Sunday, May 31, 2009

Crawfish Fun Fest

I was Host of my very first rally this past weekend. I guess I need to thank all the past hosts of all the rallies I have attended, for they schooled me well. Twelve trailers showed up and we took this rally to ELEVEN. I am very proud of how the weekend came together and extremely pleased with the old friendships that were re kindled and the new ones formed. I could not be more pleased with the way The Second Annual Crawfish Joint Trailer Gathering took place. To all those that attended, Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
My journey began at 6 p.m. from my house. Beth and I left for Northern New Jersey and headed right into a huge traffic jam on the Baltimore Beltway. Stop and go, stop and go, and at least two times of locking all eight tires up when the go became a sudden stop. Around the Pennsylvania State Line we ran into rain. Now rain is no big deal in most situations, but in the mountains of Pennsylvania, it likes to manifest itself in the form of fog. Beth did not like the fog and rain one bit. She kept telling me we should get off the road and wait it out. Fortunately I had to meet Carl and Elaine Deitz  in Frackville so we could not stop, we needed to meet up with them, we had a mission. When we pulled into the Cracker Barrel, Carl was all ready to drive, so we pressed on. Once again, Beth was not happy about the heavy rain and fog. I kept assuring her that the truck I was following has going to get us through to the other side. I told her that once we got to the Delaware Water Gap, we would talk to Carl and decide weather it was time to shut down. Funny thing was that by the time we got to the Delaware Water Gap it was not raining and we decided to press on. We got to the Sussex County Fairgrounds at midnight and just snuck right in. No one said stop, so we drove right in.

Trailers started to arrive at about 8:30 but they had to wait in line for the event to officially open. We hung out and waited too. The security was very cool about the fact we had snuck in. Not sure if it was the fact that I reported to them at 7 and confessed or weather they liked the bold move in the middle of the night, but we received the first wrist bands of the weekend. How ever, the true badges of courage were earned my Donal and David

These two boys tried to see who could put a bigger hurting on each other. They ran head first into each other and the results were spectacular. Donal knocked his tooth out by cutting Davids head wide open. Blood was shed, the event was blessed and christened in blood. Donal had to get his tooth wired in and David got about eight stitches to the forehead. David wore his blood soaked shirt all weekend and was disappointed the ambulance did not run the siren on the way to the hospital. Good job boys, I am very proud of you both.

I received a wonderful gift from my awesome friend Don. He gave me this wonderful 1962 cooler. The Featherflite was the vessel we used to serve Wally Byam's favorite cocktail out of. It just seemed so appropriate to serve the drinks from it. Any guess what his cocktail was? Seven and Seven. The most simple, most entry level of cocktails. Wally was a Seven and Seven guy.
... a happy hour, going from one until six was just the kind of happy hour Wally would have loved. There was so much good food served and we even had a tequila tasting. The Herradora Reposada was put up against a Cuervo Reserva Anejo. 

Beth, which one did you like best? It was a toss up with most that tried them. 

But we did eat us some bugs and they were great. Deborah kept saying her lips were burning. Mine were too. They were some kind of tasty. But the real reason for coming to the rally was to hear some music.
This band Bonerama played Friday night. I never knew When the Levee Breaks could be played on trombone. It can and it might be better than on guitar. I was blown away by these boys. I wish they had had more than one show. Maybe next year.
I was the Breakfast Chef. Both mornings we had a full breakfast made to order. I think it was a smashing hit. The breakfast materials all came from a very generous donation given by one of the attendees. Brother, thank you again on so many levels. I am very grateful.

Everyone seemed to have a great time eating and socializing together. The participation of everyone was what made this rally such a huge success. The fellowship was tremendous.
Everyone brought a little something and it made the entire thing huge. Deborah's bread and Skips Bloodies rounded things out nicely.

Everyone had a great time I think.
I know I enjoyed meeting some new friend. This is my new buddy Richard. I will tell you all about Pam and Richard in my next post. He looks happy for sure.
Maybe it was Wonder Woman dancing with the All Mighty Brass Band or maybe it was that everything about the weekend was smooth and easy. 
Steve Riley and the Mammou Playboys put on one hell of a swinging show. The guest Saxophone player really wailed on it too.

We had a guest saxophone player come do happy birthday for Beth. Sunday was her birthday and we had a mini party in the morning. Joe played happy birthday and Elaine had a birthday cake for her. 

The down side to all rallies is that they end. I hate the packing up the trailer and truck after a rally. The drive home and the unpacking is all so depressing to me. I need to find a way to put a positive spin on it. I need to host another rally. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fine Finds

Every trip I take I find very cool rigs out there. I love my Airstream, but I am not a total Airstream snob like some. I appreciate a fine SOB more than the average guy. I would like to share with you a few I saw this weekend.
Now this here was my was my favorite find. Martin saw this 1966 split window Volkswagen Camper last Memorial Day while traveling home from this very campground. It was a total impulse buy he said. There is a bunch of VW campers that have a club I have found out. He spent the winter repairing the rotten body panels and making it usable again. My hats off to Martin. I envy your bus. Very cool 
A strong runner up for coolest was this 1967 Ultra Van. I tried to get Beth to fall in love with it, for it is for sale. She sniffed the bait, but would not bite the hook.  No price listed, but for sale. Someone at the campground said it was for sale last year. Price must be very high for it to still be there.
If you are serious and you think you are worthy, Drop me a line and I will tell you where it is. This would make a killer RV, unfortunately it needs serious work.
ULTRA VAN... it is ultra cool to say the least.
She is an "11" from 40 feet. Unfortunately this Spartan Manor is one rough chick. I have my sights set on a Spartan. I really want one of these sleek girls for my harem. I admire the woodwork in these trailers and find the lines very sexy. I snuck into the yard to look up close. This one needs serious attention and far more than I would be willing to offer. My intrusion was discovered and this one too is for sale. The owner was trying hard to get me to take it off his hands. Times are tight he said. Unfortunately, my extra cash is too. She is priced very cheap, but not cheap enough for what she needs. Once again, if you think you are worthy, I will let you know where she sits.

Not for sale and not as cool as the rest was this tiny little Scamp. I like them and hate them. The owners were never around for me to talk to. My curiosity will just have to continue.

memorial daze

Being full blooded Americans we took advantage of the first and most major holiday weekend of the summer. Here in Maryland you do that by "going' down da ocean hon" To go down to the ocean one must cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Usually the traffic crush is tremendous so we made an early start for the beach three hours away. The traffic was almost non existent.
Nothing like a four day weekend to recharge the batteries. Well,  actually the battery became an issue this weekend. I might as well spill the beans right away. Turns out Assateague Island State Park only has electric on one loop and it was not the one we selected even though I could swear it said electric on the reservation page.  I hadn't plugged in for a few weeks and my battery was at 10 volts when we pulled into our space. My oldest daughter was curious what the switch over the sink labeled 12 volt did and turned it to on. The switch turns on the air pump that use to pressurize the water system. That pump is very quite and after running for six hours it put a serious hurting on an already weak battery. The trimetric battery monitor was reading 3.9 volts when I discovered the issue. We just made due with the bath house and propane system. Everything was fine and it was fun to rough it a bit. So now that that is over, back to the trip report.
We had some time to kill so we made Crisfield our first stop. This little town has been a boom town in the past, but it has past it's glory. In the day, Crisfield was the main hub for seafood going West and ferries bringing people to the Eastern Shore to go to the beach. The seafood industry is nothing like it use to be and either is Crisfield. Ferries now take tourists and supplies to Smith and Tanger Island in the middle of the Bay. They bring the tourists back and some of the catch to Crisfield. For some reason, we really like this town. We come here a few times each year.
The Watermen also bring their catch directly to the seafood packing houses. Many bring their busters (crabs about to shed their shells) to be put in tanks where once they shed their shells they are my absolute favorite seafood. 
There is nothing that gets my tongue watering like a soft crab sandwich. Yes, you eat the whole thing. It is dipped in an egg wash and then corn meal and fried. The shell is like a potato chip in crispness and the entire inside is succulent crab. I am minding my language on this blog now, but run into me face to face, and I will tell you exactly what I really think about a soft crab sandwiches.
Another thing you find in Crisfield is Smith Island cake. Ten layers of very light cake and butter cream frosting. This one was banana. The Smith Island cake comes in many flavors and are made by the wives of the Waterman out on Smith Island. Those ladies put some love into what they do.
The main reason for the weekend was to get the kids to the beach. Halle jumped right into the building of sand castles. She could not get enough of playing in the sand.
Not  sure how they do it, but kids can just go in that freezing cold water. I am not sure what the temperature was, but there was no way I was going in. I just flew my kite and drank. Hey, What else do you want me to do at the beach?
It was perfect weather and a perfect location. I highly recommend anyone looking for a good place to take the family, head down to Assateuge State Park. Level campsites and clean bath houses. If you need electric and water, make sure your reservation is for "H" loop. 
And while you are there, you can fly your flags for the wind is always blowing strong. Awesome kite flying too. Fishing in the surf or the back bay is excellent also. I am going to try and organize a rally here next year. Not to compete with the WDCU rally at Hatteras, but $40 a night for electric and water is very reasonable.

A big draw for Assateague Island is the ponies. They were survivors of a Spanish Galleon that ran aground back in the 1500's. They are very tame and walk through your campsite at will. They leave lots of gifts, so watch where you step.
We also made a side trip into Ocean City for a stroll on the board walk. Lots to see here. Arcades to play in and amusement rides. I mostly enjoy the people watching. Every shape, size, color, orientation, age, and background you can think of. Nowhere can you gain self esteem like people watching on the Ocean City Board Walk. 

Going home requires going over the Cheasapeake Bay Bridge again. Fortunately, the traffic flowed home very swiftly.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

We went camping this weekend. Wish I had something more exciting to share with you all than this simple photo...

The photo does not show it, but I have just passed a caravan of twelve SOB trailer on Reeser's Summit, PA. Now this a very steep hill coming out of Harrisburg.  My Dodge is a half ton with a 318 under the hood. All those SOBs were much bigger and had a lot more horses under the hood. Yes, I have issues. 
The weekend was a lot of fun. We used the Airstream while a few friends tent camped. Of course, the phrase of the weekend was "sure we have that". Regardless it was nice to get out and spend the weekend camping. Being able to supply coffee or a pot or even a toilet was the least I could do. 
Next weekend we are home then off again on the road. Beach trip coming up.