The Canopener

We’ve mentioned The Canopener in earlier blog entries without much explanation. The Canopener began five years ago as a small get-together of a few Airstreams here at Topsail Hill Reserve State Park (known as THSP) in Santa Rosa, FL. This year the group has grown to over sixty Airstreams and over 120 Airstreamers and lots of dogs. There are probably some cats, to, but they tend to lurk within, and don’t need to be walked.

The name comes from the fact that we’re all living in large tin cans on wheels, and this is the opening rally of the year.

There is no real organization behind it, it just happens because the readers and a number of volunteer members of the blog want it to happen.

It’s quite remarkable how smoothly it all works. We’re individually responsible for booking and paying for our site–that’s our only commitment. We only participate in events if we’re so inclined. No business meeting, no politics, no officers, no prizes, just a bunch of people having a good time.

We’re situated in a beautiful area of the park with over sixty sites that are now nearly all filled with aluminum! It’s hard to know exactly how many, because no one’s counting!  The official dates for the rally are January 6-8, but many arrived early, and some will stay a few days later. Watching it all happen is really fun. When we arrived on New Year’s Day, the area was filled with “white boxes” for the holiday weekend. Slowly, if not magically, the white boxes were replaced by Airstreams.

Now what do we all do at the Canopener? Nothing productive. We eat the bounty of several very-lucky pot-lucks, wonder from site to site, meeting interesting people, sharing stories, advice, and lies around a campfire, drinking, and generally having a great time. Drinking may be a social lubricant, but having a passion for aluminum, both vintage and brand-new, seems to be the greater basis for new friendships among the ‘aluminati’. Most aluminati are energetic,  stimulating people who come to create a spontaneous, community based on travel and common experience.

Today was open house. If you want to participate, you clean up (it’s a good excuse) hang out an open house sign, and at the designated hour, leaving your rig open, wander from site to site meeting more neighbors, seeing the inside of their Airstreams, their personal touches, and how they’ve solved common problems. We at last returned to our own opened door of the ePod, further convinced that those who take the road less traveled are a creative, trusting, and trustworthy bunch! Thank you, everyone, for your hospitality! Happy, safe travels to you all. We look forward to our paths crossing again.

Great people, great food, great weather, make for great days! A wonderful beginning for 2012.

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