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The Hunt for a Perfect Vintage Airstream

  So the Fialas had been staying at our place going on two weeks. Tyler had bought the SUV, but he was waiting on the title to show up in the mail from the bank in South Dakota.  So, what would you do if your hunting for the perfect Airstream? Well, he decided, after nearly buying one near the Twin Cities, to broaden his search.

He asked me one night, probably during a game of Madden, if I wanted to tag along to look at a 31 foot Airstream with the coveted rear bedroom setup in Algoma, Wisconsin. I told him I'd tag along, as long as we were going to come home with an RV.

Scott mentioned he was going with for the day.  I jokingly said to make sure they are back before Wednesday. 

The yearned for rear bedroom Airstream was a bit more ragged than he anticipated.


While he looked it through and through, I checked out the Airstream Classics collection of very rare and sometimes strange Airstreams.


I really dug this tiny stove in a 50s vintage.

After spending my early childhood summers in an Airstream, I would have loved to go. 


By sunset we were no closer to picking up an Airstream. I think Tyler was hoping that this would be the one. So was I.

Over dinner at the Algoma Burger Company I talked Tyler into getting in touch with a guy from a Craigslist ad in Indiana. That had always been the nicest one for the money on Craigslist.

We drove down to Point Beach State Forest and ended up sleeping in the back of the SUV. Well, first we attempted to sleep at a gas station, but it was way too bright.

Before heading out we made a brief pilgrimage to Lake Michigan.

On day two of our supposed day trip, we picked up some baked goods and then Tyler attempted to call the guy down in Indiana. Only he got voicemail.

I figured we'd be home right about the same time if we drove down to Milwaukee or around Lake Winnebago. That would kill some time. Maybe we'd hear back from the Craigslister.

We stopped briefly at the old Pabst brewery for potty break. Low and behold he gave Tyler a call back just as we were about to head back to Minneapolis. 

They made an agreement of sorts over the phone and we were on our way. Before you knew it we were in Chicago. Speaking of the Windy City, that's where Tyler and Emma bank. Only it was Sunday. So there was no way to get cash or a cashiers check that night. Remember that detail.


Indiana in a nutshell.

We arrived in Muncie after a typical Midwestern drive through the Hoosier State. But did we find a dud or the perfect vintage airstream?

After Tyler looked over the vehicle we went and ate some greasy breakfast food at the SunShine Cafe. It may be a chain, but it was special to us.

At this point, I hadn't slept well for a few nights and was coming down with a lung infection of some sort. We ended up staying at a Super 8 in hopes of good night's sleep.

We slept well enough and were on our way.

Tyler had in fact decided to purchase the Airstream, but he needed a hitch and a wire transfer to go through.

The first was easy enough, though we decided we'd get one from Walmart instead. Sorry, Rural King.

By the time we got back to the Airstream we'd had hoped that the wire transfer had gone through. We'd been promised as much.

At least we knew we'd have this beauty in tow soon enough. The transfer would go through any minute, right?

While we waited, I asked if he'd show us his car collection. It did not disappoint.


Every vehicle was perfect and had low miles to boot.

The cars that dreams are made of.

We wondered what he was using instead of an Airstream. It turns out he has a custom Barth motorhome from the late 80s.

And a few more classics in his new garage.

After looking at all his cars, he told us about a whole town that a friend of his had fixed up. We had to go see.

The grain elevator is a work in progress.

Cammack is a very small town, so his claim that he had fixed up the whole town wasn't a stretch. It only consists of a few buildings.

To kill some time we drank malts and ate ice cream while sharing stories of work and adventure.

It was fast approaching closing time at both banks and the money still hadn't gone through.

That was, until it did. Only he told Tyler that transfer had went the wrong direction. I thought Tyler was going to have a heart attack. Luckily, he just got an Airstream.

It was early evening on day 3 of our day trip and we needed to get home to our wives and restless children.


When we drove into Illinois we decided we'd drive to Tyler's parents on the way instead of driving all the way back to Minneapolis. At this point my small cough had turned into a major one.


Tyler pushed through all the way to the Quad Cities where we test drove the beds.

Tyler's mom had breakfast ready for us in the morning.


And then on our way we went as Tyler told me tales of Iowa days past.

On the fourth evening of our trip we finally arrived in Minneapolis.

Tuesday evening....

But the Airstream was pretty cool.

I hope that the Fialas have many memorable trips in this beauty. I know this day trip turned road trip will always be a memory I hold on to. 

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