When Gus Kahn wrote “Carolina in the morning” with its famous lyrics, “Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina in the mornin’…” in 1922, he had no idea that ninety-five years later an Airstream gathering called Alumalina would take place in those wonderful Blue Ridge mountains—and make those words come true.
What began with a simple call-out on the Airforums by John Leake to fellow Carolina Airstreamers has now grown in ways never expected or imagined by John or any of us who showed up for that first rally.
The first Alumalina was held in 2011 at Carowind’s Camp Wilderness, which straddles the border of North and South Carolina, a fitting place to begin. That year there were 11 Airstreams, along with 22 people and John thought he’d “knocked one out of the park.” John, a soft-spoken man from York, South Carolina also made a cauldron full of his nearly famous “Possum Bog”. New initiates are always encouraged to try this concoction; it’s been said by those who’ve tried it that it “Tastes just like Chicken!” I wouldn’t know.
We had a very nice time that year regardless of the rain and an unexpected hailstorm, which caused a couple of folks to seek shelter under a local car wash awning.
Fast forward to October 26-29th of 2017, and there are now 243 Airstreams signed up for four days of food, fun and music! Alumalina’s been relocated to the foothills of South Carolina and is still graciously hosted by John and Susan Leake at the Palmetto Cove campground. This campground is nicely situated: only a short drive over the mountain from Brevard, Flatt Rock and Hendersonville NC. As an added bonus, it is only about an hour away from the Pisgah and Dupont National Forests, where you can hike into any one of roughly 250 waterfalls that beautify the scenery.
We have music, we have seminars, we have fellowship and we have fun. Music and good fellowship have always been a hallmark of Alumalina, so bring what you play and join in! Seminars on various relevant topics ranging from “Airstream Plumbing” to “Insuring Your Airstream” are also offered. Saturday afternoon is reserved for trailer tapping, where you are welcome to visit your neighbor’s trailer and see what they’ve done. Saturday night is all about Rita, John’s ever-faithful monster margarita maker, who comes out to play. Sunday morning there are services for folks who wish to attend. Alumalina is a wonderful time for all ages and everyone is welcome!