Taking a turn for the better

We are back in Vermont, parked once again at our summer home base.  Our odyssey from Tucson has encompassed over 3,000 miles, 11 states, and one Canadian province.  The Airstream is squeezed into its designated spot in the driveway, Emma is busy visiting with her grandparents, and we are all breathing a sigh of relief that we don’t have any more driving to do for a while.

Normally when we pull into Vermont I don’t have that feeling of “too much driving.” But normally we take couple of months to cross the country, and this time our departure was seriously delayed by the car and hitch problems I described earlier.  Our ideal schedule is to drive 150 miles or less, stay for 2-4 days, and then drive no more than 150 miles again.  This time we had many 300+ mile days, and even one of 650 miles.

Somewhere along the way, probably in Wisconsin when I was foolishly lifting my 9-year-old, I strained some back muscles and the resulting pain has afflicted me while driving for the past week.  We’ve resorted to stopping along the road so that Eleanor can massage my back.  This may sound blissful — pausing in the afternoon for a delightful massage in the Airstream bedroom — but trust me, you don’t want this experience.  Eleanor’s massage was therapeutic and extremely painful.  My friend Bill Reilly, who is a professional masseuse, says he can make any grown man “cry like a little girl,” and after having Eleanor treat my back I know exactly what he’s talking about.  But for all the pain, her technique worked and kept me on the road long enough to get here.

Our last day in Cazenovia NY was fine for Eleanor, Emma, and Brett, but lousy for me.  Brett got a ride in the Piper Cub, including some wingovers, Eleanor and Emma walked trails on all 50 acres of the property where we were parked.  At night our host cranked up his 1917 Calliaphone on the front porch and blasted carnival theme songs across the countryside.  It was eery to hear the music late at night, but also sort of magical.  Unfortunately, I had one of those overly-busy-and-filled-with-annoyance sort of day at the “office” and couldn’t really enjoy any of it.  At the end of the day I was inclined to just hole up in the Airstream and watch a movie, while the rest of the group had dinner with our host.  I probably shouldn’t have chosen the dystopian theme of “Children of Men” for that evening’s movie, but in a sense it was nice to see how much worse things could be.

Things went a lot better on Friday, when we towed the Airstream across the beautiful Adirondack Park region and stopped in the small town of Speculator for lunch by the lake.  The weather has, amazingly, improved to sheer perfection: sunny, 70s, dry and breezy.  I say “amazingly” because the entire month of June in the northeast has been wet, wet, wet. The ground is still squishy in most places.  Perhaps summer will officially start now that we are here.

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At least, that’s what my brother Steve suggested.  He recently finished the restoration of a Glastron GT150, and he hasn’t been able to use it much with the crummy weather.  But last night the conditions on Lake Champlain were very good and so he plopped the GT150 down in the water and we took it for a spin.  It’s a tiny thing, and it skips over the water like a flat stone while going at speeds up to 50 MPH.  Great fun.

I have some more things to say about the trip in retrospect, including a report on the success of the GL320, but I’ll save it for future blogs. Now that we are at summer home base, I’ll be posting less than daily until Region 1 Rally (Aug 5-9, and I’ll be giving a presentation there on Aug 7), and the Vintage Trailer Jam (August 12-16).

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Editor & Publisher of Airstream Life magazine