I know that a few of you are wondering if we made it off on schedule, given the little glitches that often pop up after a long stay parked in one location. We did. Our departure from Vermont was about an hour later than I would have liked, but considering all the last-minute packing and sad goodbyes, it wasn’t too bad.
The only mechanical glitch I found was that one of the Airstream tires was about 7 psi underinflated, which is suspicious since I checked and inflated all the tires only a month ago. I’ll be watching that one, or at least my tire monitor will. The replacement hitch has been flawless, so no complaints there. We had fabulous weather all day across the Adirondack region of New York, and then zipping along I-90 west, and everyone was feeling comfortable in the car, so we pulled the Airstream about 350 miles and ended up parked near Buffalo.
The back of the Airstream, where it was backed in close to a stand of big cedar trees, is still covered in spider webs and tree debris. The whole trailer badly needs a wash, but I’m not sure when we’ll get to that. Our travel schedule is developing and it looks potentially hectic for a while. I’m working on a new project which requires me to meet with a lot of new people. As a result, we’ll be heading to Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, Denver, and Colorado Springs at the least. Since we have to connect Grand Rapids to Minneapolis, we are thinking of taking the extra 200 miles to go north around Lake Michigan instead of south, and having a much more pleasant trip. (I had thought we’d be in South Dakota in two weeks, but now that plan is looking iffy.)
The ability to travel like this for business is a huge benefit of owning the Airstream, at least for me. I know most people have them strictly for recreation, but there is a significant percentage of owners who use them for business purposes. Why not? When you’ve got a lot of people to see, it’s a great way to travel. To replicate all these visits via air, I’d end up flying a dozen flight segments back and forth from home base, packing and unpacking my bags every few days, eating road food constantly, and wrestling with airline schedules.
Plus, traveling the “normal” way by air, with hotels, restaurants, tips, taxis, rental cars, etc., it would cost a whole lot more. We can afford to take an extra week to meander through the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin and still spend less than a typical three-day business trip. And as plans change — which they are doing on a daily basis right now — we can adapt without getting into cancellations and reservations hassles. I really would not be able to run this business if I could not travel cheaply. That seems to be perfectly appropriate: traveling in the Airstream enables the business that celebrates Airstream travel.
But the real payoff is the quality of life. As I type this in my rolling home, and the sun rises, I can see my daughter sleeping peacefully in her bed, and I can see Eleanor snuggled into the comforter at the other end of the Airstream. Soon Eleanor will be making coffee and we’ll all have breakfast together. I can’t put a price on how great it is to be able to spend every day with these two people, while I travel for business. That’s a perk that no five-star hotel can replace.