Winterize Your Airstream?

Sometimes, you just gotta drop everything and go when the goin’s good. The Snowshoe goin’ that is. Here’s Roan Mountain around 5800 feet, where it was 9 degrees in the SUN at 2pm:

Meantime, it’s cold. I’m publishing a tongue-in-cheek letter I posted on Facebook to Airstream and its founder, Wally Byam. This will help paint the picture of life on Racoon Ridge right now!

Dear Airstream and Wally Byam,

Did you know that liquid soap can freeze?
Since you were the founder of Airstream, Wally, I know you’re all about
learning and an adventurous spirit, so I wanted to tell you that I
learned that this morning.

would like you to picture this: 7am and the sun barely crests the
horizon. At 3000 feet along an arm of Woody Ridge sits a 1970 31′
Sovereign on a rocky outcropping. About 300 feet above the Airstream is a
toasty little house. The house is made of wood. Wood is good! My
Airstream is made of aluminum. Aluminum is shiny! Can you see it?

Now, picture a frantic little me running in purple floral pajamas, wool
hat, down vest, and slippers across the barely lit snowfield in single
digit temps. I’m running, Wally, because I have an adventurous spirit.
It’s winter in the Black Mountains. To save on gas and electric costs
last night, I bundled up in bed and lowered the heat in the Airstream.
(Sorry Dad, I know you’ve told me not to do this.) I just can’t help
myself–that little wooden middle room feels so much like a foresty womb
or a hidden stowaway on a ship that I get in there and just forget
about the rest of the world. It’s a delightful feeling. And very

I woke to a beautiful icicle formation coming out
of the kitchen faucet. When I turned it on,
a slow trickle fought it’s
way through. I knew my time was limited. When I arrived at the house
(which was quite warm, I noted), I grabbed my mom’s hair dryer and ran
back down the mountain to the Airstream. Gibbs Mountain and Winter Star
peak were at my back some 3000 feet higher in elevation, looking over my
little morning spectacle. The dog trailed down the mountain with me,
and soon enough I’d moved the cinderblock, unlatched the wooden door,
shifted the lamp, and plugged in the hair dryer to get direct heat on
the pipes where they come out of the ground and enter the Airstream.

While I squatted there in the snow, gusts of 30mph ripping over the
ridge and bringing the wind chill to subzero, I thought about my
adventurous spirit, Wally. I really did. My purple PJ’s flapped in the
wind. I thought about how every Airstream should probably come equipped
with a hair dryer and that wouldn’t it be great if there was some way my
mom could knit an insulating cozy that fit right over the top of my
entire 31′ foot home or maybe Dad and I could build a hoop greenhouse on
wheels that we slid around the ‘stream every winter.

I’m happy
to report that, within minutes, the pipes were open and the furnace in
my little ‘stream hummed its warming sounds. Now I’m drinking coffee
(french press) and the dog sleeps happily on your smartly designed
Goucho couch with a curved back that fits perfectly into the seam of the
front of the Airstream. It’s going to be a good day.

Katey Schultz

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