October is that time of year when we begin winding up our camping season. Usually, our end-of-the-year episode is the Airbiscuit Anniversary Rally. This year the rally had a new location, (Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Cleveland) a new time, (the first weekend in October instead of the last) and a new baby (the celebrating couple introduced baby EL to our Silver Family)! Congratulations to our rally planners Mike and Loren (parents) and Lou and Larry (grandparents) on the addition of this little silver miracle to the family. Can I just say that EL is cuter than a little silver button?
We landed at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds by 12:30 on October 1st, with chilly temperatures, but no rain. Wasting no time, we grabbed our Airstream allies and took off to patrol the area. Larry had grown up in the town of Berea, and Lou had attended Baldwin-Wallace College, resulting in a narrated drive-by of the college town and the unique little urban area tucked right into the "Crooked River" (translation of Indian Ka-ih-ogh-ha) valley.
The little town of Berea was put on the world map by it's highly rated sandstone. It is world famous for grindstones and local and overseas building.
I won't venture a guess at how long ago Larry used to patrol this area on his bicycle -- but he says it was before the instructive sign kiosks, the wooden deck river overlooks, and the paved bike paths and walking trails.
The families that had gathered at the Fairgrounds before suppertime opted to go out to eat at the local Olive Garden restaurant less than 2 miles away. The "buy one entree and get one boxed to take for the next day" special was a popular option, and plenty of us left with an OG boxed carry-out for tomorrow's lunch!
Back at the fairgrounds we officially moved into the pole barn community building that would be our headquarters for the weekend. It was complete with a large area for our crafting and chair circle, and another furnished room with a kitchen, bathroom, and eating area.
It was a nice little driving tour and we decided we want to go back sometime and see it all by scenic railroad!
We checked in at headquarters to grab lunch and to see if progress was being made on the clock craft! I have been designing the faces for these little clocks and my sister Tink has been making them for her Rpod friends. Lou and I came together to sponsor it as a craft for the Anniversary rally. I tried to design a variety of faces so that everyone could have a unique Airstreaming or camping clock. Here are pictures from our craft studio!
Knowing that the clocking was going smoothly with Lou in charge, Tom and I set out again for the West Side Market. It happened to be Friday and the market was open until 6:00. We were cautioned that much of the "good stuff" was sold out early in the morning, and many of the vendors were gone in the afternoon. Not to worry -- there was plenty of "good stuff" left!
After a beans & weenies supper and brief indoor chair/campfire circle (without the fire!) I retired somewhat early to the camper for a "first ever" in the Silvermine! That's right . . . I watched a movie on the TV! Never done that before!!! Tom stayed in his bed with his book!
It rained all night, and was still drizzling in the morning. The incentive to get out of bed was that Larry and Lou were cooking pancakes. On their big grill. Inside the dry building. Tom and I were first in line!
Then, Tom spent the rest of the morning making his chili for the chili cook-off -- outside -- in the sprinkles -- huddled under the Silvermine awning. He cooked his chili from scratch using a new recipe and cooking it in a dutch oven hanging from a tripod over the propane turkey cooker. (Might I mention that all the other contestants were heating their chili up in their crockpots in their campers?) Tom knows and understands the true spirit of a chili cook-off contest!
Judging began at 11:30 --- and as always, Tom came in 2nd! Guess what was served for lunch?
Rain continued and offered Tom and I the excuse to drive to the local theater a few miles away and see The Martian. I had just finished the book and was thrilled with it, and hoping that the movie would be as good. It was excellent. They are now crediting the movie with raising interest among school-aged kids in the sciences. That is certainly what hooked me on the book -- the use of scientific ingenuity to solve seemingly overwhelming problems. Go see it!
We dropped by headquarters to make sure the circle chat group and craft station was still going strong, and Tom snuck off to watch the Buckeyes. At 5:00 we all gathered for the silent auction raffle followed by a pot luck. In my blogs over the years I have had so many pictures of games and pot lucks that I put the camera down and just enjoyed the pow wow.
Sunday morning we were up early and heading out by 8:00. Our guilty pleasure on these homeward bound trips are listening to Rangr Bob and his side-kick "Sidemeat" as they host an hour of cowboy music on Willie's Roadshow Serrius radio channel. Can you even stand it?
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2018 25' Airstream Serenity with Salsa interior and front twin beds., 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