Starling Travel

May 30, 2015

Uncle Wayne’s Boat

Filed under: Boating — Laura Moncur @ 11:41 am

Uncle Wayne and Aunt Babe from Starling TravelMy great uncle-in-law Wayne was rich (or at least we thought he was). I’ve talked about him before here:

In those scans of old photos, I found these photos of his boat with my grandma, grandpa and uncle Bruce. I can’t tell what kind of boat it was, but it looks pretty swanky.

Uncle Wayne's Boat from Starling Travel

Here is a picture with Uncle Wayne posing and my grandfather completely oblivious to the camera. The name of the boat was Ann, which was the name of my great aunt Babe. Everyone called her Babe.

Uncle Wayne's Boat from Starling Travel

Seeing these photos and how happy and excited my grandma and uncle look reminds me of WHY we like to go outdoors. We have little adventures and remember them when times aren’t quite so happy. It doesn’t matter whether we own the boat, borrow it from a relative or rent it from a spot at the lake. What matters is the fun we all have together and the memories we create.

May 27, 2015

Winnebago: The 52 Week Funhouse on Wheels

Filed under: Camping,Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 8:13 am

I love this old advertisement for Winnebago that I found in the April 1970 issue of National Geographic.

Winnebago Ad from National Geographic 04-1970 from Starling Travel

It reads:

Exciting Winnebago “motor homes” are not to be confused with those other vehicles called “mobile homes.” We make a self-propelled, self-contained, fifty-two week funhouse on wheels. We make them in 10 different models, 5 different lengths, 7 different floor plans and from standard to luxurious. And we make them for people like you to go places and do things and have a downright good time while you’re at it. Like touring. Vacationing with your family. Taking the gang to the ball game, or your cronies out duck hunting. You could even supply the ski lodge on your next Aspen outing. Or provide the warming house for any winter sport. It’s your lounge, your kitchen, your dining room. Your shower and bedroom. Plus your transportation. You see, a Winnebago motor home is anything you want it to be anytime you want it to be. Find out more about the Winnebago fifty-two week funhouse on wheels and what it can do for you.

I love how they tell you all the things you can do with a camper. They didn’t even get the full list.

  • Touring the country.
  • Vacations with the family.
  • Taking a large group of people to an event.
  • Tailgating at a sporting event.
  • Hunting.
  • Staying in locations where there aren’t any hotels.
  • Guest room for when your house is overflowing with guests.

Sure, that’s what I get from my camper when it is being used, but I also get so much more from it.

  • A project to make my own.
  • A blank canvas to work with.
  • Something the family can work on together.

All of these aspects of owning a camper only come when you buy a piece of junk and make it awesome. That feeling of finally camping in a camper that you have worked so hard to make great is beyond anything that I could ever get from buying a brand new camper. I think that’s why I’m always on the lookout for a new project.

May 25, 2015

A Shaded Chair by the Ocean

Filed under: Photos,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 7:15 am

I took a picture on September 9, 2010. I have no idea where I was when I took it, but it looked like an ideal setting to me. It was two beach loungers with umbrellas right on the ocean’s edge. It was the perfect image of what I want from a vacation. Just a nice place to sit by the ocean with a little shade.

A Shaded Chair by the Ocean from Starling Travel

When it comes down to it, all I really need for a good vacation is a shaded chair by the ocean. Or the mountains. Or the lake. Or the forest. It doesn’t matter where in nature I am as long as I don’t have to hear the rush of traffic and the grind of construction.

There is a story by Ernest Hemingway called A Clean Well-Lighted Place. My whole life, I have been searching for this and I’ve only seen it in glimpses. Here is one of those glimpses: a shaded chair by the ocean.

May 24, 2015

Vicki’s Westholt Tent Camper

Filed under: Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 9:57 am

At the Popup Portal Rally at Dead Horse Ranch State Park last April, I was given the chance to see Vicki’s Westholt Tent Camper. I had no idea these campers existed before that rally, but they are really cool.

Vicki's Westholt Tent Camper

They were made in the mid-sixties and are a great example of mid-century design. See more about her camper and a video tour of a 1964 Westholt after the break. (Continue Reading…)

May 22, 2015

Trailer Life Made Everything Better

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit — Laura Moncur @ 10:24 am

I have maligned Trailer Life Magazine in the past. I am not the target audience of it, I understand, but it makes me angry when month after month they highlight massive fifth wheels and gigantic bumper pulls with barely a whisper about the diversity of trailers out there. If I were the editor, I would do one review of a huge thing and one review of a tiny trailer each month instead of relegating the lighter weight vehicles to a special magazine once a year. I’ve had problems with the magazine, but I KEEP them. On a shelf in our bookcase, they have been stuffed, out of order and random.

Trailer Life Made Everything Better from Starling Travel

Yesterday, Mike and I were discussing where we should go this summer. We didn’t want to spend a long time driving and we realized that the Oregon trip we had planned would entail a total of SIX days to get there and back, meaning that we would only have ONE day in Oregon to visit friends. We had to scrap that trip and had NO idea what to do instead.

I said to Mike, “How about we go random?” I walked up to the Trailer Life shelf on my bookcase and grabbed one of the magazines that had been stuffed into the nearly overflowing shelf. I ended up picking the September 2014 issue.

Trailer Life Made Everything Better from Starling Travel

“Okay, we’ve got Colorado, Michigan and Tennessee.” After calculating how far Oregon was, I KNEW we couldn’t do Michigan or Tennessee. Mike answered, “Colorado.” So I turned to the article and read to Mike about the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It sounded totally boring and I started to close the magazine halfway through the article, but Mike stopped me.

“If we drive there, we can go through Four Corners,” he said, showing me the map he had pulled up on his iPad. Sean and Mike had wanted to go to the Four Corners National Monument for a long time, but it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere. In the middle of nowhere, but on the way to Great Sand Dunes. Michael cooed in an inviting voice, “We could put the New Mexico sticker on the camper…”

We have one of those United States maps on the back of the camper and he knows that really, the only reason I ever want to travel is to get another sticker on the camper. We keep visiting Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California because they’re close, but what I REALLY want to do is take the Tangerine Turtle to every one of the Lower Forty-Eight.

The States Map on The Tangerine Turtle from Starling Travel

“We can go home through Moab and it’s about the same distance,” Mike continued and now I am hooked because he KNOWS that I love to go in a circle so I don’t see the same things on the drive back as I saw on the drive there. I look on my KOA app, and by golly, there’s a KOA right near the park.

After harboring such animosity for Trailer Life Magazine for so many years, I really have to hand it to them. They saved the day and our summer trip. Trailer Life made everything better!

May 21, 2015

The Camping Bubble

Filed under: Camping — Laura Moncur @ 8:32 am

I saw this on Camp Confessions and it made me remember the best thing about travel.

The Camping Bubble from Starling Travel

It reads:

One of the best parts of camp is the “bubble” where you’ve got no idea what’s going on in the outside world and you couldn’t really care less.

Honestly, this has never happened to me while we’ve been camping. We only go camping for a few days at a time and it’s rarely enough to give me that “bubble.” I have had that feeling on a cruise, however. You can just tell by the looks on our faces that we are in that “bubble.”

The Cruise Bubble from Starling Travel

I don’t know what creates that bubble. I think part of it is time. When you only have two or three days for your trip, it’s hard to forget that the world is not out there. It ISN’T, actually. Tomorrow, you have to pack up and go home, so it’s right there, in your consciousness. That picture was taken in the middle of a seven-day cruise. The reason we were able to be in that bubble is because the ordeal of going home was days away.

I would like to be able to go on a camping trip long enough to create that bubble. I don’t know if moving from place to place every day would create it or if we would have to stay camping in one spot for a week to get that feeling. I don’t know the exact nature of how to create that bubble, but I want to try to make one, even if it’s just once.

May 20, 2015

Unbelievably Cool House Truck Is A Castle on Wheels

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 8:19 am

This video knocked me off my feet! I can’t believe the ingenuity of Jola and Justin, who have built a castle on wheels!

Here is a picture of the truck all folded up and ready to drive on the highway.

Jola and Justin's Castle on Wheels from Starling Travel

Here it is unfolded and livable.

Jola and Justin's Castle on Wheels from Starling Travel

Some of the amazing innovations are the clothing storage that lies under the bed turret.

Jola and Justin's Castle on Wheels from Starling Travel

Here is the upper observation deck.

Jola and Justin's Castle on Wheels from Starling Travel

Their Yin and Yang toilet area with a composting toilet.

Jola and Justin's Castle on Wheels from Starling Travel

And even a full-sized bathtub on the roof.

Jola and Justin's Castle on Wheels from Starling Travel

The design and architecture that has gone into this home on wheels is absolutely amazing! So impressed!

Via: Couple Creates A Tiny Sustainable Three Story House Truck – Take A Look Inside | Collective-Evolution

May 18, 2015

Teardrop on I-15

Filed under: Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 7:44 am

Almost a year ago, we were driving on I-15 and we came upon this teardrop camper.

Teardrop on I-15 from Starling Travel

I could tell it was interesting and unique from way back, so I asked Mike to slow down while he passed it so I could get some photos.

Teardrop on I-15 from Starling Travel

It looked like it might have a Betty Boop theme based on the decal on the side.

Teardrop on I-15 from Starling Travel

It caught up with us in Fillmore at the gas station and I got another shot of it.

Teardrop on I-15 from Starling Travel

I never did meet the owners, but I would have liked to talk to them. I always love to see these great little guys on the road. The fact that it was also towed by a vintage car as well, just makes me even more happy!

May 14, 2015

Jucy Rentals: Small Campers Big Adventure

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers — Laura Moncur @ 11:39 am

Living so near Zion’s national parks, I see a lot of different campers in the parking lots of Costco, Cracker Barrel and Walmart. Lately, I’ve been seeing these cute little green and purple camper vans from Jucy Rentals.

Jucy RV from Starling Travel

I saw this one in the Cracker Barrel parking lot a few months ago and I loved it!

Jucy RV from Starling Travel

It looked like what I have talked about doing for a long time by putting a popup tent on the top of a car and building a galley out the back.

Jucy RV from Starling Travel

After I saw this camper, I looked them up online and they originated from New Zealand and have just barely came over to the States. They truly have a brilliant design. Here’s a video that shows you all the features of the camper. Skip to the 2:11 minute mark to see the camper features.

When I was at Lake Mead a few weeks ago, I saw two Jucy Rentals.

Jucy RV from Starling Travel

The reason why I am seeing so many of them lately is because Jucy has a rental location in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Jucy RV from Starling Travel

I never saw the campers, but the top beds looked like they were pretty roomy and comfortable.

Jucy RV from Starling Travel

Ironically, seeing these campers everywhere doesn’t make me want to rent them. It makes me want to make a camper van of my own.

Jucy RV from Starling Travel

Of course, renting them is really reasonable.

Jucy RV from Starling Travel

When it costs nearly $200 a day to rent the smallest of motorhomes from Cruise America, $70 a day sounds pretty good. When what you’re renting is a cute little van that’s hilariously easy to drive, even through a fast food drive-thru, then you’ve got yourself a deal!

May 9, 2015

Terra Wind Amphibious Motorcoach

Filed under: Motorhomes and Campers — Laura Moncur @ 12:38 pm

I saw this video on Facebook and I about jumped out of my seat. I didn’t read the headline. I didn’t turn on the audio, it just started automatically playing. All I saw was a motorhome just driving into the water and sailing away.

It drives 80 mph down the freeway and 7 knots on the lake. You can’t take it out on the ocean and I certainly wouldn’t take it out on a windy day, but holy cow! That’s cool!

REALLY cool, until I found them online.

The price of that baby is 1.2 MILLION dollars! I KNOW motorhomes regularly cost that much. I KNOW that yachts regularly cost that much. I realize that is a perfectly acceptable price tag for a vehicle that traverses land AND water.

It’s just…

My beloved little camper only cost us about a thousand bucks.

The Tangerine Turtle from Starling Travel

And that boat that we got last year that is still in need of a good motor, well, it cost us about the same amount.

1968 Glaspar Towed by a Subaru Crosstrek XV from Starling Travel

Sure it needs a new motor and the Tangerine Turtle needed a plethora of little fixes and tweaks to make it perfect, but for less than 1 percent of the cost of the Terra Wind, I can have a fully working boat and camper. LESS THAN ONE PERCENT!!

I LOVE the idea of a fully amphibious recreational vehicle. I understand that technology like that COSTS money. I just can’t get myself to even dream about spending that kind of money on something so frivolous, especially when I can find suitable replacements for less than one percent of the cost of it.


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