On our second cross-country road trip of 2019, we boldly go where few Airstream's have gone before to locate the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk. Capt. Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise will be born in Riverside, Iowa on March 22, 2228.
We found the exact location of Captain Kirk's future birth behind a hair salon in downtown Riverside. The gravity of what we found led us to sit and contemplate the future. Even Gadget seemed to appreciate the reverence of this other-worldly place.
At a Riverside town council meeting in 1985, Steve Miller, a councilman and Trekkie, proposed that Riverside declare itself the Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk. The motion passed unanimously. In a 2009 Star Trek reboot movie, Riverside was identified as Captain Kirk's hometown. The entire town was invited to a special secret preview screening of the film in the nearest town with a movie theater, a day before its official release.
Riverside, Iowa is worthy of a Star Trek pilgrimage.
On the eastern edge of Iowa, not far from the Mississippi River is a place like no other in the world. The Iowa 80 Truckstop, now the World’s Largest Truckstop, established its home here in 1964 and is now in itself a home away from home to countless drivers and a destination for travelers as well. Some say Iowa 80 Truckstop is like a small city, others have likened it to a Trucker’s Disneyland, all agree it is a place not to be missed.
Iowa 80 Truckstop features eight restaurants that serve 1 million cups of coffee and 90 tons of meat annually. There are twenty-four private showers and restrooms, a game room, and a Driver's Den Lounge. The lounge provides leather chairs and a fireplace for relaxing. Iowa 80 also features a business center with fax machines, logbooks & trip report forms and working stations. A 60-seat movie theater and an on-site barbershop are available. The most unexpected facilities, though, may be the dentist's office and the chiropractic clinic.
Iowa 80 Truckstop is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and hasn't closed since opening day in 1964.
Imagine a place so flat you seem to see the curvature of the planet, so barren not even the simplest life forms can exist.
The Bonneville Salt Flats is one of the most unique natural features in Utah, stretching over 30,000 acres. It is located along I-80 near the Utah-Nevada border. This was one the top bucket list locations to visit on our cross-country road trips in 2019. To say we enjoyed our time there would be major understatement. We absolutely loved it. So much so we visited on both of our cross-country road trips of 2019! If it's not on your bucket list, add it immediately.
The Bonneville Salt Flats is a densely packed salt pan in Tooele County in northwestern Utah. The area is a remnant of the Pleistocene Lake Bonneville and is the largest of many salt flats located west of the Great Salt Lake. The property is public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and is known for land speed records at the "Bonneville Speedway". Access to the flats is open to the public.
The famous Bonneville Speedway is located in the western portion of the flats, near Wendover. It is perfectly flat and has a thick crust of salty soil. It looks like a frozen lake bed covered with snow. No vegetation grows in that area.
Perhaps the most impressive spot to view the Salt Flats is along along I-80, about 10 miles east of Wendover. A rest stop has been established there (offering restrooms and water). The rest area is surrounded by perfectly flat land that looks like it is covered by snow. To the north and west, low mountains break the view. To the east and south, it looks like flat land extends virtually forever.
At the rest stop you can walk out onto the salty soil. When you return, a water spray station has been set up so you can wash the salt from your shoes.
This is not an alien world far from earth; it is Utah's famous Bonneville Salt Flats.
On our first cross-country trip of 2019, we traveled from east Tennessee to AM Solar in Springfield, Oregon for a week-long solar upgrade appointment. AM Solar has installed power systems on thousands of vehicles and built a highly respected reputation in the RV world as the leader in solar power.
Our solar rep was Roger Carroll. Roger is a full-time RVer and has been with AM Solar since 2009. He is extremely customer focused and knowledgeable about AM Solar products. Over the course of several weeks, he helped us determine the solar requirements for our Airstream Classic 30 and all aspects of the installation. Working with Roger and the installation crew at AM Solar was easily one of the best purchase experiences we've ever had.
Our new solar setup consists primarily of the following.
- 6 - Zamp Solar ZS98 100-watt Solar Panels (600 watts)
- 2 - LifeBlue LiFePO4 12V300Ah Lithium Batteries (600Ah)
- 1 - Victron Color Control GX Monitor
- 1 - Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/50 (50A)
- 1 - Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor
- 1 - Victron Multiplus 3000VA Inverter/Charger with Smart ATS
- 1 - Easy Start Kit (for A/C Start Assist)
How does it perform? Amazing. We can now travel indefinitely without ever removing the power cord from the trunk.
This is not a paid promotion for AM Solar. We are just happy customers with a life-changing level of freedom in our Airstream travels. Thank you, AM Solar!
After literally decades of wishing and hoping, Terry was thrilled to be “Standin' on the Corner in Winslow Arizona.”
Winslow, Arizona was one of the top must-stop exits off I-40 on our first cross-country trip to the west coast in 2019. A few miles east of Winslow, we queued up "Take It Easy," cranked up the volume, hit Play and let it play on repeat until we reached the exit. Airstream travel is a blast.
Standin' on the Corner Park is a public park in Winslow, Arizona, opened in 1999, commemorating the song "Take It Easy."
Written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, “Take it Easy” was originally recorded by the Eagles with Glenn Frey singing lead vocals. It was the band’s first single and was released on May 1, 1972. The song was praised as the “best sounding rock single to come out so far this year…catchy, winding melody, intelligent, affirmative lyrics, a progressively powerful arrangement …” -- Bud Scoppa in his original 1972 Rolling Stone review.
Visit Standin' on the Corner website to learn more.