We drove up recently to a vintage trailer rally in the Yosemite area of California. Great KOA campground with large scale trees and a perfect event local. Close to Oakhurst and Coarsegold on the 41, it is relaxing and within an easy drive to Yosemite.
On the way up the 91 toward the rally we stopped at Bravo Farms in Traver,CA. A family owned place, it features a gas station, rest stop, restaurant & more. Very worth the stop just to walk the grounds. Good food, a farm store of gifts and natural food items & a side yard of hand built sheds & playhouses that make you wish you were young.
Covered to the hilt in vintage signage and auto/truck bric-a-brac, I was in heaven both wandering and taking photos. Included in the inner courtyard is a THREE story tree house that was an art piece of architecture and fun.
(Inner courtyard- tree house to right-) Isn't it amazing?
Perfect stopping place on the way. We were accosted twice by fellow travelers wanting to see the trailer and learn about vintage trailering. "Trip" always starts a conversation wherever we go, part of the fun.
The owners, Bill and Pam Warren, bought the property in the last couple of years
and continue to fix it up and expand on the camping, swimming and movie watching as well as updating the clubhouse.
In 2013 they will be hosting a vintage trailer SPRING FLING in April and another BLAST TO THE PAST the first week of November.
The rally was attended by a small group but a fun one and we saw some "trailerittes" from other rallies we had attended in the past.
We clomped around the junk shops in the little town of Coarsegold and had a nice drive around nearby Bass Lake. Very low due to the drought but edged in beautiful homes which were by far more artistic and classy than at Arrowhead or Big Bear. It was interesting noting the stumps of cut trees rising from the mud of the lake.
I am posting this photo of a NEW Hummer we saw on the 5 Fwy on the way home. Out of amazement at the cost of the vehicle and the sheer load of junk that they must have paid someone to apply it to the exterior. The dog on the back! The chrome birds around the roof! Horrors! hahaha! (In re-reading this, it occurs to me that we usually pay others to get the birds OFF our possessions,
instead of putting them ON!)
Campfires and Stars
I put my feet up on the edge of the Fire ring and took in the soft mist of stars across the heavens that is the Milky Way. Can anything compare? ( I note to myself that a tabletop telescope would be a good addition to the trailer)
The smell dry crushed granite sand and the crunch sound of it as I moved my chair a bit. Joshua Trees rising up amid the rocks like twisted hands toward the night sky. Not sure if there is though each place has it's own perfections and beauty.
Moonlight stretches out the desert and the campground into the darkness and my mind floods with all the trips made here as a child. Climbing rocks all day with my siblings, cooking shish-ka-bobs and hot dogs over the fire at night. Memories of camping in a Coleman pop-up with my family. Marshmallows on sticks (many black ones down in the burning logs) and the yippy barking of the coyotes at Joshua Tree National Monument. Something about the clarity you find in the desert is such a welcome thing. Everything else seems to fall away and the reality of only the huge boulders looming out of the ground and the serenity of the sky above you, well, it simplifies life just a bit. Makes it better. Gives you room to breathe. I missed that.
(I remember many tennis shoes melted by fire pit edges. Probably starting with Keds and rubber toed at that.)
Rob and I took a weekend by ourselves to run up for a camping trip in October. Taking along more than I needed so I could get in some "trailer photos" with the awning out etc for this site. He's patient with me like that- dealing with my oddities when it comes to art and photography and my wandering blog.
Like maybe he loves me or something. Something after all these 24 years of putting up with each other. We've decided we are trained now- in the marriage thing that is. And that it's hard work and we don't want to do it again (the training of the spouse part), but rather, happily stick with what we've got- each other.
It was really nice to share a campfire with him again. To just sit and smell the burning logs and stare at the flames. Adobe seasoned steaks and stir fry veges (I love Fresh & Easy stores!) on the BBQ. A beer or two.
Soon after the skies really darkened we were joined by our neighbors, who happened to be from varying countries and I was so delighted to be sitting and just listening to the accents almost more than what was being said. There was a guy and his girlfriend from Australia, two from Canada, one from the UK and one from Sweden. They were adventuring in America and it was wonderful to listen to stories and watch Rob, who grew up "internationally", exchange them in return. I felt like the local kid. No real stories, just pictures in my head and on my canvases.
After a bit, we were joined by a Ranger from the Park who politely explained we had to soften our discussion (we weren't loud but I am betting we "carried" in the quiet night) and only have 6 or less at the site. So we said our good nites and went on to bed.
The next morning was clear and crisp in the best way. Coffee & a view-ah!
After a breakfast of chocolate rice cakes with hazelnut butter & coffee, we hiked & surveyed our kingdom.(Rob's Captain Morgan pose)
Our campsite is in the background amid the center cluster of boulders.
We took off back home, stopping for viewpoints and to watch the rock climbers, a staple of Joshua Tree, along the way and to walk the junk shops in Yucca Valley.
Rob kept seeing various bikers ride up a side street in Yucca so we asked where they were going. "Pi Town" is what we were told. Pioneer town, which is the real name, was built as a movie cowboy pioneer town. It is a recreation of one from the 1800's. The buildings were made to also house the set and movie personnel as they worked there. People still live there and the restaurant and hotel are destinations for those who ride. Harley's. BMWs and more. Beautiful bikes with money put into them. Rows and rows of gleaming chrome, motors and leather. It was like an art installation.
My camera was going crazy. Not only for myself but for hubby Rob's cycle parts site; Two Cycle Guys.
We were attacked by Dinosaurs on the way home at a stop in Cabazon.
and found this fun painted building as we stopped for gas. I love artistic craziness. The hand painted bus and vintage trailer were an inspiration too. They were actually in the city of Joshua Tree near the entrance to the park. Right by my favorite rock climber, eco, hippie store.