Friday, June 24, 2011

Shakedown Cruise

After several months of repairs to the underside of the Airstream damaged last winter in our dramatic arrival  (belly wrap aluminum sections, plastic bannana wraps on front and back, and the replacement of the steps and step light), we started cleaning the inside.  I won’t mention the condition of the refrigerator.
Loaded up and ready to go camping
Having made reservations over at Groton State Park’s Stillwater Campground, we hooked up and launched Tuesday mid-day and gingerly worked our way down the driveway and road.  The trip is only about an hour and the traffic was light.

Vermont parks don’t have electric or water services and seem to be more set up for tent and lean-to campers.  The sites are generally pretty small and close together.  However, we chose an empty site which was spacious and being mid-week and before the major family camping season, was pretty isolated.  It even was level.

It felt good to settle into the routines of the Airstream even though the temperature was in the 80’s -- quite hot for Vermont.  We got the kayaks set up and went for a short paddle before supper.  Groton Pond is dark from tannic acid and lined with camps -- it’s crazy on the weekends with a lot of boats on a small body of water.

We opted for a movie on the computer instead of a campfire Tuesday night.  Everything on the camper worked fine although the noisy water pump could use some muffling.  We checked out the campground showers (two quarters for four minutes) and rated them excellent.  In fact, the overall appearance and cleanliness of the restrooms, the sites, and all facilities was exemplary -- the staff and volunteers do a great job.

Wednesday was cold in the morning -- 49 degrees or so -- and I lit off the propane heater for a while.  I got an early morning paddle in -- freezing my hands -- and later took the dog for a long run alongside the bike.

Rain later in the day cancelled any campfire plans but we were snug in the ‘stream and glad to be in such a beautiful setting.  We decided to pack up the next morning and head home a bit early since the weather forecast was not good.  Another easy trip and except for dragging the back bumper on the driveway turn (another repair job), it was excellent. 

All in all, a successful re-entry after months of letting the Airstream sit.  It’s nice to have it ready to go as we look at the rest of the summer.  We also need to start thinking about winter travel for 2011-2012.  Stay tuned.