-supported races, though, 45-degree daytime highs and rainy, overcast conditions made me even gladder that I had a working furnace. Nomex is warm, but not that warm. Lots of my racer friends must have agreed, too, because the old Argosy was crowded just about all day long.

Racetracks, I've discovered, can be wonderfully peaceful places early in the morning, before engines are fired for the day's main activities. I really enjoy the contrast, and it's something I used to miss out on.

Then there was that time I was headed home with a racer friend in his GMC MH when we encountered severe storms about two hours from home. Without a moment's hesitation, we pulled into the closest rest stop, shut the rig down, and slept like babies for about two hours in some very comfortable beds. True luxury!

Bob
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Old 01-13-2005, 09:20 AM   #34
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**What They Say!**

As a Free Wheeler, I find traveling in either my Airstream or Argosy roughly equivalent to living in an older neighborhood of bungalow houses with old-fashioned front porches with swings. Opening the awning and setting up the lawn chairs produces much the same results as sitting on the front porch swing - - before too long a neighbor will stop by to visit.

One of my friends who can't understand why I insist upon traveling by RV whenever possible focuses only on the "cost" pulling and parking the RV. When I traveled using the "motel" method, it was rare to really get acquainted with any of my fellow travelers; while with the Airstream or Argosy, I return from virtually every trip with a few new friends.

Another friend just can't understand why my preference is for traveling by RV rather than taking group tours. After trying the group tour routine, I found a major difference between that travel method and RVing - - unlike my Caravans and Rallys with the WBCCI, a group tour is regimented and it is difficult (if not virtually impossible) to "opt-out" of a portion of the tour - - with WBCCI Rallys and Caravans, you have the option of choosing what you wish to do in regard to participation.

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Old 01-13-2005, 07:28 PM   #35
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AEMilliman, you speak to my mind tonight. We are starting to talk about reserving a site for a few weeks to a month in Grand Marais this summer in the AS, putting us in reach of so many of those Northern Minnesota pleasures you describe. We cannot do long canoeing treks now, but we'll paddle Loon Lake or a slow part of the Brule, drive to Gunflint and maybe Saginaga... spending time in the region fills the mind and rests the soul for the rest of the year. I only wish we had discovered this magical land when we first married and would have been able to do the deep canoeing you speak of! Thank God for books that can take me there. Just tonight I picked up North Writers (A Collection) and was reading a piece by William O. Douglas about a trip made with Sigurd Olsen.
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Old 01-13-2005, 07:53 PM   #36
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I head nay sayers off at the pass, and tell them that I have become
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Airstreams are the Caddilac of trailers. Then I reminded them that I was
her favorite...............Then they pounded me
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:11 PM   #37
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BWCA adventures

Thanks Maxandgeorgia for the understanding post. The Gunflint trail was where we made our last canoe trip. Kinda went over the top when we had to pull in early, due to a storm, at a closed camp site. After the storm we discovered why it was closed. The BWCA volunteers had used it as a drop off point for collected junk, as they went around picking up after others. You wouldn't believe what all was there. Anyway I was going to mention that I have the complete collection of Sig's books & even as we AS travel I carry some for night time reading. For me, he has a way that really speaks to the quietness of the land. My good wife made me a beautiful wall hanger with a quote from Sig--"My wilderness world has to do with the calling of Loons, Northern Lights and the great silence of the land"--end quote. I might also suggest that another good book is "Canoeing with the Cree", by Eric Severid? Written in I believe 1933, but it's still a great book that can take you back to a wilderness solitude. Hope you make it to the Gunflint as I just know you'll have a great time.
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:13 AM   #38
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SilverTwinky…

*** What they Say ***

This is a really interesting question. My Airstream peeks out slightly from behind my house. The comments I have received from my neighbors are pretty much about how much they would love to have one and how cool the Airstream is. In my work I travel over 100,000 miles a year around the world and for the most part my wife and I vacation via air a few times a year. I certainly spend my fair share of time in hotels / motels / resorts which believe it or not ….it is a lifestyle I really enjoy. I view my Airstream and truck as another recreational activity which provides a different venue for fun. I have only taken a couple of significant trips with it and attended 1 WBCI rally but so far I really think the whole RV thing is a lot of fun. I don’t think I will give up tent camping completely and I don’t think I will stop vacationing in Hawaii (of which I do as often as possible) . Most of my friends and associates are very interested in the “Airstream thing” more so than the idea of RV’ing. I think my wife and I cycled through many of the reasons stated earlier in this thread (bring all your stuff with you, no hotel checkins checkouts, RV vs. a sailboat). The reason we ultimately got into this is all of the above. After spending a year reading and discussing in the forum here I am considering purchasing a second vintage AS to restore as a hobby. Hmmm.. Maybe this is a disease ….
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