Friday, May 24, 2013

Inside My Surprise Free Trailer (1961 Aloha Compact)

She doesn't have a name yet, but this is the free trailer I brought home after accepting it sight unseen in an offer from a friend of a friend. I didn't even know the make or year when I set out to go pick it up...the ultimate surprise package.

The trailer turned out to be a 1961 Aloha compact, last registered in 1999 and parked ever since. I had a split second to peek inside before my benefactor had her hooked up to my truck and was wishing me a safe trip home.

Twenty-five miles later, the trailer was in my driveway. Inside the wood-lined door--right where you'd need them--were a homemade, carpeted trailer step and a set of homemade wheel chocks.

The kitchen is in the front, with a sink, brown stovetop and oven, and a rose-beige countertop with tiny gold flecks.

The little sink is enameled cast iron. How about those two faucets? One for water from a tank behind the wall, one for hose-input.

The icebox, plus three roomy cabinets, are on the street-side wall. Note the magazine rack and original coppertone reading light. (I took this photo during one of the cleanup rounds.)

The gaucho/pull-out bed is across the rear. The original upholstery in brown/orange plaid was intact (though ultimately too dusty to be kept). The trailer came with two tables that attach at the walls to make a tabletop the width of the gaucho.

There was a bunk over the bed at one point; note the wooden brackets.

The interior is lined with sheets of birch. I'm not sure when Aloha made the change over to paneling, but it wasn't long after this trailer was made. The light fixture runs on propane.

Here you can see the little built-in nightstand at the left side of the door. Handy!

I spent the rest of my first day with the trailer working on her initial exterior cleanup. She had about 15 years' worth of barn dust and lichen growth to get rid of.

The trailer turned out to have a tiny flag bracket on a front J-rail. So I got her a flag after she was 'de-barned,' and she seems to fly it rather proudly--as if to say, 'Hello, I'm back!'

Next: Transformed by decor.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Saga of the Surprise Free Trailer

Thanks to one of those friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend situations, I had the recent big surprise of being offered a free trailer by an older man who wasn't using it anymore and didn't want the hassle of trying to sell it. If I would just come and get it, I could have it--title, keys, and all.

'What kind of trailer is it?' I asked him on the phone. 'Oh, it's just like those other little old trailers you girls like to run around with,' he said. 'It's not a piece of junk or anything like that--do you want it or not?'

Sight unseen and with no more information than that, I said yes. He gave me directions to his place, less than 25 miles away. I set out later that afternoon, wondering just what the surprise free trailer would turn out to be.

'It'll be an adventure, if nothing else.' I'll say!

The trailer was a few miles on the other side of Kendrick, Idaho.  That's my white Ford pickup parked at the hardware store, where I stopped to pick up a few things missing from my tool box.

I followed the directions out past the town, turning onto a country gravel road.

The road following a river for a while, where old farm buildings stood in a sliver of a valley.

Then the road got narrow and twisting as it rose up, and up, and up, to the top of a ridge I'd never been on. Hmm--I would soon be making my way back DOWN this road with a trailer. Did someone say 'adventure'?

After 2 miles of 'up,' I pulled into a manicured country yard and spotted the trailer immediately. If my heart had been pounding some while driving up the steep road, it skipped several beats when I saw the trailer--a canned ham, birch interior, all-intact little doll just waiting to be loved on again.

My benefactor, 'Mr. Frank,' helped me hook her up, and double-checked the door lock and key before I   left. 'I don't think you'll have any trouble getting her home,' he said. 'I hauled her to town and back yesterday on a test run. Did fine.' He handed me the title and I shook his hand to thank him. 'You bet,' he said. 'Have fun.'

Next thing I knew, I was headed down off the ridge with the trailer. Mr. Frank did not lie. She did fine.

Even on the switchbacks.

Half an hour later, the trailer was in our driveway, awaiting her initial cleanup.

Next time, I'll show you what I found behind the door!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Girl Campers and Fairy Wings...Seriously!

What do fairies, a forest, and frolicking have in common? Why, Miss Mig and her merry band of birthday celebrants, that's what.

Taking her cue from the original Girl Camp in Elk River, Idaho, Mig turned her forested property into a private campground that she dubbed Girl Camp North.

Everyone had plenty of room to spread out for a weekend of helping Mig celebrate her birthday.

Here's my trailer, Iron Pony, set up in space #10.

This yummy orange and white Shasta is Miss Lisa's. She is Mig's friend and neighbor and this was her first weekend with the Girl Camping gang.

She definitely fit right in! Wig, fur, prom dress, cowgirl boots...Lisa had it all goin' on.

Mig's mom, Dickie, fit right in too. Would you guess she is 91?! She slept out in her trailer and can rock a pair of zebra boots like nobody's business.

This HUGE umbrella was contributed to the new campground by Miss Carolyn. She'd had it stored for years, wasn't planning to use it, and made a gift of it to Mig. It created the central gathering spot for a chilly north-Idaho-in-May weekend.

Highlight of the birthday bash was the extreme silliness of dressing up in fairy costumes and donning giant lips that made noise like a kazoo. You haven't heard "Happy Birthday to You" until.....

Go Dickie, go!

Dickie and Mig, mother-daughter forest fairies!

Carolyn made a set of wings that lit up. Gotta hand it to her for creativity.

Miss Linner came up with an amazing ensemble, complete with feather eyelashes and a fairy tiara made of chicken wire tipped with bells.

Linner and the Birthday Girl.

Here's the fairy flock, minus Miss Yvonne, who had some family duties at that moment.

The Little Little Trailer can't wait until the next round of fun comes around!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Girl Camping on the Salmon River, part 3

Yes, there's still more Show 'n' Tell from our springtime gathering on Salmon River (see previous posts.)

This happy yellow trailer is a Red Dale and it belongs to Miss Nina. She calls it Blue Moon Ride, and it is--celestial!

Have bike, will travel!

Nina, at left, with Miss Patty.

Here is Miss Julie with her newly painted Oasis.

Don't you love how she turned this toy metal ironing board into a magnetic note board? Brilliant.

The interior is lovely, with cream, red and aqua paint and coordinating curtains.

Next, we have Miss Heather's 1956 Hummingbird.

Heather had an awning and outdoor curtains made for it over the winter and got to try out the ensemble.   It makes an outdoor room as big as the trailer!

This gem is Miss Sylvia's 1965 Aloha Rancher.

It has a forest/lodge theme, with many fun things to look at.

Plus, I can't think of a better name for a trailer than RUNAMUK, can you?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Girl Camping on the Salmon River, part 2

If you want to draw in people and make them smile, just set up a vintage travel trailer alongside a road, and watch them come swooping in.

That's what happened when the Girl Camping gang got together for a long weekend at Swiftwater RV Park in rural White Bird, Idaho. That's Miss Karen, above, with her sidekick Dash, using the open-door policy for 'tourists' (actually local shop owners) to see inside her trailer.

Karen's trailer is beautifully painted and detailed, and is what we'd have to call a 'happy seniorita' both in colors and in love of all things south of the border.

This is Miss Sherry's Aladdin, sporting a custom GLAMPING banner--Sherry is multi-talented. (She also painted her trailer's exterior and remodeled the inside.)

Sherry came to White Bird in a caravan with Karen and Miss Carolyn. Quite the sight to see them come rolling in! The name of Sherry's trailer is Me Too.

Miss Carolyn's Aristocrat is named Chick on the Run. Ingenious idea: She uses a string curtain for a screen door. The 'boot' in the back is where she stores and displays her boots.

Left to right, that's Carolyn, Sherry, and Anna, park owner, riding the wild side on our sideline jetboat trip that took us through rapids on the Salmon.

Excellent job, girls, of living up to our motto: Live now, be free!