Yosemite Annual Migration 2010 & Airstream Maiden Voyage

Maiden Voyage
Maiden Voyage, 2010.

This year’s annual migration to Yosemite was an eventful one, as the maiden voyage of our “new” vintage Airstream was not without complication. Thanks to Robert of All American Mobile RV Repair in Fresno for saving the day–and for the reminder of what a small world we live in. As it turns out, he got his start working for the very dealership in Washington State that sold our Airstream back in the 1970’s. There’s a good chance this wasn’t the first time he’d seen it!

We had a wonderful time visiting with old friends and taking family bike rides in the valley (the only way to go during holiday gridlock, yes gridlock). There was even time for some fly casting on the Merced and some exquisite (34 year old, single cask) single malt from a private label in Scotland.

Vintage Airstream Tour & Phase 1 Plans

It’s been just over two weeks since we acquired the vintage Airstream trailer, and I finally found time to take some pictures. It’s been a sprint to figure out all the systems and budget for the necessary repairs and upgrades to get it operational and safe (comfortable and pretty come in later phases).

Thanks to the sharp folks at Area 63 Productions in Orange, California (listen to this great interview with Uwe the owner), we’ll be making some significant upgrades ranging from axels to brakes to the furnace to power. This 1972 Overlander International model was in remarkably good condition having lived in Arizona for many years and the typical vintage Airstream problems (such as floor rot) were inevitably found, but luckily very limited in nature.

The 70’s interior is, well, 70’s and reminds me of the Boeing 707 Air Force One interior on exhibit at the nearby Reagan Library. It’s in such good condition, it probably doesn’t make sense to change it–I’ll save that type of work for the other full restoration “project” trailer sometime in the future.

Things rare or things beautiful, here are wisely assembled, they instruct the eye to look at all things in the world as if never seen before.

Paul Valéry, 1937.  Much to my amazement and delight, this was the opening quote in Airstream: The History of the Land Yacht.

I finally acquired a vintage Airstream land yacht. She’s in great shape, and it’s been an exciting and busy few days learning all the systems. This shot was from our shakedown trip to the dunes of a local beach campground. More to come.