This rally, Urban Air, is a whole new concept in Airstreaming – the chance to “Wake Up Downtown” in small town America! Urban Air is an opportunity to celebrate the iconic Airstream camper in an Americana atmosphere. As a town welcomes Airstreamers to invade the Main Street, park and camp, some wonderful things begin to happen. Read all about it!
First it is necessary to position and profile the town of Logan, Ohio. Located in Hocking County, Ohio, on the Hocking River 48 miles southeast of Columbus, it is the gateway to the breathtaking Hocking Hills State Park. Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, Conkle’s Hollow, Rock House – all are hikes and scenic views draw people to the area. The town itself is actively seeking ways to promote interest in their unique small-town lifestyle; thus they agreed to become a location for the Airstream Urban Air.
The staging ground for this rally was at the Hocking County Fairgrounds where seven of our NOVA units gathered on Wednesday for an overnight. Parking together at the fairgrounds assured that we would park together on the city streets on Thursday! Present: Lou and Larry, Suzie and John, Tom and Ella, Mike and Sue, Dan and Dawn, Alan and Carie and Sue and Terry. That evening we walked 6 blocks to the downtown area for dinner, and returned to the fairgrounds for an above-ground-gas-powered-fire.
Thursday morning by 9:00 the parade to town began! Airstreams trickled out of the fairgrounds for the short drive to the downtown area where the event hosts were waiting to direct our Main-street parking. We were in one of the first groups to leave, and our spots were pretty much smack-dab in the center of town. It was amazing to watch the volunteers manuever those rigs end to end and just inches from the city sidewalk.
By 11:00 we were parked and unloaded and the truck was stowed in a nearby lot. By 3:00 all 75 Airstreams were parked, the streets were closed off, and everyone began to settle in for the duration.
Thursday night, with all the Airstreams in place and the electricity turned on to power us up, there was a crock pot smorgasbord, followed by announcements, and mixing and mingling . . . in the street there was live music and plenty of socializing. That’s what Urban Air is all about! When the music ended at 10:00, there were plenty of little pop-up bands that gradually drifted together for a mid-street jam session. All broke up by 11:00.
Friday morning was our designated day for hiking for the Old Man’s Cave trail system. Tom, Sue, Charlie Button and I were on the trail by 8:30, headed down into the gorge. The trails were blissfully clear of other people, and we were down, through, and out before the traffic picked up – back to Main Street by 11:30!
We met back up with our urban group and did our civic duty by patronizing a downtown eatery . . . and a few stores. Actually, we ate and shopped all weekend long! Everywhere we went, it was like being a celebrity with business owners welcoming us and thanking us for coming. Of course, we were busy applauding them in return for hosting us!
A stone’s throw from our trailer was a large Adult Beverage Oasis tent and the town Gazebo . . . every night it cranked up with live entertainment. As the sun went down the above-ground fire pits came out in the middle of the streets and the circle of come-together musicians geared up. With a little practice they were able to hash out some good music for several hours every night!
On Saturday the “pimp your blimp” decorating contest took over the streets as trailers began decorating with the “Appalachian Trailer” theme. Several of our NOVA trailers joined in! I started with a picture display of my 3-generation-family in Appalachia, and inspired by that I began pulling out dusty artifacts from the attic, basement and garage. Very quickly I had enough stuff for a presentable little outdoor, Appalachian exhibit.
Up and down the street, people displayed their Appalachian side in a variety of different ways. The townies came out to help vote by stacking canned goods by their favorite display, and the local food pantry was the ultimate winner.
The winner of the contest was our own NOVA Redneck - John Cougar! His General Store Front Porch display was about as real as Appalachia gets . . . on the city streets!
Saturday evening concluded the Urban Air with entertainment, presentations, , tributes, awards, and honors . . . and a whole lot of hand-shaking, back-slapping, and some promises to do it again next year.
Sunday Tom and I were not able to pull off our quick get-away -- first in . . . last out! We watched as the Airstreams at the end of the street were hooked up and pulled out to be on their way. While one unit was hooking up, all the other trailer jockeys was standing around watching -- no pressure! Tom completed a perfect back-up the first time!
There is not much time for a turn-around as we will be heading out again on Thursday for the annual Haydocy Rally -- another Urban experience!
The date is April 18th – according to the calendar. On Face Book many have been referring to it as January 107th – according to the weather! That sets the stage for this weekend’s planned campout at Morgan’s Canoe Livery. The plot thickens as Alan inquired about conditions at Morgans and found that they were muddy, squishy, and very wet from the recent rains! In a flurry of text messages, the whole venue was moved to Caesar Creek State Park!
We set up in the “walk-in” sites in loop “A”, surrounded by lots of thick, green grass, with lots of blue sky and sun-shine! We arrived just as Alan did, and within the hour Lou and Larry pulled in, followed by Georgia and Rick. John and Suzie and the new pups, Penelope and Rupert, will be here tomorrow.
Caesar Creek campsites are mostly in grass with backdrops of shrubs, bushes, and trees, and the lower growth was sprouting fresh green, and a few flowering trees. Like other Ohio State Parks, they are on a mission to cut down the Ash trees to eliminate the ash-bore-beetle, and there were piles of cut trees bordering the woodsy edge.
When rain moved in we loaded up and drove to a nearby Max and Erma’s for dinner. I don’t think we reached freezing overnight, and the predictions for Thursday were for increasing sunshine! . . . more like April than January!
Thursday started with a morning gathering of the boys around Alan’s u-shaped dinette! A dog walk down to the lake and a late morning fire took us up to lunch!
Suzie and John arrived with new little puppies Penelope and Rupert and they received their first camping lesson. This called for some pictures around the campfire – both doggies . . . and humans!
Supper was a community gathering around the picnic table with each bringing their own food and a good fire-stoking to prepare for the evening circle. There was a quick walk to the lake to see the sunse, and a group headed out for an ice cream run. As the sun got weak the temperature dropped . . . and I headed for the camper.
Friday started with breakfast -- Alan had made four Quiche, and others pitched in hash, bacon, sausage links, and fruit!
The breakfast fueled a quick shopping trip into Waynesville, and sweet little town with some interesting stores.
Friday morning I mentioned to Georgia that I would like to have pictures of the flowering trees and wildflowers -- just to prove that Spring was coming. She promptly took up the challenge and took a walk and returned with this gallery of pictures. Georgia is one of the most accomplished bird and flower photographers that I know! Thank you Georgia!
Tom and I spent our last night around the campfire on Friday night, leaving early Saturday morning to return to Van Wert for a wedding celebration with the Thomas family. We're looking forward to our next outing to the Urban Air -- Wake Up Downtown in Logan, Ohio.
Last weekend (March 23-26) the Mothball Rally didn’t happen! It is always a hard call when bad weather is forecast during a rally; Tom was not worried just about a little inconvenience of wet and cold weather – it was the road predictions for ice and snow that really got his attention. All in all, the Mothball was cancelled.
This Monday morning was not the earliest start ever – we had to wait for some of the snow to melt! That’s right . . . April 2nd and winter is still with us! Last night’s dusting was minimal, and the roads were mostly clear in the morning, and it was all pretty enough to commemorate with a few pictures!
By 9:30 we were off for East Fork State Park for an overnight visit with son/Micah while on our way to Sister/Tink’s Spring Fling in Maggie Valley, NC!! Arriving at East Fork by 2:30, we were the only ones in “A” loop and assumed that was because it was Monday afternoon. Temperatures were in the low 40’s, and by early afternoon, the sun was gone. We enjoyed a long walk and by 5:00 we were off to have dinner with Micah at Madtree brewery.
It poured rain throughout the night with thunder and lightening, and come morning, we were relieved that Tom had hooked up the trailer the night before!
Tuesday was an exciting ride as every mile towards Knoxville took us deeper into territory where the trees were popping buds and flowers and the temperatures were on the rise. By the time we reached the Tennessee border, the temps were in the 70’s and the sun was shining. We arrived at Yarbarry Peninsula Campground on Lake Loudon by 2:00, took Charlie for a walk, and I sat outside in my lawn chair, lakeside, for 1½ hours and basked in my first warm, sunny afternoon of the season.
(Note the new WBCCI #'s Tom made for the Silvermine)
At 5:00 we met brother/Richard and his partner Paula for dinner. We were excited to get back to the campground by 6:30 with plenty of sunshine and nice temperatures to sit out on our lake-front property!
At 5:00 we met brother/Richard and his partner Paula for for an early dinner. We were excited to get back to the campground by 6:30 with plenty of sunshine and nice temperatures to again sit out on our lake-front property!
We headed inside at 75 degrees with windows wide open. After midnight, the wind picked up and a cold-front roared in and we hastily stirred to close the windows. By morning the temperature was 48, and predicted to go down, down, down!
Tuesday, 9:00 AM, we were off for a brief 2-hour drive west on Interstate 40, across the border into North Carolina, arriving at Pride RV in Maggie Valley, NC, by 11:30. The drive was beautiful as spring progressed with tree buds, flowers, and new spring-green growth mile by mile. Unfortunately, the cold front also settled into North Carolina, and the temperatures were not predicted to be out of the 50’s .
Tink was waiting as we pulled in along with all of her Rpoders and used-to-be-podders. We didn’t take long to set up and join her in her Rdome – which was heated and set up with tables and chairs as the desginated gathering place! A game of fancy-dominoes was going on throughout the afternoon, and with the sun out shining brightly, you would never have known it was just a bit above 50.
I got pictures of every rig that was on site Thursday night.
Thursday night was probably the first-ever “Amuse Bouche campground walking progressive” – ever! In North Carolina . . . in the world! Don’t know what an Amuse Bouche is? It means “amuse the mouth” and is a single bite/tease of food that is supposed to prepare you for the meal. In this case – it WAS THE MEAL! Campers paired up and set out their little bites with a buddy, and we progressed from campsite to site eating our little nibbles. The problem is that each little taste, was usually 4 bites. And every bite came with a little something to swig, imbibe, guzzle, nip or swill . . . the first stop got us all off to a good start with Root Beer flavored Moonshine! It took us about 2 hours of non-stop chatting, eating, walking, and drinking to get all the way around – great fun. Tom had his hands full with enjoying the venue and taking pictures for the blog!
The weekend included another meal get-together planned by Tink – A Tamale dinner. The tamales were made by the famous Tamale Lady in Knoxille and served with chili and all kinds of Mexican sides. The weather did not cooperate for an outdoor venue, but Tink hijacked a cabin and spread her spread out for everyone to enjoy. ( Thanks to Vic and Deb for letting us all crash their rental cabin!)
The weekend offered us a few busts – trips that didn’t exactly come off. When we tried to go for a drive to Little Switzerland, the Blue Ridge Parkway was closed! When we opted do tour the Biltmore Mansion, all the $25 tours were sold out and only the lengthy, $80 tours were available! We passed. And, as we headed for the Blanket Mountain scenic drive, we found it closed, also!
In the afternoon Tom escorted Tink with a small faction to a local distillery while I stayed back at the Silvermine. Everyone came back with that Root Beer Moonshine that we had tasted at the Amuse Bouche -- except Tom!
I have a little trailer malfunction to report . . . the furnace quit working! That was OK for the first couple of nights, but on Saturday night it was predicted to be in the 20’s . . . which could spell disaster for our pipes if they froze! Tom "shot trouble" at 2:00 a.m. with the Coach Net 24/hour service people, and again at 8:00 a.m. with Bruce, our go-to-Airstream-guru. We also tried for a couple mobile RV doctor’s in the area, and after it was all said and done, the problem was not going to be fixed there at the campground. Tom went to Wal-Mart for 3 jugs of RV antifreeze, then pulled out all his equipment and winterized the Silvermine! We borrowed a small space heater (Tink had 2!) and did an inventory of all our extra blankets, hoodies, and long-johns. That little heater kept the temperature at a respectable digit, and we slept just fine!
Sunday morning we were headed for home at 7:00 a.m. We had to make a stop at Micah's house in Cincinnati, and the total trip logged in 501 miles in 10 hours. Tom has a friend at the Mothership that says he can bring the Silvermine over Monday morning to check out the furnace. Now . . . if the weather would just warm up!
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