Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Photo from May of 2009

Airstream at the Museum of Modern Art--NYC

Did you know that the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City has an Airstream as part of their permanent collection? Why? The answer is simple, an Airstream is a triumph in modern design--they would be remiss if they didn't have one.

My boy

I couldn't have done this alone. My boy Jake was with me every step of the way.

Front interior

The bookshelf is from Sundance of Utah. It was made with wood from a former Sears and Roebuck warehouse that was built in Boston approximately one hundred years ago. The couch is a bed at night and sleeps one adult. Originally this was a double bed--it was the only major part of the original interior that was missing when I purchased it.

Desk in back

The trailer originally had two twin beds in the back. A friend and I removed one and put in a desk. The other twin bed (not visible here) has a new matress. The desk is bigger than this photo suggests.

A little about this Airstream

Originally posted as part of my marketing efforts when I sold the Airstream:

The basics: 1973 Airstream Trade Wind 25', made in California.

I purchased the trailer in March of 2007 in Arizona. There were at least three previous owners. The trailer had not been used much, probably since the 1990s. This is a guess. As far as I can tell it has spent its life in dry climates. I owned one other vintage Airstream from Ohio, and the difference between one that sits in a dry climate versus a wet climate can be profound. The two previous owners kept this trailer in Arizona and also possibly in Montana.

At the time I purchased it, I was starting a business that would take me on the road. I ended up visiting over 30 states that year. I spent a lot of effort and money making the trailer fully road worthy.

A partial list of the things I did: new tires, new axles, major interior work, work on all systems such as AC, heat, refrigerator, propane, hot water heater, plumbing, electric. All systems work was performed by RV professionals and mostly Airstream specialists. Everything has worked like a champ and continues to perform well.

Few unrestored vintage trailers have the sound fundamentals that this trailer has--the new axles, the 2007 tires (still in great shape), the solid floor.

Floor rot is common in older trailers and is usually very hard to see--I had no clue my trailer had floor rot when I bought it. Thanks to Colin Hyde and his team in New York (which briefly included me), we did a first class repair of the floors, which was quite involved. My floor rot prior to the full repair was limited, but you don't want any since the floors are an integral part of the structural integrity of the trailer. I can tell you more about what we did if you're interested.

Rising into the coastal mountains on I-8 about one hundred miles east of San Diego

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Starting a meteorite and gem business is what first motivated me to head out on to the road. Selling rocks from space has to be one of the more novel ways that somebody financed almost 2.5 years of traveling. There were other income sources along the way but it was meteorites, more than anything that made it possible. There were many times when I wondered if I’d pay the bills that month. Somehow I did.

I traveled from coast to coast and from north to south. Even with all of this travel, I added no new states to my roster of 44 that I’ve visited—though I did see many new places, as well as old places anew. I was close to Maine and tempted to cross in to a state I’ve heard much about, but I never made it.

Of all the places I stopped along the way, one stands out more than any other: Quartzsite, Arizona. Quartzsite is a town that fills up with misfits and others who also have wanderlust. It booms from Christmas through late February. I’d never heard of it, but a few people I met at rock shows filled me in on this strange sounding place. I completed two seasons as a vendor at Quartzsite. During the first season I stayed for fifty days in the hardscrabble town and loved every minute of it.

The Airstream allowed me to spend more time in coastal California than I ever had before. It is a magical part of our country. From a friend’s ranch in Fremont (near San Francisco) to the mountains of San Diego County, I was able to enjoy the Golden State, even as much of the state reeled from a tough economy.

What gives some of us the unquenchable desire to explore?

Airstream and redrock, April 2007

Arizona's Navajo (aka Dine') country.

Crossing Lake Champlain

On Lake Champlain just south of the Canadian border and just west of the most northeasterly point of our travels in 2007. This ferry originated in Grand Isle, just north of Burlington, Vermont.