Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Picking Up The Silver Sausage - Part 1

I pick up the phone and dial my parents number. “Hey Dad, you feel like going on a road trip with your boy, but just for one night?” I could have taken my wife or one of my kids, or all of them combined, but since I was picking up the trailer on a weekday, I thought rather than have the wife and/or kids miss play hooky for a day, I would take this opportunity to spend some time with my dad. We don’t seem to have much time these days to hang out, so this is a chance to create a memory for both of us.
“So what should I bring?” he asks.
“The only things you’ll need other than a change of cloths and your toothbrush, is your sleeping bag and pillow, and your passport.”
“Yup, passport.” (I’m smiling now.)
“Where we going?”
“Why?” He asks this question because I haven’t filled him in on our decision to purchase , let alone even look, for an Airstream. Sometimes it’s best to keep things quiet until they’re confirmed.
“I bought an Airstream. I’m picking it up at the end of the week. You in?”
“I wouldn’t miss it. This should be fun. Airstreams are the Cadillac of trailers you know!”
“Ya dad, I know. That’s why I bought one. I’ll pick you up Friday at 3:30am.”
“3:30am? You’re buying the coffee if it’s that early.”
“I’ll buy the coffee, and meals also. I’m just happy to have you as my co-pilot.” 
(I’m still smiling, but I know he is too.)
I pick him up at the ungodly hour as promised, and we head for the border. I had purchased a GPS unit the night before and was glad I did as everything south of Bellingham was virgin territory for me, unlike my honeymoon. No problems or lineups at the border, just a quick hello from the border guard and we’re in the United States of America, home of the free and the land of the 1520 calorie burger from Carl Jr. We stop for refills of coffee and gas  (equal amounts of both) as we make our way through Washington State to our destination in Oregon. Shortly after entering Oregon I pass a store on the side of highway called “Camping World.” I think to myself “What is this Camping World store and why have I never heard of it? I must go and see for myself.” I hit the brakes and just make the next exit in time. We double back and make our way into the parking lot. (We’re ahead of schedule according to my shiny new GPS, so we have some time to kill.) Upon entering the store I soon realized I had found the camping equivalent to Amsterdam's “Red Light District”. This is basically porn for campers. It has everything! My eyes lit up with the possibilities....solar panels for boon-docking (what’s boon-docking), various portable barbecues for cooking meat...lots of meat, bedding, dishes, lights, games, electronics, appliances, security systems of various types (I’ll need one of those), maintenance items, chairs, winterizing stuff (what’s winterizing). I was pleasantly over-whelmed and had no idea where to start. My dad was the voice of reason and suggested I wait until I have actually camped once or twice before spending a fist full of cash. I just couldn’t leave without buying something though, so I threw down some cash on a couple sets of these....
They’ll look stunning on the awning.

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