Not long ago, Bret bought an Airstream® Nest. He couldn’t be more pleased with his “travel companion,” which he affectionately named “Mosa,” after his grandfather. He named his tow vehicle after his Grandmother, “Cora.”
“She was no taller than 4’11”, 90 pounds soaking wet and very clever, so you didn’t want to mess with her!” says Bret. His Airstream reminds him of his feisty grandparents because it, too, is “small and nifty.”
Mosa hit the road during the great depression to find work. He would eventually find work as a steelworker in Northern Ohio.
For Bret, the road to Airstream ownership began when he was a kid. His family did a great deal of camping, first in tents and later in a truck camper. “I have a lot of fond memories of those trips,” he says.
But then college and a career as an electrical engineer in the defense industry happened. Bret worked as senior analog and radio frequency design engineer. His job involved circuit board maintenance and recreation for aircraft.
“Our group would re-implement the original design of older planes using newer technology. That way, they could have a replacement box that functioned in the same way. But now it could be maintained using today’s technology and upgraded if need be,” says Bret.
So, camping fell by the wayside, until now.
When he retired early at age 60, Bret decided he wanted to spend more time in nature and revisit some of the places he camped as a kid, including the Badlands, the Dakotas and the Grand Canyon.
So far, Bret has limited his Nest trips to local campgrounds in Ohio. But in addition to those memory spots, his very ambitious agenda includes visits to numerous National Parks, Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. He also wants to explore Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Montreal.
I like the ability to quickly hook up the Nest to my truck and get away from it all
- Bret Boggs
For planning his travels, he uses the website and app Roadtrippers, which allows him to map his route and find cool roadside attractions along the way.
Why an Airstream Nest? Perhaps because of his engineering background, Bret appreciates the Nest’s design, craftsmanship and small details, all of which add up to an amazing user experience.
“I like the ability to quickly hook up the Nest to my truck and get away from it all,” says Bret. “The simplicity of the Nest enables that. I like the quality, too. It is very well built and well-thought-out, which creates ease of use. There are a lot of little thoughtful details that don’t really pop out when you’re shopping for an RV. But when you actually get out there camping, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, yeah. That makes a whole lot of sense.’”
For example, Bret has discovered that the Nest’s solar panels allow him to go up to five days without having to charge his electrical system.
When Bret hits the road, you’re likely to hear a lot of clicking. He’s been a photography buff since elementary school when his dad gave him a Kodak camera for Christmas and told him, “go have fun.”
Bret has a dual passion for landscape and architecture photography. He particularly enjoys snapping pictures of old buildings. “Ohio is dotted with these little brick one-room schoolhouses,” he says. “Some of them are just boarded up and not being used. I find these captivating.”
There’s a chance you have seen Bret’s work. Several of his photos appear on Google Earth, including shots of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Bret’s photo of his Nest served for a time as the header picture on the Wally Byam Facebook page.
I find the Airstream community to be very friendly, very helpful.
No matter where he roams, Bret will stay connected to the world through another of his life-long passions: amateur radio, also known as ham radio.
“My dad was into amateur radio,” says Bret. “Every day I’d go down to the basement and help him out, and just got an interest in electronics and things like that. I got my amateur radio license, and I’ve basically been involved in it ever since. I get to talk to people all around the world and across the country.
Bret has a hunch that he can use the Nest’s satellite coax cable to connect his ham radio rig to an antenna on the roof.
Bret’s radio hobby has connected him to people around the world. Now, thanks to his Nest, he is becoming part of another community.
“It’s been great so far,” Bret says. “Everybody I’ve met has been friendly and welcoming. It’s been a great experience. I find the Airstream community to be very friendly, very helpful.”