Monday, March 21, 2011

Wagons Ho!

A 1966 West, 10' Camper
Pearl and I ready for our new on-the-road antiquing life!

I did it! I got my little camper in Warsaw, Missouri on March 19th, hooked it up and took a few test spins around KC, loaded it with necessities and hit the road. (That is the very condensed version of what transpired!) Pearl and I are currently in Round Top, Texas at the world famous antique show. I dusted off my boots, packed the bandannas and after many mechanical check-ups for my van and camper, we arrived here last Wednesday. We are spending our days shopping the fields, the tents and every podunk vendor set up on the side of the road.

I have been going to Round Top, on and off for ten years now and each and every time its a feast for the eyes, a lesson on navigation and a homecoming with friends. This trip feels like a new beginning now that the store is closed and I have less to worry about. I don't feel the added pressure of hurrying back home to be in the store or finding bigger items to make the trip financially worth while. Its also nice not to have to drive the fields with a 20' truck!

I am camped out at the Blue Hills Event Venue in Round Top, owned by Kansas City dealer Mike Peters. I sent Mike a plead to just let me park on his property and he responded with, "We have full RV hook up with guest bathrooms and showers!!!" Whoo-hoo! I am all set and did not have to deal with using the bathroom in my little camper!! He even had hired help to pull me in place and set up the water and electricity to my little home. I could get used to this!

Of course, makeover pictures to come.
(You didn't think I was going to leave it like this did you?!!)

Once I left home, the drive from KC to Wichita was not pleasant. The winds were at full force making me feel I was driving through quicksand. I was intimidated enough pulling this for the first time but once the winds died down, all was good. Pearl and I slept inside for the first time at a truck stop in Oklahoma and I found myself giggling as I cranked open the windows and snuggled with her under the covers for our first night on the road!

After we arrived in Round Top and unhitched the camper I drove around town seeing who was still open and ended up at Royer's having a beer with Bud the owner and Grand Marshall of this antique weekend. He caught me up on the latest news, telling me of Rachel Ashwell's venture with her new B & B miles away and then showed me pictures of his amazing home in Austin! OMG! Why someone has not featured this place in a magazine is beyond me. It looked like Uncommon Objects Gone Wild!

Since hitting the road, there have been many amusing anecdotes of which I will call the Curious Camper Diaries one day. (A new blog starting soon!)

To name a few:
- I forgot there are bugs and dirt while camping! How quickly we forget.
- Living in a 6' x 10' space is all about organization; lots of bins and bags and multiple hooks are needed to keep things off the ground.
- Do not be stupid enough to think you are going to completely redecorate your new abode on your first trip out. Learn how to live in it first. (This lesson was painful, you should see all the crap I brought with me!)
- If you camp near bathroom facilities, you will almost feel human.
- Be prepared to be without internet connection and living by your iPhone. (Second tough lesson.)
- Using propane to boil water brings a new found joy and a caveman-like accomplishment. (Even if it is for Ramen noodles.)
- Your beloved canine has no place else to go but in bed with you. Be prepared to sleep with paw prints and dirt.
- Have a local vet handy when your fluff-ball experiments with Texas rat poison. (Oh yes, mother and daughter now doing fine.)
- One minute you will love the simplicity of camping, the next minute you will want your MTV.
- Have many lavender sachets handy to bury your face in when a skunk wanders near your camper at night. (I thought I was gonna die!)
- ENJOY the junking and gathering great items for myself, the camper, the website and photo shoots.

More stories when I return!