International Rally, Springfield MO
At long last, we made it to the International Rally. It's exactly as expected: hot, humid, dusty, and confusing. Big rallies are like that. I always feel bad for the first-timers ... and even the second-timers (like us), because there's never enough explanation of where to go, how to get registered, how things work. But we all muddle through anyway.
The sight of 1000 Airstreams parked in a field is always astonishing and exciting. At this rally, we are a bit spread out since there is a 30-amp section (filled with trailers that have windows tightly closed and A/C running against the 95 degree heat and humidity), and a 3-amp section (filled with trailers that have windows and vents wide open). The 3-amp section is more sociable, since everyone is sitting outside under their awnings with a glass of lemonade. On the other hand, we slept comfortably in the 30-amp section last night.
The distance from one end of the rally to another is about a mile as the crow flies, but since we are separated by rows of trees and an electrical station, you really have to drive from one section to another. The photo I am posting here is only of part of the Purple and Red 2 sections. There's also Red 1, Gold, and Vintage elsewhere.
Somewhere among the field in Purple section, Row 3, you can find a blue-green Argosy ... one of a kind. We're tucked deep amidst other trailers and not readily visible, but already the Internet technorati have begun to discover us, since they've heard (from this blog and postings on the VAClist and Airstream Forums, that here they can check their email on our Internet-in-Motion system. Last night, Edie dropped by about 10 pm to sit on the front step and check her email.
The bug list on Vintage Thunder has not increased any since we left Vermont, but I've noted previously a few things that have happened (the battery box latch, the freezer latch), and we've also noticed two interior pop rivets have broken near the streetside bedroom window frame. That's an easy fix too, and I have all the tools to do it this week.
I have finally broken down and purchased a blue tank, a 15-gallon model. It is outside connected up right now. We'll probably have to dump it every other day or so. I wanted the 10-gallon model but only the 15 came with an attachment to tow the full tank to the dump station -- and the dump station is about a mile away over many dusty bumpy gravel roads, somewhere in the Vintage 3-amp section. I figured fewer trips is better.
So what's there to do here? Well, the big rallies are a matter of making your own fun, I've found. There is a schedule of seminars, celebratory meals, and meetings, but the best fun is meeting up with friends and talking aluminum. The best way to do that is to hit one of the many Happy Hours which are usually 4 pm every day. Vintage has one of the best ones under their own tent, but also Hunter's Yahoo Airstream List has a couple, as well as many of the local Units.
The bulletin boards and word of mouth are the way you find out about these. Each Region also has a breakfast or dinner at least once, and there is a full kids program (for adults too) that we'll be taking advantage of. Thursday we are headed to the water park if there are no thunderstorms. Today, I'll be checking out the Vintage Open House from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. I expect a few visitors, too.
I received my first copies of the new Summer 2005 issue of Airstream Life yesterday. It looks good. Copies should be in the mail to all subscribers this week. As usual, expect 2-3 weeks delivery time.
Now I've got to head out and put the awning up. It helps a lot to keep the trailer cool. Right now it is a comfortable 72 inside, and I am interested to see if the A/C can keep up against the heat today.