The Mothball Rally has a 4-year history as an early-spring NOVA Rally: Tom always plans it – nobody every commits to coming – but, we always end up meeting new Airstream people! This year the affair seems to have caught on, as we expected to have at least 6 Airstreams attend – all premeditated! That could be because it is scheduled a little later in March than usual, and because it is at the extremely popular Hocking Hills State Park!
Whatever the reason, we had been anticipating our departure on Thursday morning, March 30, and we were delighted that there will be other die-hard Airstreamers in the mix, regardless of a prediction for cooler temperatures and rain!
The drive down to Hocking Hills was a back-roads delight with fresh spring green tree buds and blooming pear trees, forsythia, weeping cherry, and fields of purple blooming clover . . . all signals that camping season was indeed here.
Late morning we headed into the town of Logan for a little shopping and dining and sightseeing. A deputy sheriff gave us a personal tour of the Court House which was nice, but had been a little overly modernized covering up some of the woodworks and other original structures.
The deputy then suggested M&M Family Dining, a block down, for lunch – Jane and Brad were just being served as Tom, Alan, and I walked in and joined them. The owner, Michelle, was a very novel character full of personal style and open friendliness. Tom and Alan posed for a picture with her, and we posted it to her M&M Family Dining facebook page.
As we finished eating, Lou and Larry joined us, and we all headed out back on the town for a stroll down to an unusual church we had spied. Here again, we found a 27-year employee willing to tell us everything she knew about the church, which had a rich history and had benefitted from dedicated upkeep from the congregation over the years.
The problem with Saturday was that the ground was still drenched from the steady drizzle on Friday. And the temperatures were quite a bit cooler, in the 40s. And the campsites were mostly muddy. But, the rain had passed through the area and many of us hit the trails – after all, we were in Hocking Hills State Park! Our little group drove down to the campground headquarters to jump on the gorge trail to Old Man’s Cave. On the trail by 9:30 traffic quickly picked up as the morning wore on. The trails, already soggy from the rain, were dicey and quickly worked into slick mud mires that were a bit treacherous. Long lines of people meant frequent stops and trail sidings as small groups picked their way along the quagmire. All in all, it was a great hike, and we were up out of the canyon and back at the camper by noon-thirty for lunch.
There was a lot of water flowing in the ravine and over the waterfalls, due to all the recent rains. . . getting Tom all pumped up!
It was an uphill climb all the way back out of the gorge, and gave Tom's new hip a good step-test. He was very pleased with the way it performed both in and out of the ravine.
Saturday afternoon was a casual off-and-on gathering around the sites as the weather dried up – but cooled down. Because we had full hook-ups (with sewers) many took the opportunity to de-winterize and sanitize and fill the on-board watering systems. Alan had a bit of a glitch in his routine, but Randy stepped right in to help trouble-shoot it! The afternoon led into a critical discussion: carry-on with the open grill and pot-luck plans – or weenie out and head to a restaurant? The open grill won out, and picnic tables relocated to accommodate all of us, and the fire was moved to a near-by fire-pit.
The final pictures prove that it takes more than a damp, cool background to ruin an Airstream gathering! This last campfire was well-tended as some sat out until midnight. Brad and Jane were first off Sunday morning, and others trickled out in no big rush. Tom and I were home with the trailer completely cleaned out and truck emptied by 2:00. Best Mothball . . . . EVER!
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