It’s time to introduce the newest member of our camping entourage -- a GMC 2500 HD Sierra Denali Duramax – with the Allison Transmission and a 6.2L diesel engine! It’s a mouthful of a label that lives up to the name in every way . . . they tell us she is good for at least ½ million miles! She has power to spare pulling the 25’ Silvermine, plus a much more comfy road ride, and some little upgrades in the bells and whistles department that make her lots of fun! She is a pretty red with two-tone brown interior, and her name is “The Rubymine . . . and Hers!”
It only took us a couple day-drives to put the required 500 slow and easy break-in miles on her, and minimal adjustment was needed to hook up the hitch. Our initial tow was just 40 miles to check out the whole system, and then we waited for our first trip . . . destination: Potato Creek State Park, just south of South Bend, Indiana. This trip was instigated by John and Suzie to meet up with AirFriends from previous Urban Air encounters
Thursday, July 19, John and Suzie passed right through Van Wert to pick us up . . . pulling in at the Airport across the street for a doggie play-break and a quick lunch. They had Penelope (Penny) and Rupert with them, and we added Charlie, Jasper and our houseguest Annie to the mix – 4 people/5 dogs!
A two-hour drive, with Tom leading the way and John/Suzie following, took us West across Indiana and a bit North to Potato Creek State Park. Already settled in at the campsites were Ann & Jim and Jayle & Bob, and by 4:30 we were well established for the next 3 nights!
Supper was complements of Ann & Jim – foil wrapped chicken, potatoes, beets, carrots, brussels, cooked over the fire. . . real camping-inspired chow. The dinner fire was revived for the evening as the sun went down, and Tom and I enjoyed it . . . until the mosquitoes came out.
I didn’t tumble out of bed Friday morning until 8:30 when Tom casually mentioned everything was set up for breakfast: the usual grand feast cooked outdoors by John and Tom. It took awhile to get the three dogs fed and walked and settled in the Silvermine, and by that time breakfast was in full swing. Nothing is as splendid as bacon, eggs, hash brown, sausage . . . in the morning.
Late morning slid into early afternoon with the great campground pursuit of just messing around the campsites. A glance at the weather showed a band of thunderstorms and possible high winds passing through the area, and by 1:30 we were all put away and prepared to take refuge in the trailers if it happened . . it did! It was a pleasant way to spend two hours!
Friday night was build-your-own-pizza, made possible by John and his new Blackstone griddle/oven. Every topping possible was available, and John was on duty to pop the pizza in the oven and pull it out when done. The rain continued off and on, but there was a large awning to sit under, and the occasional raindrop did not slow down the pizza progress.
It took awhile Saturday morning, but by 11:00 a.m. we were all set for an excursion into South Bend/Notre Dame – 8 people in 3 trucks. A quaint downtown district near the campus showcased O'Rourke's Irish Pub Restaurant, which seemed a fitting place for lunch. . . we all posed for a picture in front of the Pub. (Remember Notre Dame's Touchdown Jesus? This restaurant offered a Touchdown Cheesus!
After lunch, a tour of the Studebaker National Museum was the afternoon diversion. Oh those beauties! Above the Studebaker Museum was a showcase of 10 iconic cars that changed the automotive industry in the USA. No words needed . . .
We returned to the Airstream and were a little surprised to find everything in tip-top shape, considering we had left 3 dogs (one of them a puppy and one a first-timer to this Airstream) loose for 4 hours. In between the storms that passed in and out of the area, we walked the dogs; at one point Suzie and I took off our shoes, grabbed our umbrellas (me, a glass of wine) and walked barefoot up and down the campground roads, splashing in the puddles. Just how old are we???
Supper was hosted by Bob and Jayle with all 8 of us settling inside their Eddie Bauer with the back hatch wide open! Jayle had made an amazing beef stroganoff with grilled veggies, salad, some wonderful breads, and a fine red wine. I’m thinking there could be another realty foodie-show on TV – just follow the Airstreams!
After supper we cleaned up our campsite and prepared to hitch up in the a.m. In the morning we pulled out with John and Suzie following, and had a fast-food lunch stop before going our separate ways.
Next weekend is Caesar Creek -- camping with a couple that we met at The Bangin' Fourth that has just bought an Airstream . . . time to break them in RIGHT!
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