Saturday, December 29, 2012


Hi all, spending a couple of post-Christmas days at the Girl Camp Cabin in good ol’ Elk River, Idaho. As you can see, it had snowed some since our last visit—almost a foot on Christmas Eve Day.

Girl Camp itself has about 2 1/2 feet of snow on it—no trailer parking until spring! (With many more feet of snow sure to come.) The cabin's back yard (above) is negotiable only by snowshoe.

Got the bird feeders filled—for those crazy birds who, like us, like to be here all year ‘round. Also have the woodstove well stoked, the better to melt that snow off the roof.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Single Tie-Back for Your Vintage Trailer's Awning

We've been asked how we make a fabric-type awning work with just a single tie-back for the uprights.

The trick is to have a solid crosspiece that runs across the front, under the valance, and connects to both the uprights. For the awning above, the crosspiece is made from a length of electrical conduit pipe, with a hole drilled at each end. I slid the tapered end of each upright into the corresponding hole.

The tie ropes are attached to the tops of the uprights, above the crosspiece.

Vintage Trailer Replicas (Toys for Grown-Ups)

There may be a gene for this--we wouldn't be surprised--but there is something about collecting vintage trailer replicas that's as addictive as anything having  to do with the real thing itself.

They are sure-fire hits as gifts. The Airstream birdhouse at the top is from Miss Shelley and the pink-wing trailer birdhouse is a gift from Miss Grace.

Vintage trailer replicas can be anything from salt and pepper sets to coin banks to......

...the hand-tooled image on the front of a leather-wrapped flask.

As Christmas ornaments--oh my! Or even a ceramic cookie jar!

In whatever their form, vintage trailer replicas make us feel good in some way. They hit us at Happy. They induce whimsy, nostalgia, imagination, infatuation--whatever you're feeling right now after scrolling down through these pictures.

Like? (Haha--silly question!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Emergency Roof Vent Cover

This is one of those things you may not realize until it happens to you: A travel trailer's roof vent lid can  blow open in a strong wind, even if you've remembered to crank it down tight from the inside before exiting the trailer.

Once that happens, the next big gust of wind can rip that lid right off. And then you've got a problem, because there's suddenly a foot-square hole in the roof of your trailer. Just waiting for the next rainstorm to come along and damage the trailer even further.

Naturally, you'd want to get that hole covered up as quickly as possible while awaiting a permanent repair (or at least a tarping).

We recently came across a friend's parked trailer in such a situation. The emergency rescue: We placed a large tote-tub, turned upside down, over the roof hole and weighted it down. It stayed in place and kept the trailer's interior dry long enough for the owner to make other arrangements for saving her investment.

Just a lil' tip, in case you ever need it!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Lunch With Girl Camping Buddies

The Girl Camping trailers and tents may be in storage for the winter, but the friendships are not. So instead of waiting six months to get together again, some of the GCGs hit the road to gather for a Christmas lunch.

Lunch began with some holiday cheer.  The Little Trailer Trailer had to make four trips to the bar because nobody ordered the same thing!

While waiting for the meal to arrive, TLLT had a surprise for Miss Grace, Miss Heather, and Miss Karen: She brought them each their own little trailer and tow vehicle (all of which, like TLLT, are salt and pepper sets). They immediately tried to circle up, just like at a campground...although, as usual, Miss Grace parked to a different drummer.

Here is Grace with her new rig. We haven't heard yet what she named it.

This is Heather with her set (her real trailer is an aluminum Silver Lark).

We were so excited about Miss Karen's glee that we failed to get her in focus with her new car and trailer. But you kind of get the idea.

So cute...just like the big trailers...and almost as much fun to play with!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Travel With The Little Little Trailer

Our intrepid TLLT felt like having turkey with the home folks this year, so she took one of her North Dakota Or Bust trips from northern Idaho with Girl Camping Girl at the wheel. (The full-size trailer stayed home due to 'negative towing conditions.')

It's almost 40 hours of driving, round trip, over the Rockies at Lookout Pass and then over 1,000 miles across the northern plains. The halfway point, going to and from, is in the general vicinity of Billings, Montana.

Through the auspices of 'Sisters on the Curb,' a function within Sisters on the Fly, GCG (Sister#444)  enjoyed and appreciated the overnight hospitality of Sisters #1 and #1570, Maurrie and Wanda.
('Curbers' offer parking and/or bunk space for fellow members who are traveling.)

We have to say that it changes women's solo travel completely to know that there's a safe place and a friendly face waiting at the end of a day's long drive. GCG rolled out her sleeping bag for a great night's sleep and loved being shown around.

And you really can't beat the local color that's available off the Interstate.

TLLT got lucky with dry roads through the Badlands.

She arrived 'home for the holidays' in time to help assemble the Thanksgiving table centerpiece.

TTLT was back on the road again the next day and found the many miles of farming country to be extremely picturesque. Progress was slow because GCG kept insisting on stopping to take pictures.

Yippee, grandkid time!

And, another fun night with new-found friends in Montana.  GCG loved the Cowboy Bar in Fishtail, and the Fishtail General Store!

The Little Little Trailer got lucky again with some dry travelin' roads for the last leg home to Idaho. She's restin' her tired wheels tonight, but never fear--she'll soon be ready and rearin' to go again!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Little Little Trailer & Friends

In the beginning, there was The Little Little Trailer, all by herself.  She needed a place to park and call home, which led to her slice of Idaho real estate called Girl Camp.

Then she met another tiny trailer, Cherry Lane, who also needed permanent parking. One thing led to another, and soon Girl Camp became twice as big--big enough to hold several more trailers than two.

An enormous vintage Airstream arrived and took up residence as a guest house.

Then more trailer friends arrived, some of them with watercraft, and all sorts of frivolity ensued.

Now, The Little Little Trailer is surrounded by friends, old and new, and considers herself to be the luckiest little trailer in the world.

(And she thanks you for reading this, too!)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Girl Camping Grab-and-Go Bag

When you camp, tramp, and travel a lot--whether by trailer, tent, yurt, or hotel room--you find yourself wanting and using certain means of portable creature comfort.

Which is why it's so smart to create a Girl Camping grab-and-go bag. Then you don't even have to think about it when the chance to grab a new adventure comes along.

Flashlight and extra personal meds. A DIY caffeine supply, and maybe some chocolate. A good multi-tool (with corkscrew!) A favorite change of T-shirt. Dog treats. Water bottle. Small candle. Camera. You know what you'd have to have, whatever it would be.

I keep my Girl Camping bag right at the back door, and now think of it as standard operating equipment, just like my purse.

Fun ahead? Let's go!

And, we always hope not, but there also can be those unfortunate times when you're stranded or otherwise in a spot.  At those times, the Girl Camping bag can be your best friend!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Camping Cliches (How Many Times Have You Heard...')

Have you ever noticed how certain statements get made over and over when the subject (and photos) turn to camping-related subjects?

Like this one:

'My idea of camping is a 5-star hotel.' (Usually spoken as though it's an original thought.)

And a few more:

'My idea of camping is a room at Motel 6 and black and white TV.' (Same as above.)

'Now that's my idea of camping!' (Should be on a T-shirt.)

'Some water damage, easy fix.' (So easy that you haven't fixed it yourself, Mr. Seller, because...?)

'Barn find, no leaks.' (Popular craigslister line, cuz it's what we all want to hear.)

Any others occur to you?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Overnight Camping in a Sheepherder's Wagon

Here is something you don't see every day: an authentic sheepherder's wagon, available as an overnight rental.

The Girl Camping Girls encountered this unusual accommodation at a place called Mavens' Haven in Lucille, Idaho, on the Salmon River. It costs $50 a night.

Inside the wagon is an amazingly well-used dedication of space. A kitchenette and wood-burning stove are at your right as you enter. Along that long wall is a bench seat, part of which lifts up to reveal a commode for nighttime use.

To your left as you enter is this vanity area, complete with handmade soaps.

There's a step up to the bed that's up in the front half of the wagon. The rear window lets in plenty of light.

Here's another sheepherder's wagon on the same property, used as accommodation for an apprentice to the resident herbalist.

Another reason why we think Girl Camping travel is so great: You never know what will be around the next corner!

Addendum: The late Wally Byam, inventor of the Airstream and the pioneer of contemporary RV travel, was inspired by the rolling comfort and efficiency of sheepherder wagons. He tended sheep in Oregon as a boy, staying in wagons like those shown above, and remembered them when he set about to create his first travel trailer designs.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Camping Below the Snow Zone

Girl Camping Girl and many of her pals live in a part of the interior Northwest that definitely has icy, snowy, cold, and road-dangerous winters. Which generally adds up to trailers put in storage by the end of October and then a 6- or 7-month wait until they can come back out.

This year, a couple of us are trying something different, by taking our trailers to a campsite out of the snow zone, at a much lower elevation (Swiftwater RV Park at White Bird, Idaho), and leaving them set up there for use during the winter.

The climate change is dramatic because the change of country is dramatic. Here's what part of the elevation change looks like from river level (the Salmon, to be exact--same river running behind the two trailers above).

And here's what the elevation change looked like from the top of the 7% mountain grade we had to descend in order to get there. (Here's where you appreciate air brakes on your truck, and the best road-gripping tires that money can buy.)

We wound down to river level after crossing this long bridge over a canyon.

Then we got the trailers parked and settled in with about an hour of daylight to spare.

Next on the agenda:

A toast to our arrival in one piece!

We set out to meet some of the campground neighbors. They turned out to be hunters who were driven off a nearby mountaintop by too many inches of wet and wind-driven snow.

They stayed warm with the woodstove in their wall tent, and we stayed warm with the electric fireplace in ours.

It was pre-Halloween weekend, so we had to start our Saturday with a cup of the appropriate venom.

We put the Big Dog on duty.

Then we set out to do some local exploring. We found this sculpture, made of 'river junk' dredged up near old mining operations.

We saw fishing boats, both in use and tied up waiting for their next trips.

We found this monument to the cavalry troopers who died during the first battle of the Nez Perce War, in 1877.

Taking an alternate route back to the top of the highway grade, we marveled at the depths of the canyons in this part of idaho.

We drove back down along the river, where we encountered this sheepherder's wagon used as an overnight rental. It was adorable!

No shortage of local color, and the burgers were great, too.

Back at the trailers, we tucked in to watch 'Casablanca.'

And enjoyed a campfire (because what is camping, without one?)

With our trailers tucked into a neat spot for the next 5 months, we drove home without them (nice for going back up that grade!) Hugs, waves, and...

...we'll be back!