Thursday, January 20, 2011

Calliope, Part VII: Adventure!!!

Apollo and Calliope @ Burning Man 2010

Towing Calliope along behind our Jeep (which we named Apollo, after the Greek god of light and the arts, who hung out with the Muses and was one of Calliope’s lovers), is an interesting experience. While it does slow us down a bit (speed limit for vehicles towing trailers is 55mph), many of the folks breezing by us do so with smiles and thumbs-up signals. It’s pretty fun.

Calliope was designed to be as light as possible to conserve as much fuel as possible. Dore estimates that she weighs about 1200 lbs, and he can manhandle her down the driveway by himself. She handles well, and Dore’s a master at maneuvering Apollo and Calliope around, even in tight spots. Occasionally, she’ll start swaying a bit on the road, shaking her ass like a sassy wench, but she’s never gotten out of control.
Calliope's maiden voyage to the Elysium festival
She does bounce quite a bit when she’s empty, though. Our longest trip so far with her was to Burning Man last year, and loaded with all of our gear, food and water, she rode pretty smoothly. If we’re traveling without a lot of ballast, she can get shaken up a bit. We’re constantly improving methods of battening down the hatches and securing cabinet doors, the stove grills, curtain rods, stowed gear and whatnot, which tends to get tossed around on the road.

Calliope is a work in progress and probably always will be. We’ve got decorative details to add still, occasional repairs and improvements to make, etc. We’re beginning to collect souvenirs from our travels to put up inside, building her history and making her a true Home Away From Home.
Greeted by a double rainbow
She’s served as our cozy, virtually setup-free campsite in forest and desert. She’s also great as a mobile crash pad – we don’t need to use up one of our host’s guest rooms – we bring our own! She also serves as an extra bed at our place if we have guests. There’s a gypsy sleepover in the works with my niece.
She’s weathered rain, wind, blinding dust storms and extremes of heat and cold and held up beautifully. Her grand entrance to Black Rock City was serendipitously greeted with a double rainbow, which has special significance for me and Dore. We took it as a smile from our Muse.

She’s everything we wanted – comfortable, functional and most of all, FUN. People love her. She makes them smile, she inspires them. I have to admit, it’s a lot of fun showing her off. We’ve displayed her at one local arts festival and got a great response. We have plans to set her up as part of my art booth at upcoming art shows and festivals.
In the meantime, she sits comfortably in her driveway berth, covered in a protective tarp (where the Cat has claimed her porch as a favored napping spot), awaiting further adventures.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Cristina! Question, the satin finish paint you are using, is it oil or water based? The only oil I can get up here for wood is marine based paint and just a few colors. I suppose I could raid my canvass oil paints but wondered if you were using water based how they were holding up?


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