There it was, “1976 Airstream Excella- $6500”
A new house for $6500?! Not bad… Well, let’s just say that Airstream renovations are not as straightforward as they seem :)
If anyone out there has ever tried to restore an airstream, it is wayyyyyyyyyyy more work than you think! We took out some cabinets and worked with several layouts of the interior space, but weren’t quite cut out for the job with all of the other tasks on our list. Barry, who sold it to us, was the third owner who had tried to make something of it after it had been gutted. (There would then be a 5th and 6th after us:))
Before we knew what we were getting into, we cleaned out the cabinets of the Airstream and noticed there were a bunch of documents stuffed away. As I started to look through them, Stephen noticed my face was scrunched up and asked me what they were. At first, there were some cool magazines from the 70s with advertisements of the Marlboro man and old school grills. Then I found a bunch of court documents… and some notes. As I read through them, I realized they were from the guy who had owned it two or three owners before Barry.
Wait, what does that say,
“Don’t drop the soap”? :)
Apparently, I had stumbled on some letters that the previous owner had been sending and receiving in prison from his partner in Crime, after an armed burglary and grand theft auto attempt!! The letters were fascinating and we stayed up all night reading them. We also found some pictures of the previous owner in the airstream in its heyday and it was enlightening to see the Airstream in its former glory! Wood paneling and orange carpet weren’t the best look, hence why it had been gutted.
The final letter was the one that completely blew my mind. At this point, I felt like I had gotten to know Donald (the armed burglar) through his letters. He gave his partner some advice about how to get his life cleaned up and told him about how he was planning to clean up his life as well. To do that, he would be moving to Pueblo, Colorado to stay with his Aunt… Wait, where?! Pueblo, Colorado… My hometown?! WHAT?! The city I grew up in!! In this random Airstream, we bought in Willow City, TX, this guy is talking about moving to my little hometown of Pueblo, Colorado?? Our minds were blown and we thought it was a sign of some sort! I immediately called my parents and told them to watch out for Donald Chadwick even though the letters were from the 80s :)
As we continued to gut and plan our airstream remodel, each day, we had the realization that mayyyybe we had bitten off a little more than we could chew (like the previous 3 owners). After about a month, we knew it was time to look for another “home”… Then we saw it…
“Fully Remodeled Airstream Excella 1978- $18,000”
This time, there was a sink and walls and a shower?!, Ok. We could definitely work with that! The lime green and baby blue walls were not necessarily to our taste, but with it being fully renovated, we were more than thrilled to have a new “house”! Two airstreams and one ATV later, we were ready to take on the world!
Flying over ranch when I found the listing Moving boulders with the dozer Creating 30 foot bonfires regularly
The first part of the project took one year, 16 hour days of working to the bone, with a tight knit crew of six amazing, creative and hard-working people you'll find.
Bringing Oli home to the Airstream had its challenges, so luckily our in-laws were kind enough to let us share their house until… the first dome was complete! We lived with Oli in our Morii dome for about 6 weeks and created some of my favorite memories during that time.