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More about pixeldust
Originally posted March 2007
Back in 2002, we were on our way to Minnesota to visit Elizabeth's family.As we made our way, we kept noticing several RV's on the road.
Eventually, our conversation turned to the thought of us getting a travel trailer and travelling the back roads of the United States.Charles Kurault once said that 'our interstates make it very easy to get from one side of the country to the other without seeing anything.' We agree with that statement and hoped to avoid the interstates as much as possible. Instead, we wanted to take the two lane highways and visit the side of the road attractions, old diners, and small towns that are reminiscent of Americana at its best. THE DREAM
In keeping with this theme of a 'vintage voyage', we decided that, when we ready to purchase a travel trailer, we would make sure to get one from the same era. There were no motor homes like the ones that we see on the roads today.
However, there were several styles of travel trailers - each with it's own distinct design.One of the most popular was the Airstream travel trailer. Have you ever seen what looked like a giant twinkie wrapped in aluminum foil cruising down the road? Chances are it was an Airstream travel trailer. They've been around since the thirties and they are still made today!Although we liked the Airstreams, we decided that we wanted something a little more unique. There were the Boles Aeros, the Shastas, the Scottys, Airfloats, and Yellowstones. Travel trailers became quite popular in the fifties and came with a lot of the amenities of home. There were many other manufacturers of trailers in the fifties, many of which made trailers that were soon called 'canned hams' because of the 'corrugated' metal siding that was used.Given the unique style, the vintage feel, and the amenities of home (shower, stove, and fridge), we decided that this was the type that we wanted. And so, our search began...
We started searching for a vintage trailer by searching on Ebay, craigslist, vintagetraveltrailers.com, birchwood beauties, and several other sites. There were many old trailers to be had for less than $1,000. We decided early on that we did not want to 'be had' nor were we just looking for the one, we were looking for the 'one for us'.THE FIND
Then, in November of 2006, I was surfing Ebay late one night and found it. I was so sure that I found it, that I had to wake Elizabeth up and show her. It had birchwood interiors, a shower, a toilet, fridge, kitchen, stove, heater, electric hookups - the works! Add to that the fact that it was a Yellowstone Travel Trailer in pristine condition from 1958!After reading the description and seeing all of the pictures, we decided that it was just what we were wanting.We placed a bid and hoped for the best.It wasn't long before we were outbid BUT the reserve price had not been met. I decided to try a different strategy. I contacted the owner and told them that if it didn't sell, then to please contact me so that I might make an offer.A few days later, he called me and told me that it had not sold. As it turns out, he lived in Topeka, Kansas and had the trailer there. Lucky for me, I had worked in Topeka for a couple of years and had a friend (Scott) who could go take a look at it in person and tell me what sort of offer I should make. We arranged a meeting between the parties.LOST
The seller cancelled the day of, and then sub sequentially cancelled two more "showings". I told Scott to forget about it and we decided that we should keep looking for a more reliable seller. It was very hard to pass this one up.THE TWIST OF FATE
Two months later, as we were having the lucky black eyed peas for New Years Day, the phone rang. It was the seller from Topeka. It turns out that he had sold the trailer to someone and had taken it to deliver it. The buyer decided they did not want it after all. So the seller called me and said that he had driven the trailer all the way to Texas to deliver it and did not want to take it back to Kansas - "make me an offer". I put him on hold and asked Elizabeth if she still wanted that trailer. She was excited that it was so close by and that we could go see it.We pre-discussed a code phrase for her to say if she wanted me to buy it. If she really liked it and wanted me to get it, she was to say, "I think Johnathan would like this trailer." No sooner than we stepped inside she said, "I think Johnathan would like this trailer!"I was so surprised by how quick it came that my immediate (and unrehearsed) response was "Really?!". That was my cue to make an offer. The seller and I negotiated for a little bit and settled in on a fair offer for both of us.He even delivered it to us! We had our trailer!After kicking around a few names, we decided on the name 'Pixeldust'.And so, the story begins...