Another successful year for the Canopener! What is the Canopener you say? First and foremost, it is a rally of friends and strangers-soon-to-be-friends of (mostly) Airstream owners. It is a purely democratic event, lead and directed by ad hoc volunteers, with no rules – only, at most, a few guidelines. It is a wonderful event that we have participated in, off and on, for years.
Perhaps because of its’ ad hoc format, or perhaps because of the common thread of Airstreams, or maybe just a great group of people, there tends to be much dialogue between its participants. No surprise, there is a wide variety of subjects being discussed.
For example, and if you don’t count The Villages, the Canopener could very well be the largest collection of old white people talking about medical maladies. Old Age Syndrome, replacement hips, knees, joints, medications, you name it. If you needed a second or third opinion, this would be the place to come if you weren’t too fussy about the quality of the diagnosis or treatment. I’m not a doctor, but I’ve played a doctor. How may I guide your medical strategy today?
Second, it may be the largest community of dog, puppy and kitty discussions – even more popular than marriage or tow vehicles. Note: the Florida state bird appears to be a white F250.
Speaking of marriage, there was one RV couple here at the campground that apparently had a marriage counseling business. They advertised marriage flipping! My wife, from time to time, has used the word flipping with me, but in its’ context and with her looks and intonation, I question whether it is truly a term of endearment. Is marriage flipping like swapping? Like a beer swap? You know, bring a beer, take a beer? Hmmm. We best move on.
Seriously, this is one of the nicest, most helpful, fun loving, and considerate group of Airstreamers, anxious to share their love of the subject and camaraderie. The Canopener is held the first weekend of each year (1stweekend of January), hence the name, and has been held at Topsail State Park in Santa Rosa Beach on the panhandle of Florida.
Held on the Florida panhandle in February means you never know for sure what the weather will be. We arrived to warm (70’s) temperatures and high humidity, which quickly changed to rain, and then low but sunny temps (in the 50’s/60’s). Best to prepare accordingly.
Since people arrive still within the Christmas season, many lights abound.
Topsail itself is stunning. Imagine a 1,600 acre (2.5 square miles) park and nature preserve, right on the gulf, nestled between the more traditional commercial growth on the Florida panhandle, with hiking and biking trails throughout. By way of example, I took a walk along the beach and on the trails and covered a little over 9 miles. But you can hike whatever distance works for you.
And the activities… I am certain to omit any number of activities held here, but suffice it to say there was Taco Tuesday, Mardi Gras King Cakes, many ad hoc fire pit conversations, Margaritaville, Cornhole competition, a chili cookoff, various crafts, seminars (Instapot, SkyMed…), beer swap, Karaoke, dancing, poetry slam, Bloody (Mary) Saturday, trailer solutions from Phil at NoLox, trivia night, kayaking, biking, hiking, phew – I’m getting exhausted just thinking about all this – and more! Or you could just do jack. Your call.
As always, though, the people make the difference. Here are a few shots from the week.
See you down the road!