What Is It About Airstreams?

Courtesy of GreenRVLife (www.greenrvlife.com)

Earlier in the week I’d made plans to meet my good friends Caroline and April for margaritas. As if we ever needed an excuse in the past to hang out and drink margaritas other than it’s a Sunday, or Monday, or Tuesday, etc. etc., Caroline had just come off a successful Boston Marathon outing so it seemed appropriate to add that as some form of celebratory legitimacy to the evening…at least for appearances. Oh, and it was Tuesday.  Oh, and there were a couple of Airstreams thrown into the mix. Yes, Airstreams.

Let’s back up a couple of weeks and I’ll explain the Airstream connection.

I have some good friends, Sarah and Allie, who just happen to be uber cool filmmakers. http://www.redreelvideo.com/ Actually, just freakin’ rad is what they are. Anyhow, about the time I met Allie at a Mountain2Mountain event last year, she was putting the final touches on a documentary called 23 Feet http://www.23feet.org/ where they explored the lives of people who chose to live simply coupled with pursuits of living in the great outdoors. Sarah and Allie did this exploring and discovering of people via a 23-foot Airstream tethered behind their Toyota truck. Cool idea they had to travel that way and an even cooler documentary — and I know this because I’ve watched it about three dozen times. Big fan? Yeah, big fan.

Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago I saw via Facebook that Allie “liked” another page called On the Green Road. I too clicked the link and immediately saw it had something to do with an Airstream. Intrigued, I decided to read further. http://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/On-the-Green-Road-Conserve-Explore-Inspire/164800210224447

The first line of their profile of On the Green Road says this: Living simply to pursue our passions. Sold the house and now full-timing in an eco Airstream. Driving towards sustainability one mile at a time.  If you know me even casually or have read more than three words of any of the previous posts on this blog, you’ll know those words pulled me in like a extraterrestrial tractor beam, specifically like the ones in that awesome circa 1980s video game called Gallactica…but I digress. Suffice it say I liked this page immediately!

Two hours after I first started looking at their Facebook page and their corresponding website, www.greenrvlife.com , I found myself once again dreaming of another road trip, thinking honestly about my footprint on this world, thinking of the simplicity of the people featured in Sarah and Allie’s documentary, thinking about solar integration, thinking about Airstreams…I think you get the idea.

For the next couple of days, I spent a little time in the evenings going back through the entries on the On the Green Road Facebook page and the entries in their website to learn more about the background of the project, some of the technical aspects of the sustainable systems and to learn a little more about CeCe and Brenda.

Then, just as I was coming up to current date on the project and tracking their progress across the States, I saw they were in Moab and set to come through Boulder. This is ironic on two counts. First I was just in Moab and stayed less than one mile from them in a different camping spot. If only I’d known! Irony number dos, I live here in the Valley and again, we’d be in close proximity.

When I saw that I immediately scanned through the information on both FB and their website to see if they were doing a demo or speaking anywhere around Boulder or the Front Range. Damn it, nada. This is where I took matter into my own hands.

As I mentioned at the very top of this impossibly long diatribe, I was already set to meet Caroline and April at the Rio in Boulder Tuesday night anyhow, therefore I thought I’d just throw out an idea to CeCe and Brenda to see if they’d be interested in joining us. Never hurts to ask right? Plus, I just got this vibe of grooviness from reading their words that told me it might be a good possibility! The idealistic concept of nomadic travel is ALWAYS appealing to me AND I definitely wanted to hear more about the sustainability models! Well, I was fortunately right about asking them and they sent me an email the next day saying they’d be there at 6:00!

I could literally write thousands and thousands of words about how interesting, fun, intelligent, inspiring, motivational and just plain cool Brenda and CeCe are, but I’m not going to in this post (not this one anyhow). Suffice it to say that when I got home my mind was exploding with all the ideas spawned from just three hours of hanging out with them. I mean look no further than this entry. It was generated before I took the last sip of my last margarita. Yes, I know “last margarita” implies there was more than one. I’m comfortable with that.

So as I laid in bed trying to stop thinking about the zillions of ideas of living more consciously and mercilessly telling Donna my plans to convert my Tacoma and her Subaru to bio-diesel as soon as we sell 99% of everything we own and load the rest into our own retrofitted Airstream, something hit me, something that made me get up early to write this.

Airstreams have long been one of the most iconic sights of the open road. They’ve changed little in appearance over the years and possess this aura of coolness about them that symbolizes freedom. But look at what Allie and Sarah of Red Reel and CeCe and Brenda of Greenrvlife are doing. They’re taking that icon of Americana and pushing the dream even further. They’re using them as a tool to help us realize we can live more consciously, more simply. They’re proving that living simply and consciously CAN be done, CAN be done efficiently and CAN be done by ordinary people. They’re not advocating for shucking everything and living in a Airstream (though I personally think it’s a viable option), but moreso they’re showing that simple concepts can be taken anywhere, especially our homes and integrated into our daily thoughts. So simple it’s scary.

If you’re reading this and have even the slightest bit of interest in either of these projects or any of the documentaries Allie and Sarah are doing, PLEASE drop them a line and ask questions. Better yet, ask them to come show you what they do. I promise you they’ll BLOW you away. Better yet, sponsor them and be part of the difference!!!

Ski hard. Climb high. Ride far. Be Happy.


3 responses to “What Is It About Airstreams?

  1. Hi Barry, I’m Ruth’s friend Teri, we ran the Colfax Marathon together. I just wanted to say thanks for the advice that we keep going and give it a shot, because it worked. It would have been easier to skip it, but I’m so glad we completed it instead. Your blog is very inspirational, I read some of your posts when I wanted to give up on the marathon. Keep up the great words of wisdom. Teri B

    • Hi Teri! Thanks sooooo much for your kind words! I’m glad you guys went for it and completed it. The best part is that forever, you can call yourselves, Teri and Ruth, Marathon FINISHERS. It just gets better from there! Congrats!

  2. Thanks for your post Barry, it really has inspired our family! We’re currently renovating a vintage Airstream to ship to Australia to live in and travel with our three kids, under three. So many people have told us we’re crazy and I was beginning to wonder whether in fact we are when I read your post. Its sometimes hard to swim upstream and so great to read about other people who are choosing a simpler life. Sonia – airstreamfamily.com.au

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