Archive for the ‘Airstream’ Category

A couple of weeks back we took a trip out to Port Townsend and then on to Lake Quinault in the Olympic Rainforest, to visit our friends who own a historic cabin resort on the North Shore Rd – Lochaerie Resort.  Rick had built a corner cabinet for the living room of their personal residence, so we drove the truck and brought that out for installation.

In Port Townsend, we ate twice (dinner on arrival, lunch the next day) at our favorite little restaurant, Hanazono Asian Noodle.  It is really good, plus we are Asian-food deprived over here in our neck of the woods.

the Taylor Street roll

the Taylor Street roll

udon soup bowl with many yummy Things in it

udon soup bowl with many yummy Things in it

Before heading out to the lake, we drove down to Quilcene to visit Taylored Fibers.  This is a small custom carding operation which I first visited last October.  I brought Barry Taylor a washed Corriedale fleece and an alpaca fleece and he is going to dye the wool in 2 different colors, then blend it with some of the alpaca to make me some spinning rovings.  I can hardly wait!

His “machine” was made by Pat Green in British Columbia and is probably at least 20 years old.  As you can see, it is not the home edition.  It can make either batts or rovings.



At Lochaerie, we had lots of down time with the new kittens, Walter and Skyler (both are females, but Walt was mis-identified initially, and they decided to keep the name!)


the new corner cabinet - TV will mount in the wall above

the new corner cabinet – TV will mount in the wall above

We actually had reasonably dry weather for the coast, even though it was a little cold and windy.  On Sunday we went out and walked on the beach at Kalaloch.  It was blowing sleet down the beach at times, which may be one reason I wasn’t too into photography – but there were also sun breaks and it was beautiful.  We also got in a couple of nice walks in the rain forest, so different from our dry side of the mountains.

Back at home, I finished the 10 scarves on the Mardi Gras warp and took that setup off Kingston, the 32″ Macomber loom.

washed and ready for final pressing and trimming

washed and ready for final pressing and trimming

Then moved on to the new project, which I have to complete for our guild challenge deadline in mid-April.  The theme this year is “doubleweave”.  I chose a draft called Doubleweave Checks that has squares of double weave in a heavier cotton (8/2 in this case), separated by stripes of plain weave in both directions, using a lighter cotton (16/2 in this case).  The actual doubleweave checks should puff up when I wash these, making a nice thick absorbent towel.

doubleweave checks towel on the loom

doubleweave checks towel on the loom

close-up view

close-up view

This is way fun and I will be making more, to explore other colors, and other weights of cotton too.

Also this week we turned our attention to the Airstream trailer, now that it is warming up outside and we are comfortable working out there.  We took some “before” pictures.  It is so 1973 in patterns and colors and all the soft furnishings are also worn out and dirty.

the front lounge which makes into a double bed

the front lounge which makes into a double bed

twin beds in the center section

twin beds in the center section

lovely orange formica and dark walnut cabinets

lovely orange formica and dark walnut cabinets

refrigerator and storage across from the galley

refrigerator and storage across from the galley

Rick tore out the yucky dirty orange carpet and we picked out a Marmoleum (linoleum-type) flooring which should go in sometime in April.  I ordered new draperies from a place in Pennsylvania that specializes in replacement Airstream draperies:  J.P.A. Drapes.  Should get those by end of April or early May.  Then on Tuesday I took all the cushions from the front lounge and the twin beds to an upholstery shop in Wenatchee for re-covering.  I found some upholstery fabric we both really like at a decorator store  in old town Wenatchee:  Material Things.  They didn’t have anything at the upholstery shop that I liked, so I was really surprised and grateful that there was an alternative source!

And Rick has plans for the cabinetry – he is figuring out how it all goes together and what he can replace with new lightweight material in cherry.  It has to be lightweight so this is different than regular cabinetry.  All of that won’t happen right away, but at least the soft furnishings and the floor will be updated and clean by the time we take our first road trip in June.



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The Lone Riveter Returns!

Just a quick post to say that our 1973 Airstream Overlander trailer is finally home after spending 5 months at Airstream of Spokane.  We were going to go get it last Tuesday, but with snow forecast for both here and Spokane, we postponed to Friday.  Forecast was accurate, by the way, although the snow didn’t last.

So Friday we got up at 4:30 am, were out the door by 6:15 and had an easy, although occasionally foggy, drive to Spokane.  We had a walk-through with the folks there, and found out some things that we will need to do in the spring – like seal the seams and around the windows.  We got the products we will need to do that.  We had an Equalizer hitch installed on the trailer and truck, too.

Had lunch with our friend Austin who is now living in Spokane, then headed off for home around 2 pm.  Rick was very pleased with how easy it was to tow.  The drive home was beautiful with clear skies and late afternoon sunset colors.

A friend came up with the name “The Lone Riveter”, which we find amusing even if we don’t always use it – we tend to be pretty pedestrian when it comes to naming vehicles.  But here she is back home:

The Lone Riveter... and Tundra!

The Lone Riveter… and Tundra!

This is as far as we could get it into the carport.  24-ft carport, 27-ft trailer including bumper and tongue.  But it is pretty well under cover for the coming winter:

return from Spokane 2Note the spiffy new “sunglasses”.  This is a rock-guard to protect the front windows when towing, as they would be very expensive to replace.  But when we are camped and it is lifted up, it will act as a sunshade or awning for the front windows, too.

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This weekend brought the 38th Vintage Wheels Show to Winthrop.  Actually it used to be mainly a vintage car show, but this year they expanded it to include Antique Cars and Trucks – Vintage Motorcycles – Vintage Travel Trailers – Antique Tractors – Antique Bicycles with various venues around town.  The weather remained stormy through Friday night so we were really worried the parade yesterday would be “rained out”, but mother nature was kind!

We missed the parade,  but in the afternoon headed up to the Pine Near RV Park above Winthrop to see the vintage trailers.  This RV park is right next to the Shafer Historical Museum, which is where the antique tractors were.  The RV park is about 40 years old and had fallen on hard times – it was almost turned into a site for condominiums a few years back.  Then a local couple bought it in 2012 and have done a fabulous job on bringing it back to life.  New hookups, grass, all new shower and laundry facilities in the old log cabin, and they are building some camping cabins on a bench up above the main park.

It turns out the vintage trailer folks were mostly members of a group call the Tin Can Tourists.  I just found their website and we may join.  It has been around since 1919, but from a quick read it looks like it disbanded for a while, and was started up again in 1998 by a couple who had founded the Vintage Airstream Club, but wanted a group that was open to all – meaning  an all make and model vintage trailer and motor coach club.

Yesterday they had “open house” so we could wander around and even go into most of the trailers to see the interiors.  There were Airstreams, but also other aluminum vintage trailers, the names of which I have mostly forgotten.  Most of them were significantly older than our 1973 Overlander (sadly, still in Spokane waiting for a new blackwater tank to be shipped from Airstream).  But we got into some useful and informative conversations.


there were many of these type - a Shasta?

there were many of these type – a Shasta?

I think the one on the left is a Curtis Wright

I think the one on the left is a Curtis Wright

more vintage Airstreams!

more vintage Airstreams!

a Spartan - they had been on the road since April, going up to Alaska and northern Canada

a Spartan – they had been on the road since April, going up to Alaska and northern Canada

new interior woodwork in the Spartan

new interior woodwork in the Spartan


To round out the day, we went down to the Twisp River Pub to catch the show by Vicci Martinez.  From Tacoma, she started performing when she was just 16 and used to play the Pub on Labor Day weekend on a regular basis.  In 2011 she competed in the TV “talent show” The Voice, and came in 3rd overall.  It looks like her career is taking off so we are probably lucky that she came back to our little valley to perform – may be the last time, who knows?

Vicci Martinez and her band

Vicci Martinez and her band

Rod Cook, the guitarist on the left in the photo, is also fabulous!






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Name That Trailer

Rick was calling the new/old Airstream”Moby Trailer” but I wasn’t really keen on that.  This past week, I have been referring to it as the “Mother Ship”.  But on the way over to Spokane yesterday, we came up with “Battletrailer Galactica”.  Probably too cumbersome, but amusing!  And I guess you have to be a fan of (or just know about) the sci-fi series “Battlestar Galactica” to even appreciate that.

It towed well just on the ball, but we will get an equalizer hitch to use going forward.

He said the exterior is in good shape, except where the clear coat has failed of course.   No major dents or dings, which we already knew, but that can affect the value of an older Airstream.  Similarly, the interior was deemed to be in good condition “except for the tambours”, which we already knew, as they are mostly missing.  It originally had tambour doors on all the overhead and under-bunk storage areas, plus the kitchen cabinets under the counter.  But those mostly fall apart with time on all the older trailers.  However, I know a woodworker who can make new ones….someday.

They will do a thorough check-out of all systems, but it seems likely we will want to update the water heater and power inverter to modern standards.  He said the old transformer is what is causing a buzzing noise we can hear when plugged into shore power.  Also it may not provide a steady 12V.  The vent fan in the “living room” is kaput, which we knew, and we are going to have them put in a Fantastic Fan instead.  This will mean sacrificing the original ceiling light which is part of the vent unit.  But they can come up with something else for lighting and we would really like to have the newer fan (we have one in the Aliner and it is great – works both ways, either drawing in cool air or expelling warm air).

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Why yes….

I have been weaving.

Rick and I are exhibiting our work at the Lost Rivery Winery tasting room in Winthrop from mid-June to mid-September.  Toward that end, I have been trying to build inventory!  Down at the weaving guild room, on my 40″ Macomber, I wove another set of undulating twill towels, 13 out of a 12-yard warp.

These were the first four, I am not sure I ever put up a picture of them finished:

soft gray stripe Apr 2013

and these are the ones I just finished:

turq. stripe Apr May 2013

At home on the 32″ Mac, I wove another round of placemats on a blue warp.  I got 17 out of a 12-yard warp.  Eight of the ones on the left, and eight of the ones on the right, plus one other I did with a different fabric but did not get a picture.  Four of the ones on the right have been donated for a fundraising “gala evening” and auction on July 13 for Confluence Gallery & Art Center in Twisp.

blue warp May 2013

This week on the 48″ Mac at home, I finished 3 rugs that are the ones I really wanted to do for the Lost River Winery exhibit.  I finished the third one around 10 pm last night, and today hemmed and washed them, so they are drying as I write this.

We set up the exhibit at the winery tasting room this morning and it looks good.  I hung 3 rugs as temporary place-holders for the ones drying now, and on Saturday we will go up and swap them out.  I will get pictures then.  Rick brought up his entry table made from the beautiful western bigleaf maple log, and he has a wine cabinet underway that won’t be finished for another week or so.

Airstream update: Rick took the propane tanks up to Okanogan County Energy (our electric and propane suppliers) and had new valves put on the tanks so they conform to current standards.  Then we had the propane technician come by yesterday and check all the gas appliances in the trailer.  Everything works!!  Water heater, 4 burner cook-top, wall oven and refrigerator/freezer in propane mode.

Tomorrow we tow it to Spokane to the Airstream dealership for a checkover and possible repair of some things, depending on what they find and how much it costs.  We will leave it there for several weeks.


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The last couple of weeks have passed in a whirlwind of activity.  It was all for the good, but still kind of intense.

My dad decided to move from his home near Anacortes to a retirement inn located in La Conner, and set a 2-week timeframe to  do it.  Moving Day was set for May 31.

Initially, Rick and I went over with truck and cargo trailer and helped him do a lot of sorting and packing, things he was taking with him and things he wanted to get rid of (he wanted to empty the house).  We hauled a load of furniture back to the valley that he would no longer have room for, and that we would love to have.  Then we rented a storage locker in Winthrop and moved some of our things there, as this involved a change-out of our living room furniture.

My sister from Colorado, my brother and sister-in-law from Camano, and Rick and I converged on Anacortes on May 30 and we were all there for the big event – Moving Day!  Dad had hired a mover but it still took all of us to do the last minute organizing and packing, setting more things aside for Goodwill or equivalent, and then the unpacking at the other end.  But it went very well and we got a lot done in just a couple of days.

Here we are, tired but happy, at dinner that evening in La Conner:

Moving Day - May 31, 2013

Moving Day – May 31, 2013

During the week we were at home between Packing Day and Moving Day, I had some appointments and shopping errands to do in Wenatchee (about 100 miles from home, so I try to organize as many things into one trip as possible).  On the way home, I passed a vacant lot on the outskirts of Twisp where people put vehicles for sale by owner.  There was an Airstream trailer that looked to be in decent shape, so I peeked through the windows and was sufficiently intrigued to tell Rick about it when I got home.

Now, I have been saying for years that “some day” I wanted to have an Airstream trailer for when we are able to take longer trips to see more of the USA and Canada. Or maybe take it south for “winter breaks” of a month or two.  We have looked at new ones and I have studied the floor plans.  But I really knew that we wouldn’t be able to afford one – even used ones at dealerships (10 years old or younger) are pretty spendy.  I figured that a bigger trailer than our pop-up camping trailer, with more room and amenities (a bathroom!) would be in our future, but not an Airstream.

Anyway, long story made short, we met the sellers that evening and looked it over.  It is a 1973 International Overlander (the latter meaning the 27′ long model).   It looked pretty good and the price was WAY right.  We decided the next morning to go for it (this was the morning we were leaving for Anacortes).  It turned out there was another interested party that had made an offer the night before, so we had to counter somewhat, but in the end it was ours and we agreed to meet with them after we got back from Moving Day to close the deal.

Sorry, dear family, for springing this on you!  It all happened so fast and then we were embroiled in moving.  We just put it out of our minds over the weekend.

So this past Monday, we closed the deal.  Tuesday morning we got the new license plate and tabs and registration.  The first thing we did is tow it 2 blocks to Coyote Ridge Automotive and get a new wiring harness put in that is wired directly for the receptacle on the truck.  The trailer had some kind of old 7-prong plug that we had no adapter for (neither did the sellers, and the tabs hadn’t been renewed since May 2006 – they had used it as a “guest cabin” – but how they towed it without turn signals etc I don’t want to know).  Anyway all the exterior lights (brake, turn, running) and the electric brakes are in good working order.  Then we brought it home:

as found 1

as found 2

This is going to be a Project that we will work on for a couple of years.  We took it on faith that “everything works” except for the air conditioner, but we are taking it over to Airstream of Spokane at the end of next week for a check-over.  The interior is in pretty decent shape, although very 1970’s (can you say “orange formica”?)  The carpet is tatty and we will probably put down Marmoleum (old style linoleum) eventually.  The windows have a film between the 2 layers of glass that has cracked and glazed, so that will be our major project.  We have already found a lot of info on the web about removing and renovating the windows, including new window tint film.  In fact, the DIY (Do It Yourself) Channel had a 10-part series a couple of years ago where they completely restored a 1970 Airstream, and they are available online as YouTube videos.

At 27′ it is probably the longest model I would have considered (new or old) – a 25′ would have been my ideal – or even a 23′ would have worked.  But when you are inside it sure feels comfortable, and there is a ton of storage.  So for long trips or staying one place for an extended period, it should be great.

Stay tuned for periodic Airstream postings with before and after pictures!

As for the title of this post:  we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this year – March 17, 1973.  This being a 1973 Airstream, I told Rick this must mean the 40th anniversary is the “Aluminum Anniversary”!

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