It was time to put the Silvermine’s third air conditioner to the test; if you have been reading the blog you will have followed this whole trail of tears. With short notice for a June 16-19 gathering I sent out an invitation to several old-time camping buds, and several new NOVA members and friends who were all located in the Columbus, OH area. Several years ago we had camped at the little Pastime Park of Plain City (just west of Columbus), and we had enjoyed that little campground so much, we hoped to recreate some memories. With very short notice, 4 Airstreams and 1 TAB made plans to camp, and two other Airstream owners made plans to try to come and visit.
Getting eager, I called Lou and suggested we go down a day early on Wednesday. Lou was having an infusion as part of her wind-up to chemotherapy, but gamely said she could finish that up, finish packing, and drive down to meet us. We arrived Wednesday afternoon at 4:00, and Lou and Larry were shortly behind us at 6:00. There was some juggling of campsites as we discovered most of our group was in the hot all-day sun, and after relocating Lou and Larry to a shady spot a few sites down, we decided it was hot enough (93 degrees) to make a trip into town to eat out.
I am pleased to report that the air conditioner kicked right in as we set up (92 degrees in direct sun) and cooled the trailer down minute by minute! It was really good to see how efficient it was as this had been one of our biggest unsolved questions with the new trailer. Town was just 3 miles away and a little restaurant on the corner called The Ol' 42 Grub House was open and not busy. Good subs, good pizza, we were back at the campground within the hour, as a huge storm front seemed to be moving in.
We gathered under the PahaQue and waited for the show – that did not come! Somehow the entire thunderstorm passed us over without just a little thunder, brief lightening, and very little wind. At 10:00 I went in to clean up, and settle down for a good read.
Thursday morning I slept until 9:45 – that rarely happens! The morning temperatures was pleasant enough for a sit-out under Lou’s big awning while we drank coffee and decided on a morning plan. There was a restaurant that Lou had passed by several times in the small town of Waldo (just 23 miles away) that claimed to have world famous Bologna Sandwiches – we were game for that! The little town of Waldo is tiny, and mostly made up of eating establishments. The G&R Tavern was packed at the noon hour, and we had to stand around and wait for seating, and settled for a tall table in a corner. The bologna sandwiches were worth the drive and the wait. Put this place in your lunch-bucket list – G&R Tavern in Waldo, Ohio!
After lunch I have to confess that I dropped into the Silvermine for an hour to read/nap, and when I woke up, there was an Airstream all set up beside us . . . and another one pulling into place! John and Suzi in their new 25’ front bedroom, and Bruce and Melinda in their new 23’ front bedroom – identical to ours! We had camped with both couples at the Haydocy Rally where we all celebrated our new GMC/Airstream purchases, and it was fun to meet up again so soon to share our Airstream knowledge.
John had a new toy to try out – a Clam shelter house. The promotional video shows it being set up in under a minute, and for a first-run John put in a very respectable time.The Clam comes in green – and green is my new Silvermine color . . . .
At that point we were all set up and settled in and ready to do what Airstremers do best -- sit under those awnings, beside those glorious silver shelters, and connect . . . or in this case, reconnect!
I slept late again on Friday morning, and woke to a campfire coffee conclave. Bruce and Melinda had left early to put in a day of work. John and Suzie were our resident tour guides, and in their Mercedes convertible they led our truckload to a Skyline Chili for lunch, followed by a shopping excursion to a large Field and Stream that was attached to a Dick’s.
We were back at the campground by 3:30, to rest and await the arrival of Alan and Carie, our final camping couple. Evidently I sleep pretty soundly in the O-G chair with my earphones plugged into Willie’s Roadhouse, as they arrived, unhooked their TAB, and hauled it to within 15’ of where I was napping and set up camp . . . without waking me up!
The afternoon was a nice session under a large shade tree; we had to keep moving our chairs as the sun climbed across the sky. Several of the boys motivated for a frisbee exhibition showing off their free-style throws. Supper was a shared grill and seating around the picnic tables . . . during which disaster struck!
Right before dinner, as a result of my using the microwave, Tom went to the electric box to find that I had tripped a breaker. He flipped the switch, and as he reached to plug in the power cable, a wasp drilled his thumb. That shouldn’t have been a problem as he has been stung many times over the years. But within minutes it was obvious this sting was different. Within 15 minutes we were all anxious about his symptoms, and in another 5 minutes he left for the local hospital with Alan driving, and John providing directions. I missed the ride and after 20 minutes Alan called to say that Tom was not good. Larry let me pack the things I thought we would need and then he drove me to the ER and brought Alan and John back to the campsite.
Alan and John had driven Tom right to the ambulance entrance of Dublin Methodist Hospital, and after first denying him entrance, the receptionist took a second look and then opened the door to let him in. It took John and the receptionist to get him to a close-by treatment room, and immediately the staff was all over him with treatment. His BP dropped to 80/30, he was covered in hives, his throat was swelling, and his vision was narrowing but thank goodness he responded fairly quickly to treatment. With his past history of heart trouble, and the severity of his reaction, they admitted him overnight. His room had first class accommodations that included sleeping for me, and by 1:00 we were settled in and trying for sleep! Throughout it all, Tom was very cooperative about posing for pictures for my blog!
Morning in the hospital room saw a smooth progression from getting up, eating a nice breakfast, having a doctor visit, getting unhooked from multiple IVs, and demonstrating strength by walking laps around the unit floor. Discharge sent him off with some more medicine and an epi-pen, and instructions if he should have a sting in the future. We were back at the campground by 10:30.
Newest members of NOVA, Denise and Monica lived in the area and dropped by for a visit They were unable to come and camp because their brand new 16’ tricked-out Bambi named "Tranquility" was in the shop! But, we all connected quick enough to assume we will be camping with them in the near future! So sorry that I did not get the camera out and get a picture!
Shortly after lunch Tom and I felt the need to catch up on some missed sleep, and we retired to the Airstream for a long nap. For supper we tried the shared grill again -- just glad that everyone was present and there were no emergency interruptions!
The last night of the campout there was a pow-wow around the fire pit with conversation centering on future get-togethers. Before going to bed Carie and I reminded everyone that breakfast burritos would be served in the morning . . . as a last hurrah!
Sunday morning was a slow progress of packing up, getting ready to go, and eating breakfast burritos. Tom cooked the eggs while each stood by to add their selection of Carrie's ham, sausage, bacon, cheese, onions, sweet peppers, salsa. There was also a nice fresh fruit mix.
What a great campout! And, now we know that the new AC works like a camp to keep the Silvermine cool -- in less than a week, we leave for vacation: one week at the International Airstream Rally, and 3 weeks on the road in Canada.
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