We just returned from a three day astronomy camp-out called the Table Mountain Star Party. Hundreds of astronomy nuts show up on a remote mountain in central WA state, and stay up all night looking at the stars. During the day it's hot and dusty, at night it's bitter cold. We attended this party back in '97, but then we only had a camper van, with basically no facilities, just a bed in the back. This time we took the AS
First off, we were nervous because the website warned that the forest service had cut back on the amount of space they could use on the mountain, and they might have to turn people away because there wouldn't be enough camping space. We got there and were immediately greeted with 'Nice Bambi, I've got a place for that little rig'. He led us down to the tent camping area (the RV sites were already overflowing), and told us if we could squeeze it into a spot between two trucks, we could stay there. There was no room to manuver except to just back it in off the road (no driving on the grass), but Dave got it in two tries. All weekend people kept coming up to me and saying how amazing it was that he slid it in there like that! We had to take the van and go park it off site (a short hike away), but it was ok, because we didn't need it once the trailer was set up.
The first day (since astronomers have lots of free time in the daylight) I finished sewing my awnings. We put them on and opened the windows up wide to keep it cool inside. I was sitting on the couch reading when I heard two guys outside. 'hey, look out - oh, good thing you saw those awnings!' A guy had almost run right into the open window but the awning caught his attention first!
The whole weekend we watched people walking by outside saying 'what a cute little Bambi', 'it's charming', 'it's got personality'. Several people stopped to quiz us about it. People looked disapointed when told it was a Caravel
. A couple who had a vintage El Ray stopped to chat and said theirs gets called a Bambi so much they'd given up correcting folks.
We were there for three nights. Every night I stayed up until the wee hours using my scope (a 10" reflector I built back in '96), and we had a delightful time. So much better than staying in the campervan in '97. We had heat, our own facilities (no porta-potties for us!), our own kitchen (for hot cocoa at 2am), and comfy lounging space. The trailer stayed warm at night, and cool during the day. It was small enough to park easily, and didn't overtax the van dragging it up the steep mountain. And on top of all that, it's quite the conversation starter. I can't imagine anything that would make me love this little trailer more!