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Happy Trails: 'Glamping' group travels together

BY MELISSA HOWELL, Staff Writer Modified: April 8, 2014 at 5:34 pm •  Published: April 9, 2014

They do it because they have more fun than anyone. It’s a mission that more than 5,000 women in North America, Europe and Australia, strive to achieve with great … well, flair.

The group, called Sisters on the Fly, is an affiliation of women who bring glamorous camping or “glamping” to a whole new level. From cute, glamped out trailers to petticoats and wrangler wear, wine tastings to fly fishing, these women have created a recipe for gal pal getaways that is fun, feminine and empowering.

Several members of the local chapter of Sisters on the Fly gathered with their trailers on a breezy Saturday in March in the parking lot of "Decades Revisited," an antique shop at NW 39 and Portland, to talk about the group.

Why do they go to the effort and expense to fix up old travel trailers and don sassy cowgirl boots in the name of martinis, cigars and sisterhood?

“It (is) amazing meeting all of these ladies ... I’ve dreamed of this for a long time,” said DeAnn Parham, owner of a vintage White Water Retro trailer called “Take Five.” I had friends tell me you can't do that by yourself. So I signed up and I went. I love to fish — I can fish and I have all the pretties. It (is) very cool.”

What happens with the sisters stays with the sisters

The agenda for a Sisters on the Fly event begins with a caravan to the event location.

“We all just caravan. It's like no sister left behind. If something happens, everyone stops. You have that security of being together. It’s not a scary as I thought it was going to be,” said a woman who identified herself as “Buckaroo Becky.” Becky said she doesn’t own a trailer at the moment, but rode shotgun with DeAnn, who led the caravan on the group’s last outing to Arkansas, near Hot Springs.

On arriving at the destination, the schedule is anything but rigid.

“We just went to the Bar 50 (event) in Arkansas,” said Alana Schwarz, owner of a 1974 Nomad trailer, which she hopes to have travelworthy in the near future. “We built a bonfire. We went junking together — horseback riding. Some went to the spas in Hot Springs … “

“We drank wine, played bingo, drank limearitas, toured all the trailers, drank wine … What happens on sisters trips stays with the sisters,” Becky chimed in.

The trailers

The trailers gathered at Decades Revisited that day were a collection of color and personality.

The rules of the organization dictate that each trailer have a unique name that is registered with the organization.

Vicky Kirkland’s 1962 Lincoln Little Abe trailer is decorated like a gypsy wagon and appropriately is named "Gypsy."

Rusty Dye surrounds herself with paradise in her Hawaiian-themed trailer called “Lil’ Hula Hut.”

Lee Hallman shows her Sooner pride with crimson and cream on her OU-themed trailer. And no, it’s not named “Sooner Schooner” — she calls it “Little Scout.”

Gail McCann named her trailer “Texoma Gal” because she was raised in Texas and lives in Oklahoma.

Leigh Smith affectionately named her turquoise and white, vintage Scotty trailer “Slap Happy,” to go with her cowgirl motif.

And, Terry Brown, the group’s newest member who is looking forward to her first trip this fall, is renovating a 1957 Aljo trailer.

Many women have three, four or even five trailers that they rent to fellow sisters for SOTF events. Others don’t have a trailer at all.

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