Hitching a ride to Tybee

Anita Jones Wallace's Buffalo Gal 1960s Scotsman trailer will be part of the Vintage Trailer Tour coming to Tybee on Saturday.

SAVANNAH, Ga. --- The Cowgirl Caravan, a group of women who decorate vintage trailers and take them on outdoor adventures, will roll into town this week.


The trailers, all of which have names and some which date to the 1940s, will be open to the public Saturday for the Vintage Trailer Tour.

The tour is sponsored by Sisters on the Fly, a nationwide group of more than 900 women, and Seaside Sisters of Tybee. The group will stay at River's End campground on Tybee Island.

The trip originally was only a Sisters camping trip (called a Cowgirl Caravan) arranged by Anita Jones Wallace, Sister No. 440, from Newnan, Ga. Ms. Wallace came to Tybee to check out the campground and stopped by Seaside Sisters, a shop in Sundance Square. Seaside owner Susan Kelleher asked Ms. Wallace about turning the private camping trip into a public tour.

"They said they'd do the tour only if we donated the money," Ms. Kelleher said. "So everybody wins."

The tour will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $12, and sales will benefit the St. Michael's School scholarship fund.

"Everybody loves the nostalgia of these little trailers," Ms. Kelleher said. "When people come in here they all have a memory or story to tell."

The trailers date from the 1940s through present day. Each one is decorated with care and has a central theme. In one of her two trailers, "It's 5 o'clock Somewhere," Ms. Wallace has 1,000-thread-count sheets on her bed. A lot of Sisters do the same, putting featherbeds on their camper bed to make the small space as comfortable as possible.

Most of the trailers are cowgirl-themed, "because almost every girl wanted to be a cowgirl at some point in her life," original Sister Maurrie Sussman said in a phone interview from her home in Phoenix.

But some trailers simply reflect the personality of the owner; trailer names include Margaritaville, Peggy's Paradise, Hippie Daze and Flo-mingo.

Trailers are painted in a variety of ways: car paint shops, a graphic designer or brush-painted by the Sisters. Some aren't painted but are decorated only on the inside. The trailers are named and the owner's Sisters on the Fly number is put on the back.

Every Sister who has a decorated trailer receives a Trailer Badge; other Sisters badges include River Rats, Martini, Kayaking, Outdoor Cooking and Helping Hands honors.