We’ve got a new look . . . and life on the road just got a little better!
We loved our first Airstream trailer. Purchased at the end of 2011, our 23-foot Flying Cloud was a big step up from where we’d been . . . 10 years in a pop-up tent camper. We loved that Coleman Camper too, but we never once looked back when we moved on to the Airstream.
But . . . all good things . . . sooner or later . . . we moved on . . . we moved up. We put a lot of miles on that Flying Cloud—good miles. Good times. Great places seen. But our trips kept getting longer, and the Flying Cloud kept getting smaller. At least for one of us it seemed. So, we began looking around in the Airstream line-up, searching for something that would work for us. Nothing seemed to ring both of our bells. Until . . .
The Airstream guys came out with a novel idea. Something never quite attempted before. Perhaps motivated by the anniversary year of our national parks, or maybe inspired by another unique American company, they came up with a special design.
The Pendleton model would be limited to 100 units in commemoration of the 100th-year anniversary of our national park service. The Pendleton Company would have a lot of influence on the inside space. The designers put together something never seen before in an Airstream interior—a rustic cabin style that didn’t forsake the company’s high-end features. Everything came together in a uniquely special way and by the early days of 2016, these beauties were rolling off the assembly line. Airstream dealers began sending out the news.
Wally Byam gave birth to the Airstream concept. An avid sailor to begin with, his time spent on the sea instilled a love of travel and experiencing the world. He was a pretty clever guy too, and handy with his tools. In 1929 he began formulating and constructing campers which eventually developed into something akin to what Airstreams are today.
Wally’s dream was to design a travel trailer that would “move like a stream of air, be light enough to be towed by a car, and create first-class accommodations anywhere.” Even though Wally is no longer with us, the legacy of his dream is alive and thriving. The popularity of Airstream trailers today surely gives testimony to that. And the company over in little Jackson Center, Ohio, can’t build them fast enough.
Like a Siren’s call, this Pendleton Airstream enticed me. It felt custom-designed to my tastes. From its national park theme (the destination of so many of our trips), to its cozy cabin looks (surely meant to be our surrogate second home in the mountains) with all the creature comforts (I unabashedly adore), how could I not find it irresistible? Unfortunately, my travel mate, my loyal and constant husband, was not quite so drawn in. A more practical guy, he saw the “bottom line” and could go no further towards making a decision. Hm-m-m, this might take some more convincing.
Scroll foreword several weeks . . . weeks that gave us time to think. Weeks where thoughts of a Pendleton seemed ever-present in my thoughts. I felt the draw, the bonding to this trailer . . . Chris just needed some more time to finally come around. Phone calls were made and best deals were offered, then it came down to making a firsthand visit to the nearest Airstream dealer. Located just west of St. Louis, it was an easy drive away.
The rest, as they say, is history. A couple of weeks later we were the proud owners of Pendleton #24.
Then the fateful day arrived. For its final trip leaving our driveway, our freshly washed down and spruced up Flying Cloud departed for St. Louis.
With the advent of a brand new Airstream, I had some serious nesting to do in the coming weeks. Converting a pristine, newly-minted trailer into a place that has one’s own personal touches takes some planning, and organizing, maybe a little shopping trip thrown in, and well . . . it’s more of a woman’s thing, I guess. Being an ongoing project, it wasn’t perfectly finished but good enough to take on its maiden voyage. Systems to check out and new operations to learn—where else would be a more appropriate place than to head to our own McCormick’s Creek State Park in southern Indiana?
It was a weather-perfect long weekend. And boy did we have fun. Like kids at Christmas, we tried out all the new accoutrements that came with this Pendleton model. Electronic awning deployment and automatic stabilizers—oh my, were they nice!
And those Pendleton touches gave the whole place an aura of an authentic western style. Moreover, we’ll never be cold thanks to all the many wool blankets that were included!
Lots of perks came with this Airstream—more open spaces to move around in. We can spread out, move around, and even have room for our yoga exercises. I think I’m going to like this upgraded model.
Extra storage spaces too. Lots of cabinets and pull-out drawers. Above our bed, below the couch, and under the bedside tables. With ample space for even a few appliances, the kitchen is no exception. I loved the pull-out pantry in our Flying Cloud, and was happy to see one included in the Pendleton. Airstream knows what makes a woman happy.
Perhaps the most appreciated aspect of this Airstream, the galley is a large, open space. Laid out to be efficient and decked out with Airstream’s high-end fixtures, I think we’re going to enjoy preparing meals here. No more bumping elbows and not enough working space . . . connoisseur cooking here we come! Chris jumped in and did his thing—anyone for a breakfast frittata?
The sleeping quarters are equally fine, located in the “fore-quarters”. Still a queen-sized bed, it has ample room to maneuver around. With windows wrapping across the front as well as flanking both its sides, this bedroom gives a sense of spaciousness, as well as plenty of light to greet each day. Let the breezes blow through!
Plenty of space separates our sleeping quarters from the living area, with the bathroom and wardrobe sandwiched in-between. Now, rather than living in one open area, we actually have two distinct rooms. That gives us each our own individual areas—which works well when one of us is the night owl and the other is the early bird. This Pendleton promises to provide us with the best of both worlds.
All-in-all, it’s one very nice Airstream. It’s warm and cozy, yet open and airy. Windows galore, along with two skylights to brighten the gloomiest of days. And then, as if that’s not enough—the entire back end can swing open; and with a pull-down screen the great outdoors just got even closer. it’s our window into the world. Let the breezes blow in—ahhhh, now THIS IS CAMPING!
As evening comes on, we’re more attune to the sounds that nature brings. It’s a peaceful place to soothe our souls and wind down a busy day.
As was our custom with the Flying Cloud that came before, we’ve collected many decals from each of our memorable destinations. (Smart travelers as we [occasionally] are, we purchased duplicates along the way!)
Representing the national parks and monuments we’ve already visited, I’d say they fit right in with this commemorative Airstream Edition. Like I earlier remarked—this trailer was obviously meant for us!
Anticipating more good memories yet to make, I’m glad to see we have some empty space remaining. We’ve got miles left to travel and many parks out there to see . . . with an Airstream designed to take us there.
With the wrinkles ironed out (we dearly hope) and a larger Ram truck newly purchased to handle the additional weight, we’re days away from our life on the road. Busy days, to be sure—two months (and more) of travel involves careful planning, and a longer list of provisions and clothes . . . but this Airstream can take it all!
As for our destinations, the next blog will disclose it all. Until then, it’s back to packing up and crossing off all the loose ends on our list.
See you soon . . . on the road!
Melinda and Chris