Summer’s Last Blast

Sunlit LeavesThe time has come. The end is near. Throughout the summer, the leaves have absorbed all the energy necessary to transform carbon dioxide and water into the sugars and starches needed to help trees grow and thrive. But now they’re spent. They’ve done their duty. Daylight is shortening, temperatures are falling, and the trees are preparing for their winter hibernation.

Our weekender at Loyd Park reminded us that change is in the air.

Our transition to fall includes planning a trip to the “mother ship,” Airstream’s factory in Jackson Center, Ohio. While we’re still in our warranty period, we’ll get a complete overhaul, and tick off a list of items accumulated from nearly 8,000 miles on the road.

We’re planning to take the factory tour to see how our Airstream was crafted. While there, we’re hoping to have thorough systems checks, some minor repairs, and a tow-vehicle inspection. This includes checking the water heater, water system, furnace service, etc., as well as resealing the exterior, inspecting the awning and air conditioner, making any needed plumbing and electrical repairs, inspecting the chassis and frame, and aligning the axle and wheels.

We’ve been told that we should brace ourselves for staying at a tiny Ohio town with no real options for dining or lodging, other than whatever we can provide in our Airstream. Because we’ll have the doggies with us, we’ll need to ensure their safety and comfort in our truck, whether we’re touring the factory or having lunch.

Afterward, we’re heading to Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a few days of taking in the fall foliage. It’s the most-visited national park in America, and we’ll arrive at a peak time, so we’re fully expecting crowds and traffic.

Our objective is simple, and two-fold: to get our in-warranty work done and to visit a national park in 2016. Our last national park visit was in November 2015, when we went to Big Bend. In this centennial year of the National Parks Service, we would be remiss if we didn’t get to visit at least one national treasure.

Stay tuned!