Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Though Enticing New Blood, Airstream Helps Many Age Gracefully

©Bert Gildart: Judging from the number of people who hung around after the two programs I gave this past week at Rich Luhr’s Alumapalooza Airstream Trailer rally, I have to assume the presentations were successful. My feelings were reinforced by thoughts shared by those who specifically sought me out during the three and one half days I spent at the week-long rally at the Jackson Center in Ohio.

Brett (Rich’s co-producer) introduced me as “a much published writer/photographer who had contributed to every single issue of Airstream Life since its inception about six years ago.”


Airstream Factory tour


My first program at Alumapalooza was about national parks and Glacier’s Centennial, the latter of which included a retrospective on grizzly bears. The second program concerned photo techniques, and following the presentation many said they hoped I might do the same next year but include a field seminar in which we’d all take images — and then compare.


Of course, none of this would have been possible had it not been for the successful program Rich and Brett put together. First, Alumapalooza was set next to the site where Airstreams are manufactured, and I am sure that over the course of the week, all attendees, who probably totaled 400, took in the factory tour.

I’m also sure that all who could summon up the energy included seminars as part of their daily itinerary. Such talks included presentations on Towing, Vintage Airstreams, Riveting, Airstreaming in Europe, Fulltiming, Bowlus Trailers, as well as many others.


Visiting early Airstream models; Ken and Petey Faber, “living little”; Rich and Brett presiding over “Open House.”

Because I was in Jackson for such a short period of time, and because I was traveling back and forth between a hotel and the convention grounds (I had to fly because of personal time constraints), I was unable to attend some of the talks, to include one on Route 66 and another on Yoga. Still, I met these presenters, and because of luck with timing was able to spend a little time with each of these people.

Through this luck, which I’ll categorize as a “random sample,” I concluded that the Airstream group as a whole is adventurous, excited about life in general, exceedingly curious, and loves to travel.


Specifically, I spent time with Ken and Petey Faber, a delightful couple who after retiring from one career, subsequently turned to restoring older Airstreams creating Vintage Airstreams,  “Mostly,”  said Petey,  “small ones. We live little,” she laughed.

As well Ken and Petey gave a seminar on Route 66, and they have traveled this romantic old historic route in its entirely, from Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles, California.


sKY & slaDE “fulltime” in their 34-foot Airstream Classic doing two things: Sky diving and teaching Yoga, but with a twist.


“sKY & slaDE” was another other couple with whom I spent time, and though they call themselves “Yoga Instructors,” in reality they are much more. Both are sky divers, and sKY (as she configures her name) has made about 1,300 jumps, while slaDE (as he configures his name), has made about 700. As I later learned, the couple also yet another blog, with postings that completely concur with my own environmental philosophy.  Take time to scroll down and you’ll also find lots of Airstream maintenance.


Adam examining predecessor of more conventional Airstream

I met the couple Friday, the day of my departure — and unfortunately at the end of one of their performances — but they offered to provide a demonstration in front of their 34-foot, 60th Anniversary Limited Edition 1991 Airstream Trailer. Their routine combined gymnastics with yoga and demonstrated not only great agility but also great strength.


Actually, the one couple with whom I spent the greatest amount of time was Adam and Sue, whom I again owe a debt of gratitude. Last summer I threw my back out as we were climbing the Chilkoot Pass in Alaska. Being the compassionate folks they are, they took the majority of items from my pack enabling me to hobble out with the aid of my trekking poles. (Note: my doctor says it was just plain bad luck and that I should definitely try again.)

And now, this past week, they gave me a place to hang out after the frantic flight from Montana to Ohio and the discombobulating sense associated with the acclimation to strange faces milling in new places — and the recoup time needed after seminars. So thank you once again, Adam and Sue!  I love you both!

Because of the life style Janie and I have followed, in the 12 years we have been Airstreaming we have never before attended a rally, but after meeting so many delightful people and learning so much we may try working more into our future. Certainly the community of Airstream enthusiasts (many are retired) know how to age gracefully using a premier form of travel. But more significantly, Airstream has a history and certainly a cache. As well, it seems that there is an adequate infusion of young blood into this “niche group” so I have faith the market will not stagnate.

Regrets? Only that I didn’t allow more time and that Janie wasn’t with me to share.



*Natchez Trace National Parkway


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