The trip to the Terra Port

We are at Airstream, in the village of Jackson Center, Ohio.  I took a day off blogging yesterday, so here’s a rundown of the past two days.

Our drive from Johnson Saulk Trail State Park to our next stop of South Bend IN was uneventful.  This would not be news except for our history: every other year we’ve driven past the Chicago/Gary area, traffic on I-80 has been horrible with congestion and construction.  This year the work seems to be mostly done, and it was a smooth ride on new concrete all the way to the Indiana Toll Road.  We landed at Charlie & Lynn’s house in South Bend right on schedule.

It has become a sort of tradition for us to stop with Lynn and Charlie nearly every year.  They were our first stop in October 2005 when we began full-timing with the Airstream Safari, and they’ve made us so at home that we just keep showing up. The last three years we have made their driveway our home as a final stop right before Alumapalooza. It’s a last chance for us to recover from the long drive before we jump into the tempest that is Alumapalooza.

This year was no different.  We set up the Airstream, visited the horses, and took Charlie’s vintage Mercedes (300SEL, I believe from 1959) down the country roads to get some pizza.  It was exactly what we needed: a chance to unwind and hang out in a peaceful, low pressure setting.

And the weather was just spectacular.  Perhaps that’s what inspired us to clean the trailer’s windows and the mini-blinds in the kitchen, the next morning.  They had suffered from a year of dust and uck while parked in Vermont last summer and all winter in Arizona, and were long overdue for a good cleanup.

Or perhaps we were just delaying the inevitable.  The forecast was quite different for Jackson Center, 200 miles away by road:  90+ degrees and “oppressive” humidity, and none of us were eager to get into that for the weekend.  But we did arrive in J.C. by 2:45 p.m. and it was indeed oppressive.  In fact, Alex K was already on site (he’s acting as our resident weather reporter this week) and he declared that the heat index was officially 100 degrees by late afternoon.  It’s supposed to stay that way through Monday, but then cool down nicely for Alumapalooza.  In the meantime, air conditioning is our friend.

We seemed to be nearly the last members of the advance team to arrive.  Brett & Lisa got here Thursday, Alex & Charon also, Tim & Alice got here Friday, Matt & Beth were probably here a couple of days ago, and Lou & Larry beat us to the site today by about 15 minutes. In our defense, let me note that our drive was further than anyone’s at 2,450 miles total.

We did a little chatting about details of the event setup, but the real work won’t begin until tomorrow.  Tonight Matt organized a small potluck dinner at the picnic tables under the hickory trees that border Airstream’s Terra Port, and despite the heat we all had a nice evening.  Tomorrow we are holding a small appreciation breakfast for the volunteers who work the event, and then the work begins with flagging the sites and stuffing the goody bags.

For those of you who are coming to Alumapalooza, the field looks nice and dry and evenly mowed—just perfect for the event.  The chance of rain is very low for the next few days (except for a 30% chance on Tuesday) and the temperatures should be ideal.  If you planned to come this year, you’re in for a very fun week!


  1. marie luhr says

    Oppressive humidity or not, I’m glad you’re there . . . safely, thanks to your good thinking! Thanks for being safe,

  2. insightout says

    RL writes:
    vintage Mercedes (300SEL, I believe from 1959)

    correction…1969, the year Eleanor was born.