It is the time of year for the great urban campout in downtown Columbus. It is a grand union of NOVA (we’ll show you how WBCCI/Airstreamers rally and camp as a group) and Haydocy RV dealership (we’ll make sure you get the right Airstream to fit your needs!) This is our third time for this venue, hosted by NOVA’s Sue and Terry along with Haydocy’s management team, and it just keeps getting bigger and better. In spite of the cold and the rain it was a great metropolitan campout.
Tom and I left Wednesday afternoon to camp at Delaware State Park – earning another button on our State Park map! It was coolish, but dry, and we enjoyed an afternoon campfire, our first drive’round of the park, a lamb steak dinner, and a snug evening reading and watching movies.
Thursday was the official start of the rally, and although we were anxious to get there, and just about an hour away, we set a slow pace. We didn’t want to beat our hosts – no need to worry because Columbus traffic slowed us down to a 30-minute crawl! Haydocy is on the west side of Columbus on the main drag off Broad Street. A gravel parking lot to the side of the dealership had been cleared to make way for a dozen campers – with electrical hookup!
The inside of the dealership showroom had also been prepped to allow a large gathering space for our round-the-clock camp-chair circle – so much for the wet weather! Here are pictures that show the casual gatherings throughout the weekend.
During Thursday afternoon Airstream peeps arrived and staked a claim on the parking lot. Allen, Tom and I ducked out for a lunch at Chili’s and a shopping trip to our favorite REI outdoor supply store. Rain was off and on all afternoon, dictating that our potluck dinner – a hotdog cook --would take place inside the showroom After supper John and Suzie pulled out their new toy – a propane, smoke-free, fire-ring – and it sat up on the covered patio just off the showroom floor. It was drizzly, but we enjoyed every ambience of a real campfire – in the rain – under the dry veranda! It was so enjoyable that the party didn’t completely break up until after midnight!
Friday began with coffee and donuts in the showroom, and plans were laid for a tour of the State House Capital Building. Sue had made all the arrangements and a group of 13 set off at 11:00 in the morning for a little pre-tour foray of the Statehouse Museum, and to assure that we hit the 1:00 target with our tour guide. Sara was an experienced tour guide (and especially thankful NOT to have a gaggle of elementary students) and we got all the facts about the Statehouse and it’s many additions in general, a tour of the Senate and House chambers, as well as details about how a bill becomes a law in Ohio.
We were out of the State House by 3:30 and on our way back to Haydocy.
Entertainment cranked up for the evening as Haydocy pulled their Airstream Land-Yacht foodie RV into the front parking lot to provide us with a BBQ dinner. And that was just the start – they hired country western band Austin City Limits with lead singer Simba Jordan for an evening of down-home, foot-stomping music -- right there in the Airstream showroom! Samba had quite a few triumphs in his professional history, and he and his boys sang their boots off for us.
I am doubting that the little group of 25 Airstreamers was the most electrifying audience the band ever had, but they did get three camping ladies from the crowd on their feet and two-stepping around around the showroom! It was an incredible performance.
The girls wrapped it up on Friday night -- I am not sure if there was another campfire under the outdoor pavilion, but if there was, I didn't make it!
Even though the rally was winding down, Saturday held three more big events! I had worked up tickets for the Shen Yun performance of ancient Chinese Dance -- a 2:00 performance in the Ohio Theater. All winter I had been wanting to go to the theater, and when I saw this extravaganza, it was just perfect. The whole show is grounded in ancient Chinese history, culture, melodies, and stories created through dance. No photographs are allowed, but here are a couple pictures from the internet.
The scene on the left shows my favorite dance Han Dynasty Sleeves. The girls would throw out those long sleeves, and then with an unseen wrist movement, snatch them back into their hands. I also enjoyed the famous Umbrellas dance, the Handkerchiefs in Flight, and Yellow Blossoms.
Although it was close to dark, there was one more little event waiting to come together -- a trip to the Buckeye Raceway located almost across the street from our parking lot! Once it was found out that the track was open until midnight, 6 racer wannabes headed off for a little racing fun. With an Indoor road course, electric SODI carts that sit close to the ground, speeds up to 45 mph, and an automatic timing system with printed speed result sheets after each race , it was a fun venue.
Sunday morning was a slow start with coffee and one last sit-around in the showroom. By 10:00 we were hooked up and headed down the street for breakfast at the near-by Waffle House . . . home by 1:00! Future camping plans center around the Indy 500 . . . and a little trip to Alaska!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown