Could it be any more darlin'?! Just gorgeous! This charming vignette is brought to you courtesy of my friends Teresa and Nicky. They are just SO stylish!
I've said it before and I'll say it again: the are many ways to play the vintage trailer game. What makes this one so special is that it is so pristine. "What?!" you say? You thought I gushed about rustic patinas? I do. But I also gush about the art of detail and sparkle. And this beautiful Shasta, like the owner's other trailer, a sweet Little Gem, is amazingly, dare I say, lovingly restored. You can pretend it's fresh off the showroom floor.
Look again at this picture. See how clean the paint job is, including the hitch and frame? See the wonderful (NO rust!) red vintage cooler and water cooler? The clean wood under the stabilizing jacks? The colored bulbs?
Teresa and Nicky just have an eye for elegance- enough but Not Too Much. (Not that I don't also love Too Much!). They keep the lines clean, the finishes fresh and the whole experience classy. There is no juryrigging, half-ass duct taping, bungee-cord-of-death contraptions
or such. Nicky finds a solution and makes it look good. Teresa adds a theme, but keeps it classy.
I admire this so much. I love my Spartan, warts and all, but my goal is elegant, too. I take my patinas, but my vision is to bring all the details to a well cared for look.
If you had tried to explain this whole vintage trailer owner camaraderie idea to me a few years ago, Im not sure I would have understood it- or believed you, frankly.
I mean, just owning a hunk of metal you haul around does not seem like a solid friendship starter. 10 minute conversation maybe. But... in fact, it just somehow brings out the commonalities in people.
First off, you've both committed to well, a big hunk of metal you haul around. But more than that, you both saw the adventure calling, the whim and well, the practical. (One stay at a mediocre hotel and the resulting bill makes a trailer look good even to the unconvinced.) Its an odd mixture- funky and artsy + practical and outdoorsy. Start with those qualities and, actually, yes you do have a real basis for friendship.
So I am back from a fantastic week-end with like-mided people who inspire me, feed me and make me laugh. I flunked outta taking pictures, but I will sort what I've got and illustrate some posts with them.
Meanwhile, I have that relaxed but energized feeling that makes $3.75 diesel but a buzzing fly to my rally experience.
I ended my last post by telling yall about the sweet little pink '63 Shasta sittin' next to us at the campground. Now it's time to hear her story.
Her name is Hope, and she is the project of fabulous Caren and her husband, William, who is also my secret-boyfriend. Caren is a 5-year breast cancer survivor who decided to take up a trailer to celebrate health, awareness and pinkness. They are still fixing up the Hope but lemme tell you- she looks really good. This was Hope's first rally, too (like us). And Caren and William were all about having fun with it.
Did I say Hope's first rally? Actually, Hope is a working trailer- she will attend community events and outreach opportunities to promote the importance of breast cancer screening. But when she's just out playin' her alter ego comes out- and she is known as The Wine-O Chateaux
! That's riggght, she's a Bad-Girl trailer with a Respectable Day Job. Do you LOVE it? You know I do.
And I love her owners! Caren baked up a bakery's worth of amazing pumpkin bread, which she handily distributed around the campground. She also made up homemade Chex Mix in industrial quantities. And she's funny and smart...
Which leads me to William and why he is my secret-boyfriend. William is... Manly. Manly as in, military, pilot, hunter, all that. And the Hope/ W.C. is PINK. Outside and inside. PINK. PINK. PINK. With more pink liberally spread around on all available surfaces. PINK.
And William loves
the trailer. And is proud of her. And gets up and makes bacon & eggs and runs to the camp store for ice and is brave in the face of giant big-butt spiders that nest in trees. Because... William loves
Caren, is damn glad she's a survivor of horrible cancer and treatments, and this is her thing- and he is ON board.
Say it with me: Awwwwwwwwwwww. See why I love William? And Caren? And trailers? (But not so much giant big-butt spiders.)
As if that's not enough squishy-love to go around one post, I have to tell you that Hope is NOT the only Breast Cancer Awareness vintage trailer out there. There is another one! Also a Shasta!! The Pink Winged Warrior
(May have been the first Pink Ribbon trailer, but who knows? Maybe there are even more out there!) was also at the rally, and she is a breathtaking restoration, story, and example of a great family and circle of friends working together to make something extraordinary. Her owner, Beverly and family, all three gorgeous generations, are just the kind of people who seem like a book or movie walking around in real life. I will not even attempt to tell her story, but I did link to it so you can spend another 30 minutes goofing off at work and laughing and crying... and scheduling a mammogram.
These women are courageous, creative and passionate about living fully and trying to get a simple message out to the world so all women can do the same. Get screened. Do it. No whining. It's worth it. 'Cuz even if they did end up with kick-a** trailers outta the deal, cancer is no joke. Skip the cancer and go straight to the trailer park. But stop for a mammo on the way, k?
Furthering my adventures with the trailer community...
Tiffany and I arrived at Buesher State Park slightly before dark. We, of course, had reservations, but part of the reason we came early (Thursday) is that we know the campground is 100% occupied all week-end, mostly by our Rally group, but actual spaces are assigned on a first-come first-serve basis. If you arrive after-hours, like us, you pick a spot and settle up in the morning with the park office.
Now, let me just remind/ inform you: I drove from Oregon to Texas without staying in a single place that did not have magical "Pull-thru" camping sites. I have a Long, Long Trailer, 'member?
So, Buesher. Twilight. Campground laid out in a circle. So, we circle. And, as expected, all the spots are back-in. This we knew. The News: they all look about the right size.... for my van. So, we circle again. And settle on the longest looking spot, and begin the machinations that are involved to get the trailer into said spot. I drive and Tiffany directs. And, oh, moves the dumpster outta our way. In 6 inch increments, I back up Baby, all 34 feet of her and 17 feet of van. It's tight, but we're IN.
In the quickly fading light, we go to hook up. Only... no lights. After some cussing and testing, we discover that, miraculously, it seems to be the park hook up in that spot, and not us. So, in true trailer-park style, we scoot over to the neighbors and ask if we can syphon some electricity offa their hook up. So, a 100 feet extension cord now links us to the spot next door, through a small thicket of trees, no less.
We open a cold beverage, set up our outdoor accoutrements, and get to gabbin with our coolio neighbors. Right about the time I feel myself start to relax, 'long comes the park ranger. To tell us we are not actually in a spot.
Sweetly, I suggest that we're good... we figured it out, doesn't bother US. No problemo! To which he points out that he is telling me to move. And that there is no drinking alcoholic beverages in a State Park, btw.
We agree that moving in the full dark, which it is by now, jes' aint gonna happen.
So, with our illegal hook ups, in an unauthorized spot, we are in disgrace. We even get a nasty-gram on our windshield.
Happily, trailer park folk are not too put off by The Authorities. They rally around us and the next morning a real sweetie comes by to tell us the only other big spot in the circle had been vacated that morning (by someone in a teeny pop up!) and offers the use of her spouse's superhero skill: backing up practically blindfolded. Seriously- it would make a helluva parlour trick if you could figure out how to do it in a parlour. He just backed the Beast up like it was no big deal, not even allowing me to fully wake up before my trailer was re-parked and I could consider the whole re- hook up and stabilize jack routine with a sufficient amount of morning beverage under my belt.
And, finally, with the sun up and the pressure of settling in gone, I walked over to properly introduce myself to our former electricity dealing neighbors.... and there sat the most darlin' little pink and white Shasta with a black zig zag. COOL!
So, this has been a long tease of a post, but next time Imma tell you all about the Pink Shasta.
Hey, ya know how I always call the trailer people my "nerd board friends"? Ummm, no? No.
Ok, ok... ok!
Now, don't get all huffy, I mean it in the best of possible ways. Really, I do. I admire people who take up vintage trailers when they don't have all the family tradition and baggage that I have with mine. I mean, it's a huge responsibility- big ole hunk of metal, titles, registration, storage, tow vehicles, (possibly fiery) propane tanks, and then all that 'splaining to people Who Don't Get It.
So, I figured, hey, get to know some of these message board people in person, have a trailer love-fest, admire each other's silver albatrosses. Vintage Trailer Rally, yeah, sure, why not?
And so off we went. And we had... SO MUCH DAMN FUN!
Not only are the "nerds" totally cool, they are nice and interesting, to boot. I now proudly consider myself an OFFICIAL Nerd. I have been to a rally, drank the communal Kool-Aid by the campfire- and I liked it.
I went from "Mewh, maybe I'll haul her out every few years to keep her road worthy" to, well, checking to see how far the Florida rally really is. (Too far, alas.)
Seriously, it was a blast. Quite a contrast to the experience in RV parks where most of the RVers are locked up tight inside with their TV's and A/C and look confused and alarmed at the riff raff vintage trailer in the park. The Vintage folks were so excited and friendly. They all had their stories, and vision of why they do this despite all the hassles. They had a joy in being out in their trailers, hanging out, connecting with the outdoors and a few other like-minded nerds.
Another differentiator was being at a State Park so there were tent campers, park rangers and others with an interest in, you know, actual nature. We were at Buesher State Park in central Texas and my God, it was beautiful. The moon was full. The night symphony of frogs and cicadas was absolute tonic to the worried mind.
As I slept in the back bedroom of my trailer, with my amazing daughter bathed in moonlight from the big open window, I felt such deep gratitude to the universe, for all the beauty of being alive and loved and ok. I felt creative and energized.
Wow. Just wow.