Airstream Trip 2010

Herein begins the saga of our trip to Ohio.
Pour a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy.


Day 1...July 17

On July 17 we headed North to the Airstream factory to have additional awnings installed on Ole81. We ran into very heavy rain in northeast Texas on our way to the Atlanta State Park. We arrived there after traveling many back roads, and were fortunate to have a great pull through site.

First night spent at Atlanta State Park,TX

Day 2

In the morning, Sally and Maggie our two GPSs took us on narrow back county roads. Fortunately only once did they differ on whether to go left or right.

Twice on the trip through Arkansas, we were parked next to an Allegro Motor home that had a wood ladder on the back when we had stopped at Rest Areas on the Interstate.

Day 3

Second night spent in Germantown, TN in the AgriCenter RV park.

Stopped at another rest area near Nashville and the same Allegro pulled in next to us.

Found that they are from Livingston, TX.....small world!!!

Third night at the Bluegrass RV Park in Franklin, KY.

Discovered that our power plug is in bad shape so stopped at Camping World to get new ones.

Day 4

Got on the road at 10.20am….

Stressful day….the GPSs did not seem to cooperate in getting us to Jackson Center, but we finally arrived  around 8:00 PM ….339 miles that day.  Had to pull off the road north of Cincinnati because of a cloudburst ahead, which we did not want to experience.

Lots of construction from Cincinnati to Dayton, but we finally arrived at the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, OH.

At Airstream we backed into a site with a view of the cornfield.  In the evening we were treated to a display of lightning bugs.

Day 5

This was a ‘down’ day since we had arrived at the factory a day early …..drove to Sidney,Ohio to the AAA store for some maps.

Lunch at Cafe Veranda…excellent food.

Just relaxing under the tree with a glass of wine at the campsite in the evening.

Day 6

Up at 6am…Checkin at 7am while a John Deere tractor pulled Ole81 into the shop area. Wayne worked on Ole81.  Wayne has been with the company for 50 years.

Bought several Airstream items in the store.

Today they installed the side and rear awnings, and the front window solar shield.

Told Chris we wanted the lower stone shields, so they installed them.

There was not time to do any interior work, so we will spend the night and tomorrow at 8am they will do  the interior rivets.

2pm took a tour of the factory.  Very interesting. Airstream is now building narrow units for the European market, since they have such narrow roads.
They are restoring a 1935 Bolus-Teller (predecessor to the Airstream) travel trailer.

Bolus-Teller travel trailer

We enjoyed dinner at Cafe Veranda, but I had started to have a toothache.

In the evening, we sat in the lawn chairs under a tree.  John Solberg (another Airstream customer) came over and we chatted until dark.

John had spent 14 years with IBM as a salesman in Cincinnati, and then went into real estate.  John and Pam have a 2005 Airstream.  Pam has 3 dogs that  she pushes around in a baby carriage.

Day 7

Friday Morning….Wayne fixed the mirror on the door which separated the bath area from the bedroom, and then fixed some rivets before we headed East on the shortest distance to Warren.

We stopped for lunch at a Bob Evans and then continued to Warren,arriving at 4:30. Bruce hooked us up near the storage building in the parking lot of the museum, which allowed us to spruce up before we went to the reception in the museum at 7PM..

Day 8

Saturday morning we enjoyed a continental breakfast in the museum. There were 38 Packards outside....

This was the LONG awaited event....the grand opening of the extension to the National Packard Museum. Roger White and Warren Packard, grandsons of the original founding organizers of the Packard company.

On the left is the new extension, on the right is what is called the Warren wing, since it provides exhibits on the Packards made in Warren, another automobile made in Warren, the Packard Electric company of Warren, and early aviation at Warren.

and then the storm came. It seems like every time we come to Warren, thunderstorms roll through the area. An interesting chap came from a town nearby with his baby stroller...AND DUCKS....for entertainment, everyone was invited to pet and hold them.

(note that they are sitting in roasting pans!)

Saturday night was the banquet dinner and we were please to see that our friend from Maine, Mike Fiori, was there. In conversation we discovered that Mike knows 'Chip' Sweet. Seems years ago, his wife had a 1930 Chevy and she had contacted 'Chip', who is the foremost authority on the 1929-30 Chevys.

Later, we joined the 'core' group of volunteers on a porch near amphitheater to listen to a concert. Gail turned around and spoke to Alan Bayowski to reply to a comment he had made. This was the beginning of another close friendship. We had a great time on the porch.

Day 9

Sunday morning we again had breakfast at the museum. It was a beautiful day and there was a great car show of all kinds of cars and antique tractors.

We spent a couple hours showing Alan Bayowski the draft of my book.  He introduced me to Dick Best, who has great truck collection southeast of Warren. I understand it is the second largest truck collection in the world.

Again we were plagued with a couple showers during the day. We gave many tours of Ole81 to folks who had never seen the inside of an Airstream.

The evening was spent with core volunteers in the museum.


Day 10 Monday July 26.

Got to sleep late today.  In the late morning we did some wash at the Laundromat, then in the afternoon, Gail stayed in Ole81 and I went to see Dick and Edie Best’s great truck collection.

Day 11 July 27, 2010

Another sleep in…

Gail fixed eggs, tomatoes and sausage and in the afternoon we pulled up stakes to move to Mosquito State Park. As soon as we pulled out of the parking lot we discovered that the TPMS antenna had been ripped   off the cable, but Gail discovered it stuck to the drawbar. Fortunately, Bruce volunteered to solder the wires together.

We finally parked Ole81 at 6:30 and then joined the folks on Mary Ann and Rick's ‘Queen Mary’ (pontoon boat). Attending were Mary Ann, Rick, Mike, Deb, Leslie, Doc, Charlie, Stephanie, Jack, Bill, and Christine.

Day 12, Wednesday, July 28,

Slept until 10.30 and then Mary Ann came by…and I rode with her to the museum.  She let us use her car all day. In the evening, Jack and Bill picked us up and we went to dinner at the Buena Vista. We moved sites and decided to stay until Saturday morning.

Near Warren we saw a recycled 1948 Hudson.

Day 13, Thursday, July 29, 2010

Got up in the morning and Bruce had left the repaired antenna on the propane tank cover. He had fixed the broken cable. We could not test it because the wheels have to be going 12-15 mph, so called Dickman Tire in Oregon and had a new antenna shipped to the museum.
Mary Ann lent us her car again…to use until Saturday.

Drove into town and had lunch at the Sunrise Inn.

Took a short nap in the afternoon and Mike Yost called.  We went over to spend the evening with Mike and Deb and had a great time. They showed us their new patio, Deb's Metropolitan, and Mike's Packard.

Experiencing some kind of electrical problem. When we left, the 12v system was not working. When we got back, the 120v breaker had been tripped. Something is intermittent.

Day 14, July 30,

Got up late again, and didn’t go anywhere during the day.

At  6:30 Went over to pick up Mary Ann and Rick. We went to an Italian restaurant in Cortland and then to the Green Eagle Winery for the evening. There was a wedding party and Doc was playing.  We really enjoyed the evening and killed a bottle of Cabernet.  Leslie also joined us.

Day 15, Saturday, July 31.

Got up at 10 and as we started packing, discovered that the bin above Gail’s  bed was hanging.  When we checked out of the park, we stopped back at the museum and bought a few more items.  Christine showed me where the drill bits were, so  I was able to better secure the bin for the trip.

First we headed south, intending to go to Toronto to follow the river, but then changed our minds and thought it would be neat to drive US 30 west.  As the day grew on, figured that we needed to find a campground.  We thought it would be feasible to checkout the several campgrounds south of Mansfield …. Big mistake! 40 campgrounds along a river with a zillion campers and kids.  Finally had to back up when the road turned into gravel.  We had stopped a car coming down the road.  He had turned around and recommended we go no farther…so we turned around and headed up Ohio 60 to Ashland.  Flagged down a Police car and the officer did not know where the campground was because he was also from out of town.

Garmin GPS would not pick up satellites and the Magellan kept crashing.

Finally got to the Hickory  Campground West Salem/Ashland OH at 8pm.

Day 16, Sunday

Got on the road about 11:30 and headed down US 42.  Stopped at a Sam’s and a WalMart for stuff.

Enjoyed a leisurely ride down US 42, but in London, OH there was a bit of a detour for construction.  I missed the turn and went down a narrow street. As I was turning a corner, I realized that I was too close to a pole and stop sign.  Jammed on the brakes.  Gail had to hold the stop sign with the awning hook as I backed up and made a larger turn.

We got to the Frontier Campground around 6pm.  Tonight I downloaded a newer softare version for the Magellan.  Hopefully it will help us as we travel home.

Day 17, Monday

Got on the road by 10:30 and stuck to US  and State roads.  Much more interesting than the interstates.

We stopped for dinner at a Denny’s and proceeded to New Harmonie State Park Campground.  What a bummer…beautiful park, but they make you drive 3 miles into the park to the campground to pick out a site, then drive all the way back to  register…and they had NO turnaround space.  Fortunately, John, one of the hosts ran me up to the office to register after we had set up.  There was only electric.

Day 18, Tuesday, August 03, 2010

This morning we took hot showers in the facility….felt great.

Got on the road and headed west. Crossed into Illinois on an 80 year old narrow bridge, just as an 18 wheeler was crossing. In a case like this, you just hold yor breath, and keep driving, and hope the trucker stays in his lane.

Magellan took us across the state mostly on back county roads. Lots of corn and soy beans and steep hills.

Stopped in Chester,IL at the Farmhouse Café, right on the main drag.  A WHOLE fried chicken was $5, so we split one and it was so good that we ordered another one to take with us.

Chester is the birthplace of the creator of Popeye.  There are bronze statues all around town.

Crossed the Mississippi on another narrow bridge and stopped at the former KOA in Perryville, MO for the night.  Checked in at 4:30…the earliest we had stopped on the whole trip, but have had our  fill of County roads. This was the dirtiest campground we have seen.  Cigarette butts all over the ground, trash, and smell of dog pooo.  In the morning there were 5 large dogs running loose.  We complained to the management, but don’t expect them to change.

Day 19…Wednesday

Went up the interstate and then on route 8 toward the west of MO.  Had called the number of ‘Pomme de Terre’ State Park….and the chap said that there were a couple pull throughs in the park near Pittsburg…so we headed there.



Went through Gumbo, MO and Buffalo, MO.

GPS indicated to go on MO 164, but the map indicated it was a smaller state road than MO 32, so we turned around and took MO 32.  Unfortunately, 20 miles of it had just been paved, so the speed limit was down to 40-45.  Finally had to switch to MO 164 and that had also been oiled and new stone, so again it was slow going.


Finally got to Potato State Park, Buffalo, MO and was lucky to get the best of the 3 pull through sites.  Decided to stay an extra day because it was an ideal setting.

In the evening we sat outside Ole81 and watched the sunset across the lake.  Then the Good Lord gave us a phenomenal fireworks display of lightning, and at the same time, little fireflies entertained us nearby.

Thursday, day 20 August 5

Woke up at 9 but didn’t  get out of bed until 10…because we didn’t have to.

Just spent a lazy day relaxing and watching the birds.  A little sparrow came close to us, and in the late afternoon we were treated to a couple of bluebirds flitting about.  Also saw a grey bird that we had never seen…Come to find out it is an Eastern Kingbird.

Many boats on the lake…some pulling rubber rafts with 1-4 people bobbing about, but were surprised that we saw NO water skiers.

All day long we were bothered by flies, but were thankful that we were not attacked by mosquitos.

In the evening we had a campfire.

Day 21, Friday

We were saddened to be leaving this great site, but we again headed west into Kansas on US 54. We then headed south on US ….69.

When we crossed into OK, it was a dismal scene….a true ghost town of vacant and partly demolished buildings.  All around were mountains of some grey stuff…obviously tailings from mining.  It was the town of Pitcher

A few miles down the road was another half-deserted business district in Afton OK …old hotel, etc, but across the street was a restored DX  gas station with PACKARD signs.  Inside the building were a couple cars…bulletnose Studebaker, ’58 Golden Hawk and a Model A roadster.  As I peered in the window I saw 4 Packards.  Went back to tell Gail…drove around the block and parked in front of the station.  The mechanic let me in and took me to see the cars.

1923 Packard sedan
1929 Packard roadster
1934 Packard Twelve Coupe
1936 Packard Standard Eight 1200 sedan
1950 Studebaker sedan
1957 Packard sedan
1958 Studebaker Hawk

In conversation he told me that the cars belong to David Kane, so I told him that two weeks ago I was talking to Allen Bayowski who had sold the 1937 Twelve Convertible Sedan to David.

Small world.

The mechanic also told me that the mine was a lead and zinc mine and that there was 100 square miles of mines under the countryside and that a tornado had passed through the town 3 years ago..causing all the damage.

We stopped for dinner at a Dutch Country Restaurant.  It was a buffet.

We spent the night at a Rocky Point Corps of Engineers campground, Wagoner, OK ….on the water, but trash all around the pad and in the fire ring.

Bathrooms were clean with hot and cold showers.


Day 22, Saturday Aug 7

Well, we didn’t get on the road until noon.  Very difficult to use the dump station because it was at the top of the hill and the tanks would not drain.

Complained at the entrance and got our money back.

Headed south on US 69 and had an uneventful day.

Stopped for the night at the Texoma State Park,OK but had a difficult time finding it.

Found a pull through next to the showers, with a view of the water in the front and back.  When we stopped at 5:30, the outside temp was 101.4. In the morning a flock of geese pestered us.

Were able to use the internet on T-mobil.

Day 23, Sunday

We left Texoma State Park and drove 282 miles (been on US 69 from Kansas) and arrived at Texas Airstream 'Harbor RV Park'. This park was recommended by a fellow Airstreamer from Katy, TX.



The park host was very gracious. This was the last day of our supply of pills, so we had to be home the next day.


Day 24, Monday August 9, we headed out and had a safe trip home.

We were very fortunate to have had great weather the entire trip (except the very first day.)
We had travelled 3646 miles and had a most memorable trip.

We hope that you