Monday, April 7, 2014

Impromptu Spring Fling

I love it when a no-plan comes together.

First, Miss Mig bought this Aristocrat LoLiner and had to make a 10-hour trip to pick it up. She took Miss Sherry with her. The perfect layover spot, for the trip back, was at the same campground where the three of us each keep a trailer for the winter.

No way could I miss this! I hopped in my truck and 2 hours later, arrived at the campground just minutes after they pulled in with the trailer.

Mig (on the right) set the table, Sherry (on the left) rustled us up some grub, I brought over a bottle of wine, and we inaugurated the 'naked' trailer right then and there.

Miss Anna, who owns the RV park we love so much, got a trailer tour the next morning. This trailer will be for Mig's mom, Dickie, who loves to camp with us.

In her 90s, Dickie reigns as our oldest Girl Camper and possibly the youngest-at-heart. Yes, friends, you are looking at a gal born in the 1920s! This is where Mig gets her spirit!

Here are Mig's trailers, side by side. The huge banner says 'Happy Camper Girl.' Mig is an artist by trade, and probably whipped that banner up in her sleep!

(Tip: Pay close attention to the first photo in this post--it's the one and only time you are going to see this trailer unadorned.)

I took advantage of the beautiful sunshine by pulling out a table and chairs in front of my trailer, The Big Chief. (The Big Chief is a behemoth of a trailer, 31 feet long and weighing in at a tonnage of 5,600 lbs. with nothing in it.)

Sherry set herself up behind the trailers, for a view of the roaring Salmon River.

Sherry's dog Jada had a view, too, but from inside on her cozy bed.

Sherry's trailer, Pistol Pete, has lots of big windows that afford a river view. It always seems light and bright inside, even on cloudy days. Like The Big Chief, Pete makes an excellent semi-permanent camping cabin.

Meanwhile, back outside, we each contributed to a drinks-and-eats bar on a table set up over one of the trailers' hitches. I love this means of providing for a meal between camp breakfast and communal dinner. Everyone can graze on what she likes and no one has to go to a great deal of effort.

We also had campfires, enjoyed visiting with Anna, went for hikes and short local drives, and paid visits to our favorite local emporiums in historic White Bird, Idaho.

All in all, a perfectly lovely time that evolved without a plan. So glad we all acted on the urge to GO, and get hooked up!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Annals of Trailer Trolling: Hood River, Oregon

'What is trailer trolling?' you might ask.

Think of it as active birdwatching. Or as similar to hunting for big game and bagging it with a camera.

It's a favorite pastime among certain Girl Camping Girls, including Miss Patty, above, and yours truly.

We're into the exploration of back roads and fresh neighborhoods anyway, and the trailer hunt--spot it, take a picture, move on to find another--is a bonus.

On our latest girl-getaway adventure, to Hood River, Oregon, we learned that the 'food trailer' concept is alive and well in this area some 60 miles east of Portland. We spotted several vintage trailers converted for use in mobile vending--with serving doors set into the side.

We spied this newly painted Oasis in a newer neighborhood and gave it a camera-salute. Note the big front window, and the distinctive arcs in the paint design--two Oasis characteristics that help make the brand easy to ID. We concluded that this trailer is very likely to be somebody's Girl Camping baby!

We've seen hundreds of trailers over the last few years, but this was the first time we saw one like this--with masonite construction (a type of plaster over wood) rather than metal. The sign said the trailer is a 1949 Traveleze. It would have been fun to know more about it, but no one was home.

At a place that was having a yard sale, we noted a 1962 Aristocrat sitting in front of a much newer motorhome. The owner gave us a tour. He even coughed up a price when we asked if he wanted to sell it. I gave it some serious consideration--have ladder, can inspect roof--but ultimately, it wasn't roadworthy enough for a trip of any distance to get it home.

The only trailer we went home with was this birdhouse trailer, plus birdhouse truck, that we sleuthed out at the Rite Aid store in Hood River. Much easier on the fuel bill for the homeward trip!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Travels to Hood River, Oregon

It's a ritual. Each March, to mark the start of spring, I tuck The Little Little Trailer into a purse and set off to meet up with Miss Patty for exploration of some Northwest town or other. (Because the weather often is still iffy, we leave the big trailers home.)

This year we chose Hood River, Oregon, in the Columbia Gorge. We've previously met up in Pendleton and Joseph, Oregon, and in Walla Walla, Washington.

For accommodations, we rented a small, quaint house not far from downtown. Then we imposed a little of our own camping style on it, with a few blooming plants and such. We each had our own tiny room--a little bit like staying in a trailer, right?

Hood River has several claims to fame, one being its title as Windsurfing Capital of the World. Windsurf boards are so ubiquitous that they're almost trash--which is how Miss Patty ended up with a pickup load to take home for a clever project.

The weather turned out to be lovely and calm, and the mighty Columbia reflected this with an almost-still surface.

Mt. Adams, to the north, was clearly visible. So was Mt. Hood, to the south.

Hood River has a lovely, well-kept, and thriving old-fashioned downtown. The restaurant scene is active and creative, with a serious 'farm to table' bent to it.

We got all excited when we walked into a gift store and found a rack of items featuring cute vintage trailers. So excited that we 'forgot to remember' the name of the store!

Hood River's orchards and vineyards make for another of the area's claim to fame. We didn't have to get very far out of town to find both the orchards, and some intriguing roadside businesses.

Like this one, which sold everything from secondhand sporting goods (see Photo #1) to landscape trees (I bought three) to old furniture and house fixtures.

Of course, like big game hunters, we also scout for trailers all the time. 'Trailer trolling,' as it were. When we can get a photo next to one, so much the better. Here, Miss Patty bagged a big one! It's converted into a food trailer, which seems to be a popular idea in the Hood River area. We saw several of these.

To be continued--with more about the trailer trolling.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Girl Camping at Home

I love everything about camping with 'the girls' and look forward to every outing. But the truth of the matter is that even Girl Camping Girl spends more time at home than at campgrounds. Unless you make your living as a camp host, you probably do, too.

To fill in those gaps between camping for real, I find myself applying aspects of the Girl Camping lifestyle to my home. The small trailer replicas are a given!

I also bring the outdoors in, with such things as willow twigs placed in water so they'll leaf out.

Pennant banners are fun and interesting. Why save them just for use outdoors? This one, with scenes from fairy tales, has amused me all winter in my living room.

Normally used outdoors, this tea-light chandelier gets to come in for the cold-and-rainy season.
It reminds me of evenings out under the stars.

The picture postcards from my travels make a colorful tide-me-over when I can't be on the road.

After the birds go south for the winter, their little houses come inside and become a mini trailer park.

I collect paint cards, for inspiration.

I'll even go so far as to 'play trailers' with food--leading to the 'ginger-bread trailer house'!

Obsessive? Yeah, maybe so.

But what the heck--Girl Camping fun isn't just where you find it. A lot of times, you have to make it yourself.

And I don't stay home without it!