Several posts ago I ended by writing “so ends our camping season for 2012”, but remember that I also said “ . . . or maybe not!” I left the door open for another cold-weather outing and this past weekend we made good on it!
The NOVA and Silver Family end of the year Christmas party had been on the books for quite some time and was scheduled to be at Terry and Sue’s home in Dublin, OH. Our plan was that Tom and I would get a hotel room in the area and take advantage of the big-city location to do some seasonal shopping.
However, as the time got closer we began tracking a warming trend, and putting out feelers for a convenient campground close to Dublin. Just 3 weeks ago we were at Alum Creek State Park near Delaware, Oh, and noticed that they were open all winter. On top of that, they advertised that a Fantasy of Lights would be featured in the campground area, with a million lights and 150 displays.
A few hardy other Airstreamers were interested in the plan, and as the weekend approached each began forming a strategy. Yes, Airstreams were winterized, but this did not cause much of a problem. Every couple has a scheme for “dry” camping without water in the holding tanks. Jugs of water would provide limited water for our drinking and sink necessities and another jug of water in the bathroom would allow for use of the toilet and “manual” flushing. All campground services including heated bathhouse, hot showers, electric hook-ups, water and dump station were open and running, and a full-time volunteer host family was present to welcome us!
All week long the predicted temperatures got warmer with even night temperatures well above the freezing mark. However, with that warm front, wet weather also moved in with a certainty of rain. In the end, four Airstream couples chose to brave camping in December to extend the NOVA Christmas party to a full weekend event!
Lou and Larry were first to land Friday afternoon and they chose a location around the bath house where we would all conveniently gather.
Tom and I arrived by 6:15 and managed a very quick disconnect in the dark with light rain and temps in the high 40's!
The four of us drove into Delaware for a great dinner at a well-established Hamburger joint . . . no tables -- just a never ending counter!
After dinner we hit the antique stores that were conveniently next door to walk off the burgers and fries! I often wonder how many times a day the store owner has to listen to the same timeworn comments: "I have a dozen of these in my attic!" "I just sold one of those in my garage sale." "Grandma gave away one just like that because nobody in the family wanted it! "They want how much for that?"
Back at the campground Dan and Dawn and Loren and Michael had arrived completing our gathering with 3 Airstreams and an Argosy. It was still raining very lightly, but we gathered in "the silver pearl" (below right) and chatted for awhile and made plans for breakfast -- back at the Hamburger Inn!
Saturday morning the rain was gone, the temperature had risen, and although it wasn't going to be a sunny day, it was going to be very pleasant for mid-December! In fact, during the afternoon we were able to enjoy a good sit-and-chat around a campfire.
Of course, the reason for the weekend adventure was the NOVA and Silver Family Christmas party, and by 3:30 Saturday afternoon we made the 13 mile trip to Dublin, OH and the home of our Hosts, Terry and Sue. Here are a few pictures from the rally . . . . UHH, I mean PARTY!
And . . . when the party was over, 8 of us set out for the short drive back for the special treat of another overnight in our Airstreams.
Sunday morning, as we said goodby, Lou and I left the door WIDE OPEN for any other last minute, warm weekend get-togethers . . . should the occasion arise!
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