Misc Liisa

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How we came to own the Silver Shadow

Near the end of April, I was having a bit of an existential crisis. I’d been working hard and was getting a little burnt out. I had put off a sabbatical in order to work on growing my team. I was starting to get to a point where I felt like the team was coming together, but I needed something to recharge myself.

Tom and I took a long weekend and drove up to Woodstock for the day to wander around and chill out. While we were there, we saw a small teardrop trailer parked in our usual lot. Tom was surprised and impressed with it.

I had seen them before when I had recently thought about the possibility of renting a motorhome for a cross-country drive as a sabbatical possibility. I had looked at teardrop trailers and quickly dropped it because they were a little pricey. And because Tom had nixed the idea of renting a houseboat to travel on the canals of NY because “I don’t want to relive your nomadic childhood.”

(note- I grew up on boats and with campers. We had campers and motorhomes, a sailboat, cruisers, runabouts and a houseboat when I was growing up in Cinti. We lived about half of the year on the houseboat moored across the river in KY. We drove across the country twice on vacation- once with a convertible and a popup trailer and once with a motorhome.)

So I never mentioned teardrop trailers. And now here we were, having lunch in Woodstock and talking about what it might mean to give up the tent camping and buy a little trailer. It would mean we’d be able to go at a moment’s notice. It would mean we would be able to do one night trips. It would be a place we could use to sleep outdoors at home and to use as an extra room. Hmmm. This was starting to sound like a good idea.

Once we got home, I ordered a book about teardrops (that’s right, a book- a physical, wait until it shows up, book) (and sidenote- whoa! this book is now available for Kindle! Yay! I’m buying another copy!) and started looking at all the info I could find about them online. It didn’t take me long to find Little Guy– a company in Indiana that specializes in making teardrop trailers. And from there the trail led me to Miller Trailer Sales, a small reseller a few hours away in Pennsylvania. It quickly became clear that there was a retro style of teardrops that really appealed to Tom and I. And getting your hands on one of these little retro trailers was NOT easy. They were impossible to come by used and not easy to find new.

But, the folks in PA had one in stock that was exactly what we wanted. I called and talked to them. Tom and I talked it through and there was a Saturday coming up that looked good to drive down and go see it. When I called earlier that week to schedule the appointment, it seemed like they were selling a lot of trailers. And she said that if they sold this one, they’d have to order another one and it could take months to restock. So I told her I wanted it.

So on a friday exactly 2 weeks after we first saw a Silver Shadow, I got a hitch put on our car. I ran around Saturday morning getting details worked out while Tom worked. Who knew that getting a hitch put on the car meant they only give you a “tongue” and that you have to separately acquire the “ball hitch” necessary to pull a trailer? Tom got home late from the race he was scoring and it was another mad race off to PA to meet with the Millers and buy a trailer. Patsy called while we were enroute and said the title guy was only going to be around until 4pm, so she thought it would be best if Preston met us with the trailer at the title place to save time. And then we ran into construction traffic.

We pulled up at the title place at 4:15 and the Silver Shadow was sitting out front. We looked at it for 2 minutes before we ran inside and did all the paperwork to make it ours. And then we did the walkaround and learned more about what we were buying. Preston gave us a cooler full of cookies that Patsy had baked and helped us hitch up the trailer. Since I had never pulled anything behind a car before, he had us follow him on some backroads until I was ok. And then he took us to Lowes to make sure that the electric hookup stuff we had for the lights were all good. And then we drove off- having parted with more money that we’ve ever spent in cash on anything and full of excitement for where we might go with this little baby.