WBCCI: see the country with a bunch of other Airstreams
In the middle of our six-month journey, we scheduled a national caravan with the WBCCI Airstream group. The caravan was dubbed, “Watch it Made in the USA,” 23 Airstreams started in Bowling Green, KY and meandered up through the mid-east over 28 days, terminating in Coatsville, PA.
We had the opportunity to visit many companies who manufacture in the US, including the Corvette assembly plant, Harley Davidson, Makers Mark and Jim Beam, Louisville Slugger, Hershey Chocolate, the Philadelphia U.S. National Mint, the Pennsylvania State Penitentiary, Rivers of Steel in Pittsburg, Longeberger Baskets, a publishing house for the blind, and more!
Since the majority of Airstream owners (and certainly those taking a month-long trip in September) are retired, Eden and Sol were adopted by about 50 new grandparents. They were the only kids on the trip, and the caravan leaders, George and Sharon Hilton, made them the sheriffs for the duration of the trip. They had the authority to charge people a quarter for not wearing their badges, and the money went to an ice cream party at the last stop. Sharon even made the kids badges–based on each of their very specific demands. :)
The group was greatly friendly. There were about 10 group meals and camp fires each night for folks to gather and shoot the breeze.
During the first week or so, we had scheduled GAMs (get acquainted meeting), where you would hang with a handful of other ‘streamers and get to know them a bit. In those meetings, I learned that two of our group of about 50 people had jackknifed or even flipped previous Airstreams. The events sounded terrible enough outright, but one of the guys said, “and the things that weren’t damaged in the wreck, well… When you tip an Airstream over, the contents of the sewage tank tend to exit through the toilet. Everything in the trailer was covered in it.” Something I wouldn’t have thought of, and am still not sure I needed to.
It was nice for Rachelle to take a little break from master trip-planning. The Hiltons managed all the camp-site reservations and manufacturing tours, al we had to do was look at the schedule and follow instructions. Because of the homeschool schedule, there were times when we didn’t go with the group on a scheduled tour. It was nice having the flexibility to just hang out at the camp site if we wanted.
There were duties that rotated amongst members of the group. On moving days, there were check-out teams that would go over Airstreams and tow-vehicles before departing a campsite, and check-in teams that would help people navigate to their campsites. The best part of those operations were the playful discussions over the CBs that the teams would use to communicate with the drivers in the vehicles.