A Warm, Windy Weekend

On this same weekend seven years ago we placed our order for Cloud 9. We traveled to Dublin, Texas, about two hours from Dallas, to Bayer RV, where we had purchased our first Airstream. Because we were repeat customers, we hoped to get a good deal. And we did. We were told that our new rig would be custom-made to our specifications, and that we could expect delivery in January 2015.

Since taking possession, we’ve overseen a major remodel of the interior and a significant upgrade in appliances. We’ve also traveled close to 40,000 miles and visited 25 national parks. We’ve camped locally and regionally nearly every weekend and we’ve met uncounted numbers of fellow Airstreamers, with a few of them becoming lasting friends. Our life on the road has had its share of potholes and breakdowns, to be sure, but it has also been filled with moments of wonder and awe.

We initially decided to travel with a trailer because we wanted to bring our dogs along for the ride. Through the years, they’ve proven to be great traveling companions. And by now they know the routine: Every time they see Cliff packing the cooler they start to get animated. And when he pulls out their harnesses, they get excited. And by the time we open the back door, they’re ready to leap into the truck. Now that they’re all older, we mostly have to pick them up and place them in the truck, but they would definitely jump if they could.

We started this blog primarily as a way to remember details of our adventures that might otherwise get lost to time. It has also become a way to preserve our thoughts about the events of the day. As we say in the blog’s description, “We write for ourselves.” No product endorsements. No need for clicks or “meaningful social interactions.” We’ve looked back at the adventures described here, with laughter and tears, but mostly with gratitude. We’re so thankful that we have our health and the strength required to embark on the next adventure. We know how quickly a sudden setback could bring it all to an end, so we greedily squeeze every minute out of every trip.

This weekend was no exception. We arrived at 5 p.m. on Friday, just in time to set up, take the dogs for a walk, and watch the evening news. Chef Cliff prepared his usual Date Night delights, and we ended the evening with a walk under starlit skies.

Saturday and Sunday were warm and windy, but we still managed to enjoy what has become routine on our weekend escapes: naps, campfires, brunches, Bloody Mary’s, The New York Times.

This weekend we began planning for our next big adventure–to Shenandoah National Park and the nation’s capital.

Cloud 9 has been our mountain retreat, our lake house, our beach bungalow, our wilderness cabin. It has been a shelter from the storm, a safe haven, a place of refuge during a pandemic. Regardless of what the future brings, we’ll always have these seven wonderful years. Happy anniversary to us!