Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Gettin' hitched

I'm so proud of my newly completed trailer hitch.

How could that be? I don't own a trailer, and I don't want to. It's been decades since I pulled one anywhere, let alone backed one into a tight spot like the narrow gravel pad specially prepared in our yard for me to do just that.

Yes, I have zero interest in trailers, yet I've paid for a truckload of high grade gravel for a trailer pad and gone to a lot of trouble to get a shiny chrome ball connected to the frame of my car. Makes no sense. You can guess who is actually driving, as usual. Starts with P.

For years Pam has admired and coveted Airstreams, those shiny aluminum travel trailers shaped like bread loaves, widely known as "silver bullets." Now that we've moved to the wide open spaces and at least theoretically have time for leisurely tours of scenic wonders, she's determined to have one.

Her pretext for really needing a silver bullet is that our new cabin is quite small, and its second bedroom is jammed with Elizabeth's toys, and of course her crib. We installed a clever bunk bed with a futon sofa below that folds out into a double and a twin mattress up top.

But the room would be a tight squeeze even for a single visitor. For a couple, well, they would need to be special. So Pam's argument is that a little trailer would not only help us answer the call of the open road, it would serve as guest quarters.

If this were litigation, I could produce expert witnesses who would demolish her case -- close friends who say if we put them in a trailer they'll either get a hotel or they won't come at all. It doesn't seem to matter to Pam, partly because I don't have a better idea.

The only reason that we didn't have the trailer on our property before the house was even built and live there on the job site all summer micro-managing the construction crew is that new Airstreams cost a small fortune.

Pam has reconciled herself to acquiring a used one by calling it "vintage." She tirelessly trolls the hundreds of websites devoted to the vigorous after-market for trailers, particularly the ones specializing in silver bullets.

Even here the prices are eye-opening. But she's located one we could stretch for with some gnashing of teeth, an 18-foot Caravel built in 1969, now living in Jefferson, Colorado. It cleaned up nice for its photo shoot, but it's "all original", i.e. unrestored, and you know what that could mean, though its current owners say it has lived its whole life clean and dry in the mountains and is good to go in every way. They call it "Streamie" and refer to it as "she."

Alas, we're going to go have a look at it in a couple of weeks. I have the hitch in case we decide to bring it -- okay, her -- home.

You're waiting to hear why I'm proud about the hitch and maybe wondering why I have any pride at all. But having told you this much, I'm too dispirited to go on right now, so that story will have to wait until next time.

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