Archive for May, 2010

How about this weather?

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

I am a poor blogger. One post a month just doesn’t cut it. I have my list of excuses of course. I was busy getting the trailer and car ready for the trip, or I haven’t had good internet connections.

All excuses are lame aren’t they?

I had hoped to take the old clear coat off our Excella in the first week or so of May, but the weather was so unpredictable that I never started on it. Really, the clear coat remover I bought needs at least 60 degree days, but not more than 80 or so. I figured I needed at least three good days to take the clear coat off, but it was either too cold, too hot, too windy, or rainy. We even had two storms that rained mud.

Apparently, a dust storm carried dirt up into a rain cloud and came down as mud. Covered the entire city in a fine brown paste. That’s my excuse anyway and so we’re on the road with a shabby looking exterior. Oh, well!

Our first stop was a rally in Fort Collins, CO. It was cool and wet there until Sunday when we left. Then on to Sidney, Nebraska at Cabella’s and continued east on I-80. We spent one night at a road side rest somewhere in Iowa, then broke down on a hill just east of Moline, IL. Got towed to Green chevy dealership and spent the night camped in their back lot.

Back lot camping
Free back lot camping while we waited for our Suburban to get fixed.

I didn’t sleep all that well. Greens assured us we’d be okay, even though they don’t have gate to lock at night, and that the only problem they’d been having was with some “radio thefts,” but that no-one would pay any attention to us. Well, not really. There was more traffic in that back lot at night than there was during the entire afternoon! One car even circled us repeatedly, nearly doing donuts. But, other than that we were left alone.

And Green Chevrolet did take good care of us. The mechanical problem turned out to be a minor one (only $156 + $112 for the tow) and so only lost a half day of travel. Then we were back onto I-80 and spent another night at a roadside rest somewhere in Indiana and finally rolled into the Tin Can Tourist rally at Camp Dearborn in Milford, MI.

Cool cars and trailers at the Tin Can Tourist Rally, Camp Dearborn, MI
Diane Flis-Schnieder and her 1935 Bowlus and 1936 Packard

Great rally! Learned some interesting things from author John Long about Bowlus trailers, had wonderful food, met with some really easy going campers. The only downside was a little too much rain (man did it pour!), but the good is that we didn’t have any leaks.

Love this Pontiac with its Spartan Manor in the background – the Airstream looks pretty good too, doesn’t it?

On Sunday (the 23rd), we left MI and did about 225 miles and arrived in Jackson Center, OH at about 3 p.m. with the temperature about 92 degrees. Too much heat, too soon! We were wearing sweaters in MI.

So, we’re now in the “Terraport” at the Airstream factory and it’s our basecamp until Alumapalooza starts June 1st. Even then we’ll just be moving to a grassy field behind the factory to camp with Rich and over a hundred others.

In the mean time, I’ll try to catch up on my writing and other projects – need to finish putting together my presentation on tire safety for this rally and start my presentation on 80’s Airstream trailers for the International rally in Gilette, WY.

Basilica & National Shrine of
Our Lady of Consolation

We did get out for one day of sight seeing. We went to Carey, OH to visit a Catholic shrine, Our Lady of Consolation. It’s a beautiful church built in Italian Romanesque architecture. From there we went to Tiffin, OH to see one of the glass museums there.

Tiffin museum
Tiffin Glass Museum, 25 S. Washington St., Tiffin, OH

Patrice inherited June Night crystalware from her grandmother and wanted to know more about where it was made and its history. We had a personal tour guide and learned some facinating things. One that interested me was that the yellow glassware called “canary” glows intense green under ultraviolet light. This is because the mineral that gives the yellow color (in nomal light) is a Uranium salt. The UV light excites the mineral making it glow or fluoresce. It’s not radioactive though, or at least not enough for concern.

Canary, a
Canary in normal light
Canary, b
Under blacklight

About the Author

Hi, my name is Forrest McClure. I've been writing for the magazine since its inception. My wife and I travel with our 1966 20' Globe Trotter or our 1986 32' Excella. So, my primary interest is vintage travel trailers.