Alumafandango 2013

Aug 15

This trip felt like “the big one”.  Well, the first big one. Whereas our trip up to Deception Pass felt like practice this one felt like OK, no more pretendsies. We’re really doing this, now. Why? I dunno. Perhaps because it was 6 days. Perhaps because it was a long haul (410 miles away), so it wasn’t like we could scamper home if something went awry.

Something did go awry. More on that later.

Alumafandango is one of several Airstream rallies put on by R&B Events. R & B are Rich and Brett, the guys who run Airstream Life magazine. (I didn’t actually know this connection until I got there.)  Even though Chris and I tried to downplay it, we had big expectations for this trip/event. We wanted to learn as much as we could about Airstreams in general and about our Airstream in particular.  We were not disappointed!

The event was a bit smaller than we expected. There were about 65 Airstreams there.Alumapalooza is their big one. That’s held at the Airstream factory and I’m told they easily get 300 to show up at that one. Yowza!

We originally planned to just drive straight through (from our home in Langley, WA to the event in Canyonville, OR) but Chris had the very good idea of breaking the trip up into two days. Smart! We stayed at Fairview RV Park in Fairview, Oregon, very near Portland. Being the very first RV park we’ve ever stayed in, it seemed nice enough. The pull-through lots were a pleasant change from the back-in campsite we experienced at Deception Pass. (Which wasn’t awful, it’s just that pull-throughs are much easier.) Plus, it was a short drive into Portland to go to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner. Pok-Pok!

The next morning we headed out and made it to Canyonville in the afternoon. It was HOT! Fortunately, Chris and I have gotten pretty good at hitching/unhitching. We’ve got a checklist and a system and we just pound through it.  (I hope I didn’t just jinx us by typing that.] This is where the “awry” kicked in. We couldn’t get our slide-out to open!

We’ve got a 2007 Limited Edition 30’ Classic, with a dinette that slides out. When we were researching Airstreams (and we researched a lot) we’d see these wide-bodies show up now and again and we thought “Hmm. Nice to have the room, but aren’t slide-outs just another thing that could break?” But when the moment arrived, our baby had a slide-out. And it’s amazing when the slide-out is out. Super spacious. Like a freakin’ ballroom! But this day .. no go.

We got a hold of Tom from Sutton RV (sponsors of the event)  and he came over and looked at it. Sweetheart of a guy. Knew what was wrong but didn’t have the parts to fix it with him at the rally. Fortunately, we were already planning on dropping it off at Airstream NW on the way home to get it all cleaned up and checked out.  Double fortunately, the trailer is still completely functional with the dinette slid … in.  A bit narrow going past the curved kitchen counter but otherwise perfectly fine. And, as many noted during our stay, better stuck in the “in” position than trying to drive down the freeway with it “out”, right?

So, what was so great about Alumafandango?  The people, of course. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was VERY COOL to be in an RV park with tons of other Airstreams there. But it was the friendliness of the attendees that made it so great. They were happy to offer advice, let us in to see their setups, share snacks and drinks at the “roaming happy hour” and just generally welcome us. It felt like we were part of a family that we never knew we had.

We got to meet Rich and Brett and spend a good deal of time chatting with them. Terrific guys who really seem to love what they do and who were very available and hands on the whole weekend.  We liked it so much that we’re about to sign up for Alumafiesta in Arizona this February!

 

Several thunderstorms rolled through during Alumafandango

Several thunderstorms rolled through during Alumafandango

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Stormy clouds over our Airstream

Alumafandango

A beautiful shiny!

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