Remember that I was shut out of the Pittsburgh hockey tournament last weekend due to illness? Well, this weekend I was “on” as chief driver and trip coordinator as son Caleb and friend Kevin traveled to London, Ontario to play on another all-star team. After this tournament there was no doubt in my mind that Canada and Hockey go hand-in-hand!
Away from the house by 7:00 a.m. we crossed the border from Detroit into Windsor by 11:00 and arrived at our hotel at 1:00. Room not ready . . . so much for being early! Lunch and a quick shopping trip brought us back to the hotel at 2:00, just in time to move in, get settled and head to the ice rink, an easy 5-mile trip.
Kevin and Caleb in their sledges.
With over 700 pictures it is hard to know exactly what to share on my blog. I think I’ll begin with some pics of the players getting on the ice. They have to get out of wheelchairs and situated into a sledge off the ice, and then make their way (knuckle-walking!) to the rink. . . a bit awkward! But after they get on the ice, it become a beautiful dance.
Here is some of our line-up as they fall through the door, onto the ice.
I worked hard during all 5 games trying to get great action pictures of the players. I like a picture that shows smooth motion and action with the puck. But, I also like those moments when things slow down and players are able to take a quick break on the ice to re-group!
(WARNING: all pictures were taken through dirty protective glass and safety nets, from a balcony high above the rink -- in poor lighting! Oh, and I was balanced on a bench seat trying to get up high for the action!)
And, a few more pictures of my favorite player!
It's time to start wrapping this post up with pictures of the happy team receiving their gold medals. I was able to get down on the ice to get some up-close pictures of each player!
Ceremony over! Quick picture of Caleb with his medal! Time to get cleaned up, load the gear, and get on the road for home!
And just for good measure, we arrived home in an ice/sleet storm!
A much anticipated yearly event occurs in the mid-winter in cities all across the country – the Camper and RV shows! The exhibitions are great for keeping a finger on the pulse of the camping and RV industry as it launches new models and trends for the future. It is always fun to LOOK!
For several years, during the downturn of the RV industry, Cincinnati and Dayton have shared a camper show. This year Dave Arbogast RV in Troy, OH (a simply huge RV dealer!) sent out notices that they were going to hold their own RV show right on their lot with free entry and refreshments. Arbogast moved to the top of our dealership faves this year when they started selling Airstream trailers, and we were anxious for an excuse to go and look at their inventory. Also, we bought our GMC Savana Van from Arbogast 4 years ago – so we feel almost like family!
It didn’t take long to get our fix of new interiors and creature comforts in the 2013 fleet. I am partial to the clean scheme of light and bright composite interiors (stark white or grey) with lots of LCD lighting and plexiglas, back-lit cupboards. I also love the curved counters and cupboards that flow easily through the interior.
We looked, but neither of us was tempted to even think about a change at this stage of our camping career. Indeed, looking just verified that our little 16' Airstream Bambi is perfect for right now. We average a new camper about every 7-9 years with most changes motivated by a desired change to adjust our camping lifestyle. Although a change won't be needed for quite some time, it is fun to look and see what is on the market now, and to try to visualize what might be available down the road!
I never liked safety chains. They were never the right length. I was never sure they wouldn't shake loose on a bumpy road or rough railroad crossing, or drag because I failed to twist just enough to keep the links off the road.
I now use 1/2 inch coiled safety cables. These cables are coiled like a slinky. This configuration allows the cables to stretch to the length desired but remain tight and up off the road. Each cable is rated at 6000 pounds of load. The business end consists of a drop forged hook with a snap-latch to insure a secure connection to the tow vehicle.
One can also attach 6000 lbs. tested quick links (found at the local hardware store) to the hitch. Since my hitch is under the bumper these quick links assist in the ease of attaching the safety cables.
Winter illness prevented me from going to this weekend’s Hockey Tournament in Pittsburgh, PA and Tom, Caleb and hockey player friend Kevin had to head out without me. Devastated to be left at home, I sent Tom with a camera and instructions to take pictures and call . . . frequently! He did a great job of keeping me updated and helping me be there “virtually”. We’ll see if I am able to record the trip for the blog!
Caleb and Kevin were drafted for a throw-together team for The Pittsburgh Winter Classic and planned to make the trip together. Kevin came to our house Friday night and Caleb got home from work at 11:00 and they were up and on the road by 6:00 a.m. Saturday for a 5-hour trip to Pittsburgh. The afternoon games were played on a unique outdoor ice rink created right down by the Monongahela River at the base of Mt. Washington, with the Philadelphia landscape in the background. Awesome!
The weather had taken a surprising swing up to the lower 60’s which was great for being outside for the afternoon – but not so good for the ice! Starting out in good shape, the ice rapidly deteriorated until the players were literally paddling through water and splashing up heavy spray with each swing of the stick. Overall, the outdoor experience was an ideal different hockey experience to add to the collection!
Here are some pictures of the action on the outdoor rink.
The rest of the games moved into the Bladerunners Ice Complex, the usual location for Pittsburgh tournaments and close to the hotel (love that!). The boys had a 9:30 night game, and getting back to the hotel room before midnight was priceless!
Sunday morning was perfect timing with a 9:00 a.m. game, done by 10:00, back to the hotel to get cleaned up and on the road by 11:00, and home by 5:00! And, the weekend yielded some good experience with 1 loss (by only 1 point), 1 tie, and 1 win! Everyone happy!
What does a frustrated camping girl do in the off season when she can’t go camping? Follow the hockey trail, of course!
Son Caleb plays sled hockey for the Turnstone Flyers, and they hit the road for weekend tournament tours from October thru March. This weekend we traveled to North Olmsted (outside of Cleveland) to play at the second annual Ohio United Sled Hockey Tournament.
Logistics were helped tremendously with a game time of 11:00 on Saturday, meaning we could leave early from Van Wert and arrive at the ice house in plenty of time for the first game. The hosts provide wonderful playing accommodations at the North Olmsted Recreation Complex and transitions were easy as our hotel was just two miles down the road.
The Flyers are not known for having an excess of players on their away trips – but this tournament we had 14 players on the ice! Pushing those sleds around is hard, work and it is brutal when there are not enough players for regular substitutions! This weekend we were able to have full turn-overs of team players regularly so everyone could enjoy a few strenuous minutes on the ice, and then rotate back off again to rest! Here are just a few of our players:
On the ice and ready to go, the player sits in a molded bucket mounted on skate blades with legs extending out front. The shortened hockey sticks have three-pronged metal picks on one end that are used by the player to push around the ice. The other end is a regular hockey stick used to hit the puck. Full chest, elbow, leg, head and hand protection rounds out the uniform. Once in a sled the player has to walk on his knuckles (pushing up and swinging the whole sled forward) to work his way onto the ice!
Here are some action shots on the ice from this weekend's games.
The Flyers haven't been established very long, and are still learning to play together as a team; going into the weekend, they had not yet had a win. That all changed when they took the court against the USA Warriors! The game was a 2-2 tie, and went into overtime. Not knowing that they played overtime, I had put my camera away and was not paying attention. When they started the overtime, the players did everything coach had shown them on his marker board to score a winning goal! And . . . . guess who made the goal? CALEB!
The Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. is home to many combat soldiers that need help with rehabilitation from their traumatic injuries sustained in the field. Here is a link to a news clip that aired on Cleveland Channel 5 news that tells the story of the USA Warriors:
Next week's tournament should be interesting as it is to be played on a specially made outdoor ice rink, in downtown Pittsburgh! Anything to call attention to this great sport!
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