I just realized that I haven’t attended a rally as a camper in about two years. There was a time when we were frequent rally-hoppers, attending events all over the country, but gradually our participation became less. I can’t say why, exactly. It just seems to be a natural evolution of our priorities, and perhaps a reflection that over time I’ve become less of an attendee and more of an organizer.
The gathering of Airstreams here in the LBJ Grasslands has been in many ways a classic “vintage” event. All of the common elements that I remember from earlier years are here: a wide assortment of old Airstreams, relaxed and generally happy owners eager to socialize, and a particular emphasis on shared meals.
Our site is a rough-mown section of grasslands, atop a point of land with a moderately panoramic view and exceptional privacy. The road leading in is gravel and dirt, and only one lane wide at spots, which contributes to a sense that you have arrived somewhere well away from the hubbub of the world. A multi-use trail passes by (largely occupied by horses), otherwise there are no facilities whatsoever. What we have brought with us in our Airstreams is all we will have for the days we are here.
Fortunately that’s no problem. Eleanor made sure that the Caravel was packed full of food both for my meals and to contribute to the potluck dinners that have been planned. Even though this trailer is smaller than the one we usually use, it has almost all the same amenities — and everything you might need, in less space.
Occupying yourself at an event like this is easy. There’s always someone who wants to talk, or show their trailer off, or see yours. In between, I usually find time to read, write, nap, or contemplate. It can be exceptionally relaxing, especially in a location such as this where modern distractions are kept at a distance.
I didn’t really expect to find many “newbies” here, but I brought five copies of the new book anyway, and it didn’t take long to find people who needed them. Most of the people here are very experienced, and in fact 13 couples attending are people we’ve camped with before, or at whose houses we’ve courtesy parked. But there are always new people entering the vintage Airstream community, and being at an event like this is a great way for them to get up the learning curve quickly.
Being on the fringe of the civilized world does have one disadvantage to me at the moment. Cellular phone service is iffy here, and I’m not able to get photos to upload to the blog tonight. But once I’m back in the world I’ll update this blog with several pictures of the scene, and perhaps a few more thoughts on the day.