Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pacific Northwest antiquers ambled across Southwest herding memories, treasures

Peggy Littlefield and Harley Bratrude - 'Thelma and Louise' coach. (Julianne Crane)
Two Pacific Northwest women spent part of February and March traveling America's Southwest in a vintage Vogue motor coach in search of special objects for their antique business in Cashmere, Wash.

The Women:
Longtime friends Peggy Littlefield and Harley Bratrude stopped for a rest at the west Texas  campground in Balmorhea State Park.

Peggy, a mother of three, homemaker and retired rancher, was born and raised in the panhandle of Idaho. She owned the Kid Zone, an educational toy store with "a lot of neat things in it," and was a fixture for many years in downtown Sandpoint.  

Harley, also a mother of three, spent her youth in Detroit before making her way to the Pacific Northwest "because of a man." She is a community volunteer with the performing arts center and has been in the antique business for more than 20 years.

They met through a book club and soon discovered mutual interests in cooking, good martinis, scrabble and antiques.

1983 Vogue kitchen (Julianne Crane)
The Rig:
1983 33-foot Vogue II gasoline motor coach. Owned by the Littlefields, Peggy found it on Craig's List and convinced her husband, Brad, to go look at it. They "own the very first Airstream motor home built," however, it is a 23-foot unit and they needed something larger to travel in.

The Vogues were very high end coaches in their day (rock and roll entertainer Chuck Berry owned a similar rig) and at that time 1983 Vogue cost more than $100,000.

They came extremely well equipped with standard dual air conditioning, and a 50 amp power system with matching 6.2 generator set, according to Brad. "It was equipped with hydraulic leveling system, large tanks for waste and fresh water, and two 4D batteries for the house and one for the chassis."

It had also been equipped with a GV overdrive, Mark VI 454 and a solar system to keep the four golf cart batteries up on their charge, said Brad. "All the systems work very well, and the coach runs like a Swiss watch."

The interior of the coach included leather front seats with 6-way power on both, pretty fancy for its day. There is a rear bathroom, twin beds, and a modern kitchen complete with bar with ice maker.

Their Mission:
Seek out great regional food and western relics as they moseyed across the Lone Star State--from Houston and Galveston to San Antonio and Austin ... then through the Hill Country and west Texas. Meander a while in New Mexico and Arizona before taking separate trails in Tucson. Peggy to be joined by her husband for their slow return trip home to Wenatchee, Wash., and Harley to visit friends in southeast Arizona before heading north.

Where to find their antique outlet:
Apple Annie Antique Gallery
100 Apple Annie Ave.
Cashmere, Wash.
1-866-504-8460 · 509-782-4004
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

To read more by Julianne Crane go to RV Wheel Life.com

Photos (top) Peggy Littlefield (left) and Harley Bratrude; inside Vogue motor coach. (Julianne Crane )


2 comments:

  1. What a unique coach and adventurous women, awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  2. And they are a hoot to be around. Great ladies.

    ReplyDelete