Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How to Make a Vintage-Trailer Cake

What could be cuter at your next Girl Camping meet-up than a cake in the shape of a vintage 'canned ham'  trailer? It's guaranteed to produce smiles and to disappear fast once you've cut into it. And it's easy to create!

To make one, all you need is a round cake layer; regular icing in a bowl; a tube of cake-decorating icing in a contrasting color; and a few round cookies.

* Cut the round cake in half to make two half-rounds. Ice them together, cut sides down. Then ice the entire 'trailer body.'

* Use the icing tube to draw on windows, a door, and any other trim that will add to your design. (For this cake, we also used 'sheet icing' in silver, and cut the windows and doors out from that sheet.)

* Affix a round cookie to each side to make the wheels. You also can make a door step and front hitch by cutting up one of your extra cookies.

That's it!

Everyone always seems to want a cookie wheel with her slice of the cake. To satisfy everyone, place the extra cookies from the package into a bowl and pass it around as 'spare tires.'

Very fun!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Little Trailer Goes Exploring

The Little Little Trailer loves to be out exploring, and after spending most of the winter on a shelf, she hit the road for her first Girl Camping trip of the year.

She set up camp on the banks of the Salmon River, also known as the river of no return. It courses over 400 miles through Idaho before merging with the Snake River. A mountainous divide separates the two rivers above their joining point. TTLT decided to cross the divide and get to the other river.

TLLT crossed the Salmon near White Bird, using a nice modern bridge.

Then she took the road to the left, which goes to Pittsburgh Landing on the Snake.

The road rose quickly and revealed spectacular ranching country. The Little Little Trailer pulled up onto one of the few mailboxes to get a better view.

As the terrain got even steeper, TTLT was amazed to see ranch buildings on a slant.

Right at the top of the divide, TTLT posed at the sign marking the start of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.

And then--what a sight! With the Snake River at the bottom of a geological marvel, TTLT was looking at the Oregon side of the entrance to Hells Canyon.

The ultra-remote area is stirringly documented in Home Below Hells Canyon, a memoir by a woman whose family lived and ran sheep on the steep range during the Depression. TTLT has had this book read to her at least half a dozen times.

The Little Little Trailer continued down to the end of the road and to Pittsburgh Landing, which is a put-in spot for boats. The road distance between the two rivers is 17 miles.

Ranches on the Snake, like the old Titus ranch straight across from the landing, are inaccessible by road.  Mail and supplies are delivered by boat, and there is a frighteningly short airstrip at this ranch that allows fearless pilots to get in and out.

The Little Little Trailer backed down to the water's edge, then realized the current was too swift and lapping to be taking any chances.

TTLT made the return trek to historic White Bird without mishap--very happy to have been a visitor to one of Idaho's wild places.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vintage Trailer Photos--A Sampler

Trailers, trailers, and more vintage trailers. The true aficionado (OK, the addict) never gets tired of looking at them.

And so, consider yourself indulged. Here's a visual sampler of some of the vintage trailers encountered in our Girl Camping travels. I don't know the exact year of all these, so I'm just going to name their brand. If you see your trailer here, please tell us more about it in the Comments section!

Aristocrat Lil Loafer.


Silver Lark.







Red Dale.




Got a favorite? 

Monday, February 4, 2013

An Experiment in Long-Distance Camping

In our everyday world, Mr. Ed (hubby dearest) and I have a winter environment that looks like this. Not quite what you'd picture as camping-friendly. We live in the northern part of Idaho, where it stays this way for quite some time.

So this year, as an experiment, we decided to try something that we hoped would help to make the winter pass faster. We hauled our vintage Airstream 120 miles away from home, to a lower-elevation RV park that stays open year-round. It's right along the mighty Salmon River, in some incredible Idaho country.

See what I mean? It's amazing in all directions.

 The trailer really serves as a cabin, and is warm and cozy in all weathers. At this locale, it's rare for the snow level to come all the way down to the river, but on one of our visits, it did. We didn't care. We just snuggled in and watched another movie instead of doing something outside.

Our latest visit coincided with Groundhog's Day, also the midway point of winter. Once there, we found a hidden pocket of spring.

It had been months since I'd been able to sit outside, soak up rays, and put something pretty out on a table.

I opened up doors and windows on the old girl and let her breath in some great fresh air under a perfect blue sky.

We walked along the river and scouted out little beaches.

We watched steelhead fishermen go by in their boats.

This was our first morning view out the back window of the Airstream.

By the time we had to drive back up to the snow country, we felt like we'd truly had a break and an escape.

Is the long-distance camping experiment working out so far? You bet--I'll even drink a toast to it!