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The Long Push North Begins

Monday was hectic. We didn't complete the list of repairs and upgrades that we wanted to, but plenty was accomplished. It was just too much work for one day. David and Denver managed to finalize the installation of our four new Optima batteries, run the cabling and install modules for our future solar system, replace the bathroom faucet (Eleanor helped on that one), and explain to me how all the new technology works.

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Eleanor helps David with the bathroom faucet installation

We also had visitors. Scott and Michelle Birdwell dropped by. They are the owners of a very cool customized 34 foot Airstream with a "cowboy" interior. They are just now starting to take weekends in it with their kids, and loving it. (They have six kids and #7 is coming!) I shot photos of their trailer's interior a week ago. It will be appearing in the magazine.

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A few of the Birdwell boys with their father

Joe and Vivian Hornor came over to consult on some custom cabinetry we are designing to hold our miscellaneous stuff that doesn't currently have a permanent home. The new cabinets will hold the laser printer, office supplies, two small file drawers, books, magazines, Zip-Dee chairs, and other stuff. It will replace the two big soft chairs that came with the Safari 30 and actually yield more open space. We expect to install the new furniture in May when we come back through this area.

Blog reader and new friend (from the Cleburne rally last weekend) Paul Mayeux dropped by and we looked at photos of his ongoing Airstream Cruiser restoration. Since Paul is doing the same sort of job (total overhaul) on the same model of Airstream as our "Vintage Lightning" project, I was very interested in his progress. His daughters are the ones that adopted Emma at the Cleburne rally.

I forgot to mention earlier that another blog reader found us on Saturday. Dorothy and Michael dropped by to check out the Airstreams and we ended up chatting. After a couple of minutes, Dorothy asked if I had an Airstream. I said, "Sure, that's mine right there in the service bay." She did a double-take, and then exclaimed, "You're the Airstream people! I've been following you on the Internet!"

Apparently Dorothy had wanted to meet us in Cleburne but couldn't make it. So it was a bonus for her (and us) to meet her by chance at the dealership. She and her husband are planning to buy an Airstream and do some work camping up in Alaska -- sounds like a great idea to me!

With all of the activity on Monday, we didn't get to a few items on our "to do" list but we are certainly much better off than when we arrived. We'll deal with the other minor items later. By Monday night at 6 pm, everyone was beat, the trailer was a disaster area (all of our stuff tossed in the bedroom to make space for the work, sawdust everywhere), and we needed to hit the road toward our scheduled stop in Indiana.

We packed up quickly, cleaned up a bit, and then David took me for a few spins around the block to test the Hensley hitch and adjust the brake controller. By 7:30 we were loading the bikes and heading out for about 80 miles just to get a jump on our travels.

So here we are, Wal-Marting it for the first time in quite a while. As soon as Emma wakes up we will hit the road again. We've got 900 miles to cover by Thursday evening, which is a lot for us.

The long-range weather forecast for Friday and Saturday in Lafayette Indiana looks amazingly good! Right now the prediction is for about 60 degrees Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We are hoping a lot of blog readers will come say hi at Airstream of Indiana, where we will be through Sunday morning. This is the only northern stop we have planned, until July. We'll see you there!

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