Monday, April 30, 2012

The Little Little Trailer Goes Visiting at the Campground

The Little Little Trailer woke up at a fine campground recently, where she was happy to see that the campfire coffee was ready to drink and where the sun's early rays helped dry off the dew she accumulated overnight.

It was such a lovely day that she decided to do a little campground cruising just to see what the neighbors were up to.

She pulled up to the front door at Cherry Lane and honked to see if anyone was home.

There was, and TLLT was invited in for a glass of breakfast bubbly.

However, as she's been watching her waistline lately, she opted for a nice cup of hot green tea instead.

After her farewell, The Little Little Trailer stopped to admire the handpainted wooden tool box that serves as the entrance step-up to the Cherry Lane trailer.

Next, she cruised on over to visit Iron Pony, whose entrance was set off by red flowers.

TLLT really loved the surface of the funky folding table Girl Camping Girl discovered at a local antique store. Smooth hauling!

And then, check out this artifact that a fellow camper found out along the old railroad bed that runs by the camping area. Good thing TLLT didn't accidentally run over that while out touring!

Girl Camping in Kendrick, Idaho

Sometimes you really don't know what you've got right in your own backyard.

Girl Camping Girl, her hubby Mr. Ed, and adventure partner Miss Shelley just spent a glorious camping weekend at a small-town RV park (7 spaces) only 15 miles from home. We visit Kendrick, Idaho, several times a year to shop at the local antique stores and get out of the snow zone, but never even knew the little RV park was there until Miss Shelley read an item about it in the newspaper.

Loved it, and we'll be back!

The trailer parking spaces are right alongside a 5.3-mile bike path that's been established on the old railroad bed. It follows the Potlatch River through an area that was once the winter home of native Americans, thanks to its mild winter climate. The whole trail is lined with benches that overlook the river, and has been planted with flowering trees and shrubs that were in full bloom the end of April.

Lilacs love the Kendrick climate zone. Some of the old ones along Main Street had to be 30 or 40 feet tall. When the sun came out, it definitely smelled like a blooming spring.

Since we were only a block off Main Street, we were in easy walking distance of Kendrick's stores and cafe. Kendrick is a well-kept little town with a quaint Main Street made largely of brick buildings. The hardware store sells beautiful garden starts and hanging planters.

One of the old Main Street buildings has been renovated into a bed & breakfast by a couple we met while camped in town. Girl Camping Girl was invited in for a tour of what is quite a fabulous place. (Note to self: Must host a party there in future.)

We discovered a quilts & more store we hadn't known was there on previous visits to Kendrick. It was a gold mine for Miss Shelley, who added to her cherry-themed trailer decor.

This fantastic cabinet with drop-down side leaves is painted with cherries and fits perfectly outside Cherry Lane, a 1953 Aljoa.

And how about this stunning lap quilt with appliqued cherries? Joanie, the proprietor, have Shelley two cherry-theme camping mugs to go with the ensemble. Bonus!

Meanwhile, Girl Camping Girl scored this funky fold-up table. It's going to make a great bar, and a laptop station, too.

G'petto, GCG's favorite furkid, enjoyed his campout time.

We each had our own trailer to retreat to, and GCG's electric fireplace did a fine job, as usual, of keeping hers toasty.

We walked the bike trail far enough out of town to catch a great view of the Potlatch River pouring down toward the Clearwater.

Had to stop and record a 'we were here' photo at the Welcome to Kendrick sign.

Campfire grub--yum!

All in all, a remarkable weekend getaway. Cheers for sweet small towns!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Girl Camping Necessity: Fire Starters

Nothing creates the aura of camping faster nor better than a real wood campfire. If you intend to have one on your next trip or Girl Camping sleepover, be sure you have....

....the means for getting a fire started, if not the wood itself! (Many campgrounds and nearby supermarkets sell bundles of campfire wood, but the dry kindling material and lighting device are generally up to you.)

You can buy parafin-based fire starters to help kindle up your fire, but you can make your own, too. Girl Camping Girl is in the process (above) of making some right now.

Supplies are paper cupcake liners plus tin; a bowl of wood shavings;  a source of parafin that you'll melt; and a safe way to do the melting.

GCG uses an electric 'buffet warmer' with ceramic top, and puts her parafin pieces in a tin can with paper removed. A double boiler will work, too. Just be aware that parafin is highly flammable--the point of using it for a fire starter--and use low, slow heat that you supervise constantly.

You can use new parafin from the canning-goods section of a store, or...if you hoard candle-bits like GCG seems compelled to do, you can melt them down.  Pour melted parafin over the shavings sprinkled at the bottom of each cup. (Use two liners per cup--they'll burn hotter than just one paper when you light it up.)

Top with another shavings sprinkle and tap down into melted wax with a spoon. Allow to cool and set, and you're in business--you have fire starters!

How they work:

**Set a 'muffin' beneath kindling sticks. Light the paper, which will ignite the top shavings layer, which will set off the highly flammable parafin, which will burn down to the bottom layer of shavings, which will help ignite the kindling sticks, which will then be hot enough to kindle your firewood.

Don't count on being able to pick up twigs and sticks for the rest of your kindling materials. If you can't bring chopped kindling pieces from home, include a hatchet in your camping tools. Then you can break up a piece of firewood to make kindling sticks on the spot.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Some 'Don't Forgets' From The Little Little Trailer

As you prepare to go on this year's road trips, The Little Little Trailer wants you to stay safe and to keep things as hassle-free as possible.

Because as she very well knows, a trip can be less than fun when mishaps and aggravations occur.

This in mind, TLLT would like to ask:

Are you road-legal? (Nothing wrecks a trip faster than getting a ticket!)
* Be sure DMV tags and registrations are current on both vehicles.
* Have tow vehicle registration and proof of insurance at hand.
* Driver's license -- on your person, not in the purse you left at home.
* Brake lights, turn lights, headlights all in working order (check before departure!)

Will you be able to deal with a roadside problem? You should have:
* Cell phone and charger.
* Inflated spare tires for both your vehicles, plus tire-changing tools.
* Flares or road flashers.
* First-aid kit, plus a tool kit.
* Recommended: a road-side service plan, and make sure it'll cover towing of a trailer as well as a passenger vehicle.
* Also recommended: two-way radios, which will work where cell phones won't; if you're caravanning, they'll keep you in touch with others in your group.

Are your vehicles well-serviced?
* Before her first trip each season, TLLT takes herself down to a tire service center for a check-up. She gets her wheel bearings inspected and repacked if necessary, and gets her tires and brakes checked, too.
Her tow vehicle gets an oil change, filters checked, and fluids topped off. The headlights get checked, too, to make sure none of the bulbs are burned out. The trailer-hitch ball gets tightened and greased.

Can you locate your destination with ease?
* Avoid unplanned detours! Have a good set of directions, plus a map.
* A GPS for navigating can be a Girl Camper's best friend. Obtain a valid address before you leave home. And keep those written directions handy, because a GPS can fail...and then what?

The Little Little Trailer can't wait to see you out on the road somewhere, and wishes you nothing but perfect trips, every time. But just in case...well, she knows you'll want to be able to deal with whatever might threaten to trip you up.!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dress-Rehearsal Camping at Home (Invite a Friend!)

If you're like Girl Camping Girl (above), you'd be out traveling and camping all the time. But for most of us, that's not our real world.

With family duties...iffy weather...fuel at $4/gallon...well, there are a lot of times when we just have to stay home with the trailer parked in the driveway or the tent stored in the garage.

But that doesn't mean we can't still have fun, Girl Camping style!

How: Round up a friend, make a date, invite her over, and do some camping at home.

After all, home's not a bad place to be, especially when it comes to testing things out at the start of the season or after you get a new camping abode (trailer or tent) to enjoy.

In fact, home is a great place to hold a dress-rehearsal campout, because it's a no-risk, little-expense way to to identify needs and supplies before you get out on the road later. You can shower in the house, raid the pantry or the shop for what you're missing, and duck inside if the weather turns nasty.

Miss Mig and GCG did this very thing last weekend. On Friday afternoon, they set up their trailers by GCG's garage and plugged 'em in. Then they lit a firepit blaze on the patio, declared Happy Hour, and set about having a ball for the next 48 hours.

They rooted around in the trailer drawers and closets for items they could use to decorate the outside areas alongside their trailers.

They got into their little kitchens and played house with the contents.

As you can see, they have completely different styles--which makes it even more fun!

GCG's furkids got a chance to check out the trailers.

The girls had to go to town on a hubby-errand, which gave them the perfect excuse to slip in a little bit of thriftiquing. Girl Camping Girl got the score of the day, a leather bomber jacket for $3.50.

They tested out their sleeping quarters. MM added a crocheted afghan she found at the thrift store, and GCG basked in the warmth from her mini electric fireplace.

They raided GCG's spring garden for daffodils, and invited each other over for morning coffee and tea. In their glam-pajamas, of course.

By the time the sun sank on Sunday evening, the Girl Camping Girls felt like they'd had a week's vacation. They had good new lists to work from when packing for a for-real camping trip. They still had plenty of gas left in their tow vehicles' tanks, and they had money left in their wallets, too.

Excellent, all the way around!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vintage Travel Trailers: Their True Beauty

As proven by this Shasta compact all dressed up for a photo shoot--there's nothing like a vintage travel trailer as the perfect vehicle for turning on the cute.

But deep down, the inner beauty of a vintage trailer is revealed when you take her out on the road and have an instant home away from home. She becomes your portable adventure cabin and personal sanctuary. If she's still got a working propane system, you don't need electricity to run your cooktop, oven or lights. You are independence on wheels.

The second trailer is also a Shasta compact, but with wings, and a few years older than the one above (and minus the brand new paint as well).

No matter the veneer, a vintage travel trailer is beautiful simply because her possibilities are endless. And because she'll reward you with the same.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Glamping It Up for the Camera

Every now and then, the Girl Camping Girls are called upon to assist with photo shoots for magazines, newspapers, and books.

Like the one yesterday for a forthcoming glamping project by MaryJane Butters, of MaryJane's Farm. Miss Mig's '71 Shasta compact served as the backdrop and GCG's place was the location. (It's one hill over from MaryJane's Farm.)

GCG's '72 Red Dale was pressed into service as dressing room for the models.

Here's Miss Mig, tending to some final styling details, with MaryJane at the camera.

The very glamorous dresses matched the colors of the trailer.

Props: Lots of cowgirl boots and princess shoes!

Miss Mig, who's a professional artist, was right at home dealing with prop management. (She did all the painting of her trailer, too.)

GCG took behind-the-scene snapshots while the real photogs, Alicia and MaryJane, took the photos that'll eventually end up in print.

See that mountain snow in the background? Several fresh inches fell just last week, so there was no guarantee that the models wouldn't freeze to death in bare-shoulder dresses. But the first warm day of spring happened to show up on the appointed day, so all the smiles were genuine!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Little Little Trailer Talks Cowboys

It's come to The Little Little Trailer's attention that COWBOYS have a mighty big allure to many a gal. Probably no wonder, as many cowboys do come across as...racy, let's say.

This calls for some advice from TLLT, who not only was hitched to a cowboy at one point but also grew up surrounded by them.

These credentials  make her a bonafide Cowboy Girl. As such, she recommends the following:

Never assume that someone who dresses like a cowboy is one. At very least, your candidate for White Knight in a Stetson should have his own horse and his own gun.

Mustache is optional, per your tastes.

The main thing is, you want a real-deal type who genuinely is a cowboy.

And not just some guy who plays one in the movies.

Or elsewhere. (Those are called transwestites.)

Your real cowboy will be the one who always keeps his priorities straight.

As long as you get that when riding off with one, you can overlook the white-horse requirement.