Our birding base is an Airstream Flying Cloud. It’s what makes it possible to pursue this passion on our own terms. Forget waking up and driving to the woods to catch the dawn’s birdsong. We’re already there.
On move day, here’s the routine: Pour coffee into a Stanley thermos, pull up stakes, crank up the truck and hit the road in search of the next scenic campground. The Flying Cloud follows along like a satisfied puppy on a leash.
We’ve situated ourselves beside a brook in the Virginia mountains where Louisiana Water Thrushes hopped from rock to rock. Goldfinches bathed farther upstream.
One August afternoon we parked 10 yards from a lake on a rocky peninsula in New Hampshire. Before we could unload the chairs, we’d already noticed Brown Creepers scaling the surrounding pine trunks. (Another new bird for my Life List!)
Just beyond a primal sand dune on Ocracoke Island in Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Anders got photos of a Great Egret walking through a puddle near the bathhouse. (Cold showers only at Ocracoke, so hooray for the Airstream’s propane water heater.)
All of this splendor can be had for an average of $30 a night. You don’t get room service, but the camping life offers other perks. Anders wakes me up with a cup of coffee, and he often builds a campfire before a breakfast outdoors. No overpriced buffet, but even oatmeal tastes terrific with a touch of wafting wood smoke.