Tuesday, March 30, 2010

TAC MD-1 goes to his first rally

This weekend I went to my first rally. In all actuality, I have been to a number of rallies, but this was the first one I went to with the Airstreamer's Club. A member in Connecticut was trailer-less and wanted to camp so bad he invited people over to his house. It was all rather spontaneous how it came about so we could not resist heading North.

The drive over the Tappen Zee went real smooth. I wonder if the George Washington Bridge would have been as easy. I have sworn off the GW and plan to keep my word. When we left Baltimore it was raining very hard. Sometime in the last half of the drive the rain stopped and the sun came out. A very nice weekend was shaping up.

There was a little issue of backing into the driveway. Now how many people does it take to back a trailer in? One. Too many voices saying "right, left, straight, come straight back now, sharp left..." can really screw a guy up. An "S" curve and a long rig can add a challenge also.

There were four of us that came. There were three trailers parked down by the garage. Nice spot with electric and water.

And a cute little Bubble in the wooded site at the top of the property also with water and electric hook ups. Once everyone was settled in we all proceeded to relax and have a good old time

My girls egged Donal on with seeing who could eat the most cantaloupe. Actually I was glad to see the three kids plowing through the fruit and not some rippled Utz potato chips.

The adults however seemed to be plowing through things made of malt and grains. The recycling guys are going to get a serious work out this week. Everyone seemed to be having a real good time talking and laughing. No one ended up naked or fist fighting in the front yard though. We can always hope for next time.

Some people stopped by to visit without their trailers. It was nice to meet internet friends in the flesh. I always find it interesting to put a face to those you meet on the internet. The entire crowd was just super. Speaking of people you meet on the internet. I was contacted by a guy in Austin Texas about my love for BBQ. He wanted to send me some rub to try out. Since we were going to fix up some BBQ the timing was perfects.

So in the mail I received a very nice gift of three bottles of rub. Just in packaging alone this stuff rocks. The people who make this have chosen very clever wording to set their product apart from what (at least in Texas) must be a very competitive business. I know to better to judge a book by the ending than the cover, but first impressions were right on the mark. Big Cock Ranch makes some awesome rub.

Ava assisted me in liberally applying some Special Shit to the brisket.

There was also a nice pork butt put in the smoker at the same time.

But the main ingredient was the smoke. For 11 hours we watched the trail of smoke rise into the Connecticut sky.

A steady 225 was desired and we all tried hard to keep it there. Watching over the pit is serious work requiring a lot of discussion and copious amounts of beer.

Oh, did I mention the ribs? We smoked some of those too.

Internal temperatures reached, time for the meat to come off the pit.

The pork butt was then wrapped up and put in the oven for a little longer.

Perfect deep mahogany smoke ring on the brisket. Man I am hungry all over again looking at that prime slab sitting there on the cutting board.
Thank you so much for a great weekend Don. I really enjoyed myself and hope your household has recovered since we left.

Originally Carl and I were planning to caravan together. I guess his GPS gave him different directions than mine did. Within a couple of miles we turned left and Carl went on straight. I am sure he had a nice drive home even if we were not traveling together. After about an hour on the road the rain started back up and remained with us for the rest of the trip.

We headed down to Doylestown PA to see Fonthill. To give a brief history of the house is difficult but I will try. Henry Mercer was a tile maker in Doylestown. He did many major commissions all over the United States and created a whole style of tile work that was his own. He used his wealth to build himself a castle. The castle was built out of cast concrete and was rather innovative in how it was constructed. I am just glossing over all of this, so put it on your list of places to go see. You can thank me later.

The house is very beautiful and there are so many details to take in. Photos are not allowed inside the house, so I can only give you a glimpse of what you see in the waiting room for the tour.

The castle has over 70 rooms and you only see about 16 of them on the normal tour. It is kind of hard to believe that a house so unique and grand was built in three years by 9 men and a horse named Lucy. All the tile and all the concrete was made by hand. No modern machinery was used.

The same nine men and horse built the Moravian Tile Works next door in even less time. The Bucks County Historical Society owns the factory also.

Even today you can walk in and order the same tiles made 100 years ago. Everything is still made by hand just as it was back in Mercers day.

My girls seemed to really enjoy the tour of the house and the factory. They were enjoying the warming bench in the hearth. Yes you sit inside the fireplace with the fire in front of you.

The tile around the fireplace was very beautiful.

Mercer enjoyed telling stories with his tile. Make sure you folks go check it out. We will be going back soon. We did not get a chance to see the other museum downtown that documents the tools and trades that built America before the Industrial Revolution. Maybe someone will contact me and we can have a rally in Doylestown.

Our next stop was Lancaster County. There is nothing like stepping back in time. The Amish of Lancaster County still live an agricultural lifestyle using horses and shunning all modern convinces. Have you ever wondered how to tell the difference between an Amish farm and one by someone else? It is very easy, the first sign is no electric lines going to the house. A bigger give away is that the farm is ALWAYS immaculate. No fading barn paint or broken fences. No junk laying around the farm yard. Everything is perfectly groomed and well cared for. They might not be harvesting a few thousand acres of corn every year, but they sure look very successful at making a farm work.

Unfortunately the rain showed no sign of letting up and many attractions were still not open for the season. We decided to head for home.

Along the road we saw the old ladies shoe...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A few months back I wrote about Sam and his Boles. Some comments have come in and he wanted to respond to those comments but could not. I thought I would post his email and some photos. Hopefully this gives Neppy some answers and provides all of you something to read. I know it has been slow on this blog all winter. Anna is now out of storage and this blog will be rolling soon enough.

So, from Sam...

Hi Frank--
I just noticed a comment on your blog about the "stop" light on my Boles. I dunno if it is me or my senile computer but I cannot seem to respond to the person who made the comment and asked the origin of the light.
Maybe you could relay for me?

I took the light off the back of a 1956 school bus. Actually two of them. I remember them to be original on buses then. Yes, I was riding school buses then. When my Boles was built only one tail light was required and installed in the center. So in my rebuild I had a five inch hole in the aluminum to patch or fill and I elected to use the "stop" light to fill the hole. I don't think the "stop" lights were ever used on travel trailers, but I just couldn't resist. I always have liked something that would start comments or questions.

I took the Boles on its maiden (after rebuild) voyage last week. About 2 hours down a dirt road to a fishing hole. Nothing broke or fell off and the ice cream was in perfect shape three days later. I have a few more details to take care of (don't we always?) but it is pretty much complete. Now I need to get back to the Safari and do some "upgrades" for the trip to Minnesota for the family reunion in June. Time to get the Boles out of the barn and get the Safari in. Does it ever end?????

Spring is getting here ............... warm one week and snow the next. Typical for here.
Hope all is going well in your part of the country.

I never thought a message was complete if a few photos were not included. So ............ Riverside camp............