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Everyone here at the rally has been watching the weather carefully over the past few days. We’ve known since Sunday that rain and cooler air were coming on Wednesday. That’s why we went straight for the beach and the warm-weather fun these past two days. It will be only in the low 70s through this weekend.

The weather forecasts have become more and more dire with each day, finally culminating in threats of severe thunderstorms and possibly even tornados as the storm front approached today. This morning was sunny, warm and humid, and as we sat under the awning having lunch with Renee, Fred, Brett, and a few other Airstreamers, it was hard to believe what was coming.

But when you live in an aluminum house, you take thunderstorms seriously. Everyone knows about the hailstorm that damaged hundreds of Airstreams at a big rally in the 1980s. Everyone knows that if the Weather Channel starts talking about “tornadic activity” in the vicinity, it’s time to exit the trailer and head for the cinder block buildings.

Sure enough, the weather turned from benign and balmy breezes to a strong cold wind this afternoon, and now it is pouring rain as line after line of thunderstorms march in from the west. The streets are partially flooded in our little community and the sky is flashing with lightning. We had the weather radar on constantly this afternoon, but eventually it got dull and we switched to “Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit.”

Unlike when we lived in a conventional house, we aren’t concerned with a power outage, of course. Being self-contained, we have battery power and water to last for several days at least. And while a lightning strike wouldn’t be much fun, the aluminum shell will protect us quite well. Our precautions have been limited to taking down the awning, and securing a few loose items outside.

Dozens of trailers have arrived today for the first official day of the rally. About 150 are expected in total. Ocean Lakes Family Campground is now dominated by silver trailers. It’s a rally at last, and we’re looking forward to the activities of the next few days. Tomorrow Brett and I will present our Mobile Internet seminar and Eleanor will go to a jewelry-making class. On Friday we are expecting more than a dozen people to drop by for our Open House (that’s how folks many signed up today), and on Saturday we’ll be busy with the Flea Market and checking out the Vintage Open House. Bert Kalet is here, and he will be talking about the proposed Capetown-to-Cairo caravan in 2009.


I’m looking forward to meeting Fred Bothman too. He made the cute “Globehauler” toy hauling trailer that you see in the picture above. I interviewed him for the upcoming Spring issue of Airstream Life, along with a couple of other guys who have made personal toy haulers out of old Airstreams. Fred will be here conducting a polishing seminar. As you can see from the picture, he knows something about it.

One Response to “Thunderstorms”

  1. Minya Greer Says:

    Very nice rig, there! Thanks for sharing and can’t wait to read the article. Glad you all weathered the storm!