Miles 2289 – 2894

Three chapters of the international Tearjerkers group formed the Mighty Southern 3X gathering on November 2-5, 2017 at Georgia’s Skidaway Island State Park.

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We headed south a day early, on Wednesday, and arrived after dark. It was late enough that the park office was closed. Stopping by a host camper’s site in the campground, we met Greg who graciously welcomed us and gave information about the layout, facilities, and how to finish check-in in the morning.

Looping around in the darkness to select a site, I glimpsed a campfire on the next road with a group of people waving their arms at us. Soon flashlights were moving through the trees toward us. Several people quickly looked over a few sites. With group consensus, they guided us through trees like an airplane into a terminal and parked us at a pull through campsite for the night.

And so, we quickly met Lois, Richard, Bonnie and Terry. I believe there were more friendly faces whose names I am missing. It was a blur of chatty laughter with a quick Q&A session. Our welcoming committee dispersed back to the warmth of their campfire as we unhitched.

We wanted to grab a quick meal and return before the campground’s gate was closed at 10 pm. Fortunately, there was a shopping center nearby with a Publix grocery store and a sports bar & grill still open. Bellies satisfied and tucked in for the night, we remained curious about what the campground would look like in the morning light.

For the next four days of the Tearjerker’s gathering we had perfect weather, a large campsite and a lovely clean campground for relaxation.

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There were one to two optional get-togethers for loads of good food and company each day, some craft time and occasional music, and night time bonfire groups.

 

There were an estimated 20 Teardrop Trailers to tour, many of them lovingly homemade.

 

There was plenty of time during any mid-day to enjoy the campground trails, or the numerous nearby sights of Savannah, GA.

I once lived in Savannah’s suburbs and have visited many times over the years. Together, Earl and I previously enjoyed the Riverwalk area and a side trip to Tybee Island. This time, we opted for an Old Town Trolley tour of the city so Earl would get an overview of Savannah’s  history.

 

Following the suggestion of one of Earl’s co-workers, we also drove to nearby Pooler, GA to visit The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force. Earl wanted more information about his father’s service as a pilot during WWII.

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I felt lazy the entire trip and initially had little interest in going due to having attended far too many air shows and museums during childhood. My aircraft mechanic father had a career as a civilian worker with the Air Force and we had lived by bases in three different states, including Hunter AFB in Savannah.

This Friday, Earl and I arrived 45 minutes prior to the museum closing and a volunteer immediately directed us to the second floor archives. As a retired librarian, I was happy with the turn of events since the exhibits were not our main focus this visit.

Earl had previously submitted a request through The National Archives and had been informed that his father’s service records were destroyed in a fire, so we did not expect to locate any specific information about him. His father’s discharge papers, a training class album and a few pieces of memorabilia are all the information that Earl has in-hand.

A very knowledgeable volunteer in the library unearthed further clues for Earl’s quest. He pointed out that as a transport pilot, Earl’s father had earned ribbons for three theaters. Earl and the volunteer discussed events and timelines as I did quick searches through two reference books provided.

The most comprehensive title was available from online booksellers, so Earl was able to purchase a copy when we returned home. There’s no index of personnel. We will go through the numerous photos labeled with names to see if we can come up with any connections.

 

This entire camping trip was simply wonderful and we look forward to returning to the unique Skidaway Island State Park.

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Miles 1567 – 1653

Harrison Bay State Park Campsite

Harrison Bay State Park, TN
Pull Through Campsite C-22

We spent a long weekend, September 7-10, 2017, at Harrison Bay State Park, Tennessee where we joined group festivities with awesome people from several states at the Tennessee Volun’tears’ Follies in the Fall gathering.

Good people, good food, beautiful weather, and being able to see all types of small trailers added up to a wonderful time! A huge thank you to each of the organizers and participants for being so welcoming to us first timers!

Fall Follies Gathering

Tennessee Volun’tears’ Playing “Camping Feud”

Tennessee Volun’tears’ is a chapter of the international Tearjerkers group. The parent body is now in its twentieth year of bringing together Teardrop Trailer (or other small trailer and tent) owners who are Teardrop enthusiasts! It is free to join the international group and to locate your area chapter by registering at tearjerkers.net.

Earl asked permission to take photos of several attendees’ campsites in the gatherings’ “official” area of the A loop campground. Many were beautifully handmade. We also saw some interesting small trailers throughout other campgrounds at Harrison Bay State Park.

Here are just some of the photos of the cute and comfortable camping trailers we saw during this outing…

 

Camp Sign

Due to Teardrop Trailers having a retro vibe from an interesting history, the Glamping trend and the fact that Teardrop Trailers are just so darn cute, one of the things a new owner may fret about is creating a nice looking campsite. If you need a nudge to find it important, there are plenty of great images on Pinterest showcasing decoration themes, color schemes and customized projects used to create special camp settings.

On the way to gaining our functional items, we ended up with an eclectic mix of whatever colors the manufacturers were offering this year. There were choices of greens and grays, browns and cream colors that none quite matched or coordinated with each other. So, I have several projects to complete in the future to up our decorating game.

Earl purchased a wire garden signpost on Amazon to get things started. This weekend I made a camp sign to coordinate with our Vistabule galley’s olive green batwings and the cabin’s window shades.

As a base for the sign, we picked a cheap pink plastic placemat from Target because the size was right to fit the signpost and it was a sturdy thickness, heavy enough to hang straight down on its own.

The placemat was given two layers of silver gray acrylic paint as a primer coat. Then I freehand sketched a Vistabule image to size. I also stained a small pair of clogs that we may hang from the corner of the signpost.

The second step was to come up with some wording and determine the size of lettering needed for the sign. So, I made a mockup to run pass Earl for his input.

Mockup of Camp Sign

Mockup of Camp Sign

Next it was time to paint the Vistabule image onto the placemat, using the primer as the base color of the Teardrop Trailer. Adding the Olive colored background was the step that gave me a sense of what the completed sign would look like.

Vistabule and Olive Background

Vistabule and Olive Background

Then, there was a final decision made on which font to use.

Final Font Choice

Final Font Choice: Georgia

After resizing and arranging the lettering on Photoshop, I printed words out and transferred them using the old fashioned method of burnishing carbon paper to mark them only to the surface of the sign. Then, paint or markers were used to fill in and outline each letter.

Camp Sign

Camp Sign

Champagne gold is the color of our tow car, so I used it for the title. Our names were added to the clogs, but I did not like the result. So, the clogs may be redone someday.

Sign and Clogs

Sign and Clogs

All that is left is to give the camp sign a protective clear coat and punch holes to be able to hang it.

Vistabule Teardrop Trailer

Vistabule Teardrop Trailer

On April 27, 2017 we became owners of  Vistabule Teardrop Trailer # 126 and named her Lily.

The Minnesota Teardrop Trailer, LLC offers a factory tour and/or delivery of a Vistabule Teardrop Trailer upon request. Potential customers can also see a Vistabule at trade shows or, perhaps, gain an arranged meet-up with a willing owner.

At the time we ordered there were fewer than 100 Vistabules manufactured and we lived half way across the nation from the factory with no opportunity in our area to meet with a private owner.

After a lot of online research and contacts with the friendly helpful team, we ordered a Vistabule sight-unseen. Instead of seeking delivery, we decided it would be more fun to go to the factory to pick-up our new Vistabule Teardrop Trailer.

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Vistabule Brake Lights Check

Everything worked out perfectly. Whew!

During the homeward bound “shake down” trip of over 1,000 miles with Lily the Vistabule, we averaged two tours a day with curious individuals or groups at rest stops and campgrounds. It was a joy to share our enthusiasm for the design and craftsmanship of Lily, our Vistabule Teardrop Trailer.

Our family, scattered across the nation, also wondered about our travels. We, too, wanted a log of our adventures.

We had appreciated the information and inspiration gained from camping and RV travelers online and the sense of community. So, this blog came about because  we hoped to “pay it forward” and  to build connections with other camping, traveling and teardrop trailer enthusiasts.

Who knows where we will travel in the years ahead with Lily our Vistabule Teardrop Trailer, but we are sure to Doze Dine Dawdle along the way!

Wishing you health and happiness!

Colleen and Earl __April, 2017