November 12, 2015

The End of the Road

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The End of the Road

After traveling through the Nubian Desert, the African Caravan reached the final leg of our journey. We loaded our Airstreams and tow vehicles onto a barge for transportation across the water. As we floated down the Nile, a rare opportunity presented itself. As we reached the temples at Abu Simbel, we stopped and went ashore to visit the marvelous antiquities.

The Lion of Judah

Our introduction to Ethiopia? The remnants of a severe flash flood. I previously wrote on the African Caravan’s difficulties traveling through the Northern Frontier District, with the highway system’s fragile ecology. At last permitted by the Kenyan government to pass through the district, we were in dangerous territory, due to the season’s heavy rains. Ethiopia was brutalized during the Second World War. The Italian Expeditionary Forces conquered Ethiopia, exterminating thousands upon thousands of its citizens. Government officials, religious leaders, and the intelligentsia were systematic victims of mass murder. Bombs, tanks, and machine guns destroyed the Ethiopian armies, too much for

A Trailerman’s Prayer

As Wally Byam looks on, the Golden Airstream #1 is being towed through the Southern Ethiopian quagmire, pushed by Caravanners and Ethiopian Imperial guards. His International Harvester truck had broken an axle, so was being towed separately.

Building a Reputation

Dale “Pee Wee” Schwamborn has silver in his blood. His mother, Helen Byam Schwamborn, was the cousin of Airstream founder Wally Byam, and founded the Wally Byam Caravan Club. Each week, Pee Wee shares one of his many stories, including his experiences on the iconic Airstream Caravans, his time spent working in the Airstream factory, and the many Airstreamers he’s befriended, far and wide. In this week’s Throwback Thursday with Pee Wee, Dale talks about the allure of vintage Airstream travel trailers and how they make you feel like you’re a part of history. Enjoy this video? Watch the rest of this

Bridging the Gap

Just east of Victoria Falls is a marvelous feat of engineering, spanning a length greater than two football fields. As the African Caravan crossed a great bridge over the Zambesi River Gorge, we crossed one of the continent’s longest rivers, winding and flowing through the continent. The river also serves also as the border between the countries today called Zambia and Zimbabwe. Great beauty, both natural and manmade, abounds as you travel through the area.

Fueling the Expedition

We take it for granted in the United States where we can obtain fuel for our vehicles. Even in the less-densely populated areas of our country, far from major cities, there are fuel stations within a number of miles. But what do you do in Africa, in 1959, where such resources are often unavailable?

Wally’s First Commandment

Years ago, I was asked to judge engineering presentations at Arizona State University. The students had been asked to plan, manage, and assemble their own Airstream African Caravan. One ambitious group in particular I remember. They believed they could travel from Cape Town to Cairo in a period of just two months. The roads in Africa have improved since our historic voyage across the continent. But what we found in those days put us often in a precarious and dangerous position.

Universal Language of Goodwill

Dale “Pee Wee” Schwamborn has silver in his blood. His mother, Helen Byam Schwamborn, was the cousin of Airstream founder Wally Byam, and founded the Wally Byam Caravan Club. Each week, Pee Wee shares one of his many stories, including his experiences on the iconic Airstream Caravans, his time spent working in the Airstream factory, and the many Airstreamers he’s befriended, far and wide. In this week’s Throwback Thursday with Pee Wee, Dale explains the purpose of Wally Byam’s Airstream Caravans and how the unique way they were able to connect with people, all over the world, even across language barriers.

A New Dimension in Enjoyment

This article is part three in a series about Wally Byam’s Creed. What a wonderful testament and legacy Wally Byam left behind when he wrote the Wally Byam Creed. To open a whole world of new experiences…a new dimension in enjoyment, where travel adventures and good fellowship are your constant companions.

A Midnight Encounter

Nick Charles and I were parked at Prince Albert National Park. You remember Nick Charles? Son of Airstream President Andy Charles, and my partner in misadventure? We were in the Belgian Congo, near the entrance to the park. Late in the afternoon, Wagon Boss Lou Mousley pulled in – then, Wally and Stella. When their Airstreams, and the dust that followed, settled Wally asked me and Nick to come over for a meeting. With Wally and Lou, we discussed the next stop.