My plan was set to go to Symbiosis…. well, it turned into the whole late summer and fall on the road.
The antique 80’s Airstream was finally ready for the road after much stress, part replacement and repair and off Johnny and I went. After a sidestep in San Antonio get the generator fixed, we were completely off the grid. We have holding tanks for water, gas for the kitchen and heat, and had packed up everything we own. Everything was DIY from that point on….fab!
Every night we pressed on, finding the next campground or wallyworld to rest at, hotel parkinglots for wifi, and rest stops to stretch. After many harrowing electrical problems that are common in older Rvs such as having the dash and running lights go out in the middle of the night and blowing random fuses and breakers by just flipping a switch, we got rather good and expecting the next days’ delay We were both crawling around underneath inspecting wiring and fixing things with paperclips and rubber bands, literally! Thankfully there was only one major disaster that left us on the side of the road for a few hours until Good Sam could help us, but fortunately it just came down to reattaching a lead to the gas pump that had wiggled off one of the batteries. I was kicking myself that i didn’t diagnose it myself. We drove over 4000 miles with only one harrowing “side of the road moment”…that’s pretty good i think. I’m so proud that by this point I know that 454 engine inside and out.
Of course life in a 30 foot aluminum tube can be very weary, there was always something to do of pressing urgency every day to keep us going, as well as keeping the tanked filled @ only 10 mpg. I’m surprised, as many who know us, that Johnny and I didn’t kill each other. I would still say to anyone given the opportunity to jump into an old clunker and drive! The Airstream directed our path for us. She told us when to stop and rest and when to press thru the scorching desert in the dead of the night. She told me to drive 10mph down the really steep grades and when to downshift and pray we would make it up the other side without overheating. She basically guided the whole experience and never let us down. Yes, we were just along for the ride
Basically we traveled west and up to Yosemite for Symbiosis (that was quite a grand experience!) and on to San Francisco for some work. Then on a whim, we found ourselves with 2 weeks to spare to get into LA for more work Johnny had lined up. The SF shopping killed me, of course too much oogling was done @ 5&Diamond and other shops, & we left with big bags of goodies. I had always wanted to drive the whole coastline of Hwy 1, but wondered if this old airstream would make it thru the steep mountains and hairpin curves. But after a few days on the beach in Santa Cruz we just had to try it… It was nothing a little more break fluid couldn’t fix!
But we did it! We found amazing little alcoves high on a cliff to stay the night at…some very special places, we met beautiful people and pacific seals, had picnics @ Big Sur, & went to the Hurst Mansion due to my obsession with the 1920’s. We emerged out of the high mountains to awake to dolphins playing with the surfers, as we had camped right on the beach. It was so hard to drag me away from there. I think it was called Rincon beach and we happened upon it by accident. Honestly that secret hideyhole is the reason i wanted an rv in the first place….completely magical.
After farting around in LA i just had to go to Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village..She is my fairey godmother you know. We almost jumped the gate to see inside, as her compound had been fenced off and crumbling due to earthquakes but resided to make her something pretty of flowers, candles and some of my own bottles to leave her… and pray for artistic perseverance & blessings. Check out an amazing documentary about her on the equally amazing Folkstream
Again another mechanical delay happened outside LA and we stayed at the most white trash ie. cheap RV park to fix it. What an experience, the master cylinder of the brakes was leaking due to all the mountain climbing, and after 2 or 3 tries and about a week or so, we had it fixed. Johnny and I were covered in brake fluid everyday and had forgotten all about Halloween. The Enchanted Forest in Austin was gearing up for their exciting halloween event and i wished i could have been with my family there, but we ended up @ the trailer park bar and somehow won 2nd place in a costume contest…it was a blast.
The cold weather was calling and we needed to get settled into our future in Santa Fe before the snow, so we headed back east. I have always wanted to live in Santa Fe, so our trip was ending…at least until the spring. All along we were never in a hurry and stopped at so many interesting places every day, the lifestyle was just kicking in. And after so many repairs the airstream was running at her very best. But it’s so nice to be warm and cuddly in an adobe casita with my own bathroom, room to stretch and sprawl, but most importantly the bubblebaths. While snowed in, i’m dreaming again to get on the road and the beautiful springtime.