December – Streamin’ holiday cheer

December in the Northern Hemisphere, is a time of dropping temperatures and lengthening nights, leading up to winter solstice that has had cultural significance dating back to Neolithic times for people who have responded with observances often associated with the reversal of the Sun’s ebbing and the beginning of longer days, resulting in cheerful celebrations often around themes of birth or rebirth, renewal, hopefulness, and new beginnings, and characterized by people gathering, celebrating, feasting and drinking (Wikipedia).  December’s full moon is known as the both the Full Cold Moon* and the Long Nights Moon.

Recently, we received photos and cheerful news that the new owners of our Airstream Safari trailer successfully completed a round trip from San Diego to Northern California to visit their family while camping along the way.

20171025_122115 Hitched for maiden cruise

20171029_180037 Maiden cruise camping

We have cheerful memories of camping and celebrating the holidays and seasons from fall to spring over the years.  Ten years ago this month, Larry and I and our late corgi Mac and pug Pau Hoa celebrated our first December camping in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park where we met up with friends and celebrated the season.

HPIM1905 Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

I brought along my lighthouse keeper’s garb, which doubled as a conductor’s uniform, for The Polar Express* spoof performance I gave to entertain and cheer our friends.

HPIM1907 The conductor & uke player

I also brought my plague doctor’s robe and top hat to present The Nutcracker‘s Drosselmeyer giving a nutcracker to Clara* (Emma here).  (Also see “Nutcracker in the desert” and Tour of America’s “Characters.”)

HPIM1949 Drosselmeyer presents gift

HPIM1951 Emma receives Nutcracker

We then held an ukulele fest that could drive the cold winter away* (along with Dr. C)!

HPIM1954 Uke fest in the desert

Cheerfulness abounded both outside and inside our Airstream Safari.

HPIM1970 Airstream decorated for Christmas

So this December 2017, we are cherishing our home and wishing everyone Good Health and Happy Holidays!

IMG_1002 Larry's Holiday Panettone

And be of good cheer as you watch James Corden’s Most Intense Christmas Celebration Ever* and ‘All I Want for Christmas’ Carpool Karaoke!*

IMG_1020 Our holiday mantel 2017

*This is a link to a YouTube video.

November – Streamin’ gratitude

November, along with its holiday of Thanksgiving, is a wonderful time to pause and take a moment to reflect on our blessings, the fruits of our labors, our families and loved ones, our health, nature, our beautiful world and universe, and appreciate everything that inspires gratitude.  It is also a great time to be grateful for the health benefits that come from an attitude of gratitude.  The CBS This Morning video, “Why an attitude of gratitude can help your health,”* points out that research studies have found that an attitude of gratitude can have health benefits such as a sounder sleep, boosting the immune system, coping with stress, feeling happier, being kinder, motivating one to exercise and eat healthier, and feeling more satisfied with life in general.

This November we are grateful for the wonderful memories we have of our past 10 years of camping with our Airstream trailer, which was a custom factory order placed on the day before Thanksgiving.  We are also grateful for the good deal we received from the dealer (another good time to buy an Airstream is just before Christmas when most others are shopping for presents and dealers are eager to make a deal!).

Ten years ago this month, Larry and I and our late corgi Mac and pug Pau Hoa celebrated our first fall camping season at Vallecito County Park in the Anza-Borrego Desert.  We were so grateful that this park was relatively empty, quiet, surrounded by natural beauty and near the Ghost Mountain home of Marshal South,* which I photographed for the first time (see the full story here).

HPIM1749 Vallecito County Park 2007

HPIM1839 Morning Coffee

HPIM1813 Larry, Mac & Pau Hoa

HPIM1803 Larry cooks steak on Hibachi

Although we recently have passed our Airstream Safari on to a younger generation, we still have that esprit de corps of Airstreamers, exploring and appreciating each day as a gift, even when health issues arise.  In 2008, my sun-related facial skin lesions (Actinic keratoses) were treated and in 2009 one lesion was diagnosed as squamous cell carcinoma and removed through Mohs surgery.  In 2014, Larry was diagnosed having a small, slow-growing, benign pituitary gland adenoma that has been successfully managed with oral medication.  Last August, Airstreamer Sean Michael posted in this Long Long Honeymoon episode* that he also was diagnosed with a benign tumor on his pituitary gland and vlogged his Thank You!!!* to everyone for all of the positive energy he has received.  In September, Sean & Kristy vlogged tips regarding health insurance, especially while on the road, “Health Insurance & RV Travel.”*  Last month, Sean posted his great news* that this tumor is responding positively to his medication.  This is great news because a growing tumor here could impinge on the nearby optic nerve and lead to vision changes and possibly blindness.

We are so grateful for our eyes, our visual gateway to experience the wonder and awe of nature and the world around us.

DSC_0037 Stars above Airstream

Wonder and Awe* is also a breathtaking video filmed and presented by Louie Schwartzberg at a TEDx event.  “Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude”, says Louie.  “Did you know that 80% of the information we receive comes through our eyes… and aren’t we grateful for our brains that can take this electrical impulse that comes from light energy to create images in order for us to explore our world?”

Gratitude* is another Louie Schwartzberg presentation given at a TEDxSF event.  Per TEDxSF, ” Nature’s beauty can be easily missed — but not through Louie Schwartzberg’s lens. His stunning time-lapse photography, accompanied by powerful words from Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast, serves as a meditation on being grateful for every day.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

*This is a link to a YouTube video.

Once an Airstreamer, Always an Airstreamer

San Diego is home to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot where over 21,000 enlisted recruits a year receive their initial training in the United States Marine Corps, whose motto is Semper Fidelis* (Always Faithful).  The official motto of the Marine Corps League is “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.” For many of us who have or had an Airstream, that special esprit de corps rings true to us Airstreamers and is the theme in Rich Luhr’s post, One community, indivisible …, “I’ll keep touting the message that no matter which Airstream you own, you’re a part of Airstream Life.  Special interest groups within the Airstream community are cool, but in the end we’re all people united by a common love of travel, adventure, learning, socializing and —well, to be honest—eating.”

Airstream… it all started with a dream, words, and actions of Wally Byam as seen in Airstream’s new video, Airstream Anthem: The Creed.*  Our Airstream adventure began nearly eleven years ago with a trip to Southwest Coaches where we placed a custom order for an Airstream Safari trailer.  We entered a world of enjoying nature, stars, rainbows, sunrises, sunsets, birds, turkeys, bighorn sheep, sights and trails and meeting people and sharing ideas and food while appreciating the iconic beauty, form and function of Airstream.

Ten years ago this month, we began our annual fall-winter-spring camping season with a trip to William Heise County Park in San Diego’s Cuyamaca Mountains.  This trip is documented in my “SilverGate’s Safari is Home at Last!” thread, starting with post #295, which includes turkeys, the Plague Doctor, Día de los Muertos decorations, Flamingo Hat, cooking and a visit to the nearby town of Julian and the gravesite of Marshal South.  All of this came 3 months before I “welcomed aboard” readers to my first History Safari Express blog post in January, 2008!

HPIM1464 Desert view from mts

HPIM1473 Rig at Wm Heise Park

HPIM1507 Bacon in Brinkman Small Fry

HPIM1555 Halloween spirits

After 10 years of camping in San Diego’s beautiful beach, mountain, and desert sites, we listened to our minds and bodies and decided to lessen our workload and stress by selling our Airstream to a younger family who will use and love this Airstream as we have (See The Selling of our Airstream trailer).  We are currently researching the 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid* as an alternative compact crossover sport utility vehicle to continue to enjoy our day trips (RAV4 stands for “Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive”) . Although we don’t intend to tow, it’s nice to know that the 2018 RAV4 Hybrid can tow 1,750 pounds (enough for a Wolf Pack*) and the 2018 RAV4 Adventure all-wheel drive can tow up to 3,500 pounds (enough for a Basecamp or Nest, expected early 2018)!

So this “always an Airstreamer” will continue to go places and celebrate the esprit de corps of the Airstream community, indivisible, and Airstream Life by covering Airstream-related items on this blog, including highlights of past trips and tips, news and views, seasonal celebrations, interesting videos, and new, exciting products such as the all new 2018 Airstream Atlas B+, Airstream’s most luxurious Touring Coach to date. See the videos: Airstream Spotlight: 2018 Atlas Touring Coach* and Colonial Airstream’s Patrick Botticelli’s Walk Through 2018 Airstream Atlas B+ Touring Coach Mercedes Sprinter RV.*

*This is a link to a YouTube video.

The selling of our Airstream trailer

In our younger years, we enjoyed tent camping, so shortly into our retirement, 11 years ago, we rekindled the dream of camping and explored the RV options that would make it more pleasant and comfortable.  After visiting dealers of pop up and white box, and finally Airstream trailers, we came to the conclusion that it would be Airstream or nothing!  After doing almost a year of homework and exploring all of the information and opinions in AirForums and Airstream Life, we bought a 2007 Airstream Safari SE 23′ trailer and brought it home in January 2007, as detailed in “SilverGate’s Safari is Home at Last!

HP Our Safari arrives home (Jan:2007)For the next 10 years our family enjoyed the form and function of this iconic trailer* while camping in the beautiful desert, mountain, and beach parks in San Diego County and meeting and making new friends along the way.

DSC_0130 Vallecito County Park 2008

DSC_0108 Wm Heise County Park 6:08

DSC_0017 South Carlsbad State BeachAs I entered the seventh decade of my life, my body began telling me that I should lighten the workload and yet still enjoy being a California day-tripper.*  So we decided to find the right person to buy, enjoy and love this Airstream as we have.  To this end, we first contacted friends and then placed our ad on AirForums’ Airstream Classifieds on September 13. The first responses were from dealers who wanted to buy it for resale.  There were 18 other inquires and I asked each one to tell me something about themselves, interest in Airstream, RV experience, how they would use the trailer, and what they would use as a tow vehicle.

IMG_0721 Our Airstream ad 9:13:17Two days after the ad was posted, we got a positive response that looked promising from a local, young family who came to see the trailer and decided after a few days of serious contemplation that this trailer would be a perfect match, and we agreed!  The transaction was completed with a cashier’s check, bill of sale, and the Notice of Title Transfer and Release of Liability.  I then reviewed with the buyer how everything worked and assisted in hitching up the trailer to his 2016 RAM 3500 truck.  I then followed him in our truck, filled with camping items that we no longer needed, and assisted him in parking and unhitching the trailer.

IMG_0669 Our Safari's new homeport

Our Safari was beaming, looking happy, and right at home in its new homeport!

IMG_0670 A beaming happy Safari!Also looking happy, the new owner said he and his family are absolutely thrilled with the trailer!

IMG_0672 The happy new owner!And we are happy and thrilled to pass this iconic Airstream trailer on to a younger generation that will give it love, good use, good care, and a good home!

*Encore YouTube videos: Paul McCartney – Two of Us and Transfer – Reflections of Home and Losing Composure

10th year wash, wax and treat!

This is the tenth year that our 2007 Airstream Safari has had a thorough washing, waxing and treating (filiform corrosion control and prevention), which has preserved its iconic beauty, even though it lives with us along the San Diego coast.  (Note: we routinely cover our trailer tires for sun protection.)

DSC_0061 Safari awaits 10th annual wash, wax & treat

As it awaited its big wash and wax job, it proudly flew the flag of the United States and the United States Navy.  I was a Navy Hospital Corpsman 1971-1975 and June 17 was the 119th birthday of the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps!

DSC_0030 United States Navy flag

Last week I donned sun protection for my skin and eyes and climbed the step ladder to begin the attack.  A full report on how I wash and wax the trailer, along with a list of my tools, strategy, procedure, and the benefits, is seen in my post, “Wash, wax and treat II.”

DSC_0092 10th annual Airstream washOur three awnings were then deployed, washed and lubricated. See awning operation, safety, cleaning and lubrication in my comprehensive post, “Trailer awnings.”

DSC_0099 Awnings opened & washed

DSC_0101 Steet-side awning washedThe phenomenon of newer Airstream trailers (2001 through current year) being susceptible to filiform corrosion continues to be well documented in the AirForums’ 170+ page thread, “Corrosion problems with new Airstreams.”  The clear coated aluminum sheets can corrode beginning at the cut edges, rivet holes, and scratches where salt, water and air can enter. Early on, we limited the spread of filiform corrosion by washing and waxing the trailer regularly with a good quality wax and using corrosion retardants and protectants such as Boeshield T-9 and CorrosionX.  (See my comprehensive post Filiform corrosion.)

DSC_0114 Minimal filiform corrosion overallThis is the 10th year we have relied on Meguiar’s M20 Mirror Glaze Polymer Sealant wax to provide a beautiful sheen that feels silky to the touch while protecting the trailer. (See photos and details of the trailer’s first wash & wax job, June 2007, in my AirForums’ posts #182-188.)

DSC_0118 Beautiful wax shine & protection

DSC_0109 10th Annual Wax job!The Safari shine is an eye-popping, riveting experience!*

DSC_0130 Safari shine, an eye-popping experience!Airstream Travel Trailers: A Lifetime of Adventure*

*This is a link to a YouTube video.