Say “Alialujah” To Trailers and Cellos

Sou'wester Line artAlialujah Choir at theSou’wester Lodge
Location: Beach Access Road (38th Place), P.O. Box 102, Seaview, WA 98644

The Alialujah Choir is a rotating collection of collaborators including the Portland Cello Project, but it’s core is the trio of Adam Shearer and Alia Farah of Wienland, and Adam Selzer (Norfolk & Wester) founder of the Type Foundry Recording Studio in Portland.

The Sou’wester’s blog page says:

Alialujah Choir

The group was founded after coming together to create a song for OPB’s Live Wire! Radio Show’s “Dearly Departed” benefit album. The band has gone on to record its debut album released  by Jealous Butcher Records and garner international awards for the video and song, ‘A House, A Home,’ directed by Mark Smith.

They’ve only played publicly ten times in three years so this is a very cool deal.

Making the weekend even more unique, it’s a “Spartan Only Rally;” yes, it’s the first time Spartan owners have held a rally exclusively for this brand of trailers. Spartans were built by the Spartan Aircraft Company from 1946 to 1960.

Spartan trailer

Organizers had hoped to bring the first Spartan to ever roll off the assembly line, “The Silver Queen.” Late word from Don Denning, who’s leading the rally, is that the Queen won’t make it to this gathering.

You can see these vintage trailers up close Saturday from 10 to 4. Look for the “Open” signs.

Music and lectures are free at The Sou’Wester Lodge in Seaview, Washington.

Contact Don Denning, rally coordinator, by email at

An avid vintage trailer enthusiast, Don owns two Spartans and has a deep appreciation for the history, design, and overall first rate quality of these trailer-coaches.

To reserve a room or a trailer at The Sou’Wester:
The Sou’Wester Lodge
3728 J Place
Seaview WA, 98644

Camping Gadgets for Summer in the Sun

TOW stands for Teardroppers of Oregon and Washington. At the Gathering near Tillamook, Oregon, along the Trask River, we talked to some TOW folks about their favorite camping gadgets. Stephanie from Vancouver cleaned up a vintage Coleman ice box.


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Tillamook Cheese & Power Chords

The 57th Tillamook County June Dairy Parade and Festival celebrates the County’s dairy industry and heritage and is, we’re told, the third-largest parade in the state. The 2013 theme was “Clowning Around.” The band you hear is the Power Pep Band from Portland, Oregon. Their motto is: “Power Chords without the Power Cords.”
And, yes, there were Teardrop Trailers there, too. They ventured down from the Trask River Gathering for the parade.
Check out for TOW info.

Oregon Coast, Meet Teardrop. Teardrop, Meet Coast

English: Trask River at Tillamook, Oregon, in ...

English: Trask River at Tillamook, Oregon, in the United States. The view is upstream, southeast, from the Oregon Route 131 bridge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you like sunny weather, it looks like Saturday will be the best day of our Northwest weekend. That’s a bonus if you’re headed to Tillamook on the Oregon coast for a Teardrop Trailer Gathering.

To get ready for the trip, squidknot visited TearDrops NW in Salem at your suggestion. Sales Manager Jon Homquist took us on a tour that started in the parking lot with his personal trailer. His goal was to build as small and light and possible. Mission accomplished. The trailer weighs in at 560 pounds.

Look for the guy in the squidknot hoodie Saturday in Tillamook. That’d be me. Would love to see your trailer and maybe get a few Dutch Oven cooking tips, too.

Do you have a great Dutch Oven recipe to share? Leave it in the “comment” box below.

And thanks to Jen Workman who sent us photos of their home-build that just got done.

That should wrap up our festival of Teardrops, unless you talk me into buying one this weekend. As you know, once you’ve got the bug…

Check out our Events page for links to more info about the Trask River Teardrop Trailer Gathering.

Richard & The Modernistics Aren’t A Band

Teardrop trailer

We asked for your stories about Camping on the Coast, wanting to know if anybody had experience traveling in, or building, teardrop trailers.

You told us about the Trask River Teardrop Trailer Gathering near Tillamook, Oregon.

As the stories rolled in, we headed to Salem to tour a Teardrop manufacturer. That video will be posted soon along with other messages from readers.

Richard Baize sent us his story, an example of how the tiny trailer introduced him to a tribe of outdoor enthusiasts where new friendships began. Thanks Richard for this fun and inspiring tale. Any failures in storytelling are mine, not his, the result of late-night editing.

See you in Tillamook!

R Baize Teardrops

Richard supplied the photo taken near Mount Shasta.
Check the size of the Teardrops as compared to the big-rig parked behind them.

Back in the fall of 2008, my wife Cindy and I made the decision to look for a teardrop trailer.
We’d raised two girls, which meant that we’d participated in the group campout, family weekends, and team travel that parenthood entails.
Although they were great fun, the prep work involved a ton of time and effort.

The girls are out of the house now, but we still wanted to go outdoors and recharge in what my wife called the “Big Trees.” The answer came in a small, adorable package out of the days of the Greatest Generation, the teardrop trailer.

Retro tear strong horizontal copyI was drifting though the listings on Craiglist in March of 2009 and read “For Sale, partially completed Teardrop Trailer, $300.” I nearly wrenched my arm out of the socket reaching for the phone. Patrick, the fellow on the other end of the line, filled me in. He’d gotten plans off the internet from a company called Kuffel Creek. They’d been easy to follow. He’d made simple modifications and had attached the sides after they were trimmed to the traditional teardrop shape.

About that time, his wife walked into his shop on their vineyard near Phoenix, Oregon and announced they were having twins. “Right then,” Patrick told me, “I decided that a tiny trailer made no sense.”

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I drove home with the trailer and commenced to work. The plans were extremely well-written and included a list of materials and providers. Through this list, I met Grant Whipp, who had been building and providing parts and advice for builders of Teardrops for over a quarter of a century. Like every single person who has come into my life through this delightful hobby, Grant and his partner Kay have become true friends.

Retro tear 4 square with pop effec tBy June our tiny trailer, called “Cubby” by its designers, was ready for its first camping trip. When night fell near the shores of Howard Prairie Lake, we dropped the rear galley hatch, slid inside the cozy interior, and closed the doors for the night. Since the teardrop is carefully sealed and well-insulated, the night chill stayed outside and the noises of nearby campers faded into peaceful slumber–free from critters, rocks, and rain.

The first Gathering for our little Cubbie was at Applegate Lake. However, there was a problem lurking in the glow of the campfires.  Since I’d completed Cubby, I’d been without a project. Seeing all the great trailers at the Gathering made me think the Cubby was a great little trailer, with the key word being “little.” I wanted more, I needed…more.

Teardrops BookEnter the Modernistic. Along the way I’d found a lovely little book by Douglas Keister, “Teardrops and Tiny Travel Trailers.” It had photos of all kinds of trailers: teardrops, “canned hams,” and the Modernistic. With a profile similar to the cross-section of an aircraft wing, the Modernistic had the shape I dreamed about–the one I wanted to build next.

I started getting information from Grant and others on the forum during the fall of 2011. Grant had the ability to trace the profiles of several types of traditional trailers and the Mod was one of them. I ordered a tracing from him and when it arrived, I unrolled it onto our really long dining room table. It was round and swoopy just like I though it would be.

–Richard Baize as told to

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