Did You See The Travel Trailers Downtown on Saturday?

“How was it?” my husband asked as I got back from the square today.  We’d had lunch at One Lazy Lizard (which was great, by the way) and he’d left me on the square so that I could walk over and see the collection of travel trailers that were on display there.

“If anything ever happens to you, I’m running away with them.”

“The gypsies?”

I wasn’t entirely sure where the reference came from, but then I realized that the only camper that he’d noticed when we parked was the one painted like the gypsy fortune telling wagon.

Sisters on the Fly Painted Trailer

The Sisters On The Fly are not actually gypsies. (Though some may be, it has nothing to do with any of this.)  The sisterhood defines itself as “offering empowerment and sisterhood through exceptional outdoor adventure”.  It is a national group and you can find Sisters in every state.  From what I could gather, the organization puts out a call for an event and sisters from all over the country can show up as they please.  (I think that they do have to RSVP but you get the point).

(Correction, 11/17/13: The sisterhood is a worldwide organization and there are over 450 sisters in Texas alone. Thank you, Sherree!)

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This Friday and Saturday they had circled their wagons in the the green space next to Chestnut Square.  It was a windy Saturday but it didn’t seem to bother anyone and the temperatures were nice for people to come visit and see all of the trailers.

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They were having a contest and each visitor was invited to vote for the “Best of Show” and “Best of Showing Off”. Some of the trailers had gone to elaborate lengths to decorate for a certain theme.

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I would like to have heard more about the story behind this vignette. Here we have legs sticking out from under the trailer and angel wings.  Everything else sort of suggests a bordello.  I bet that there’s a good story there.

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Others were not as elaborate but extraordinarily cozy.  It may not be fair to say that the trailer below was not as elaborate.  The detail work along the side wraps all the way around the trailer and is hand drawn. A group of sisters sat in front of the trailer and made themselves free to answer questions.  One of the sisters told me that they use ordinary house paint to paint the trailers.

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The inside of the trailer was immaculate.  I asked how long they typically camped and one of the ladies said that four days was her longest camping trip.

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Some ladies would let people step into their trailers and some cordoned off an area just inside.

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The “We Have More Fun Than Anyone” trailer was my predicted winner.  It always had lots of people checking it out or chatting up the sisters. A feast for the eyes, it could easily have won in either category.

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Did I mention that all of the sisters wore elaborate skirts that sort of combined petticoats, tutus, and square dancing?  And a great number wore boots.  Note the pink boots above and the pink tutu below.

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The back side of this trailer had great sayings on it too, like “It sure is nice to wake up and realize that God has given me another day to live” and “Road Trips are not measured in miles but in moments”.

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The women I talked to were from all over.  One lady had traveled in from Oklahoma and another from Baton Rouge.  Many seemed to have known each other for a long time and some were new on the scene.

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Each trailer, from the most plain to the most elaborate, had been carefully loved with little flourishes unique to each traveler.

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For example, this little dining area just couldn’t be set up any cuter.  It was so popular with folks that I had to move along and come back later to snag a photo.

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I loved the colors in this pink flowered trailer’s set up.  I got the impression that the wind might have been giving them a problem but it couldn’t stop the radiance of their color scheme.

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My favorite was the seafoam green trailer with the big door and the lettering “What happens around the campfire…”  It wasn’t as elaborate as some of the others but it just has a quality that says “friendship” to me. Plus, it seemed especially spacious and had a great big door.

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I might have been a teensy bit swayed by the sign reading “Welcome to the Camp Where friends and marshmallows get toasted @ the same time”.

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There were many more trailers. These are just my favorite shots.

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I’m excited to have learned about the Sisters on the Fly. It sounds like a wonderful group and my mother would have joined up years ago if she’d known about them.

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There was a book on the table of one of the trailers about the Sisters. Maybe I’ll get a copy for her for Christmas.


So, if you hear of a Sisters On The Fly event coming to an area near you in the future, it is well worth going. I would warn that there may be a very real chance that you will go home to search Craig’s List for a camper of your own. But, then, life is full of risks. This is one of those good ones.

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Don’t forget to take your wallet along with you.  Many of the ladies sell crafts.  As a matter of fact, I promised a shout out to Sandra Reynolds of Southern Lady Soaps. She had particularly attractive goat milk soap.

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Until next time,

Happy Shopping!

15 Responses to “Did You See The Travel Trailers Downtown on Saturday?”

  1. Sherree Nichols Duncan

    Sisters on the Fly is now world wide. There are over 450 in the state of Texas. It’s such a diverse and wonderful group of women. No Men, no kids, no pets…. and be nice! We have more fun than anyone!

    • Beth Barton

      Wow! That’s got to be great. I’m not one for traveling abroad (don’t even have a passport) but I can see where having a group of ladies to go or meet up with would make traveling like that really fun. I put a correction up in the body of the post. Thanks for the info!

  2. Anne Davidson

    Beth – this was a remarkable event and your notes are super. Thank you for your sincere interest in McKinney and for spreading the good stuff!

  3. Billie Jo Sistrunk

    Great weekend with a wonderful group of women. We had a good turnout for the tour and raised over $2K for the Chestnut Square. Thank you for the article and the favorite pick for the green lil ol’ me. It’s mine!!!!!

  4. Patti Fisher- Sister #1211

    We had such a WONDERFUL time in McKinney this weekend. I am thrilled to see the life come back into McKinney. The shopping, the dining, and the people were all wonderful. Thank you McKinney for being such wonderful hosts for our event. Tammy Ragsdale deserves a crown for all her hard work putting this together for us ! We love being able to set up in our Cowgirl Caravan “Sister City” !

  5. Judy Molder

    OMIGOSH Congrats, they are all amazing but like yours the best. Glad your hard work paid off. See you soon Love Judy

  6. Linda Polansky

    Linda Polansky Sister #2731 Thank you, McKinney, for allowing us to invade your wonderful historic area for a few days! Also for this wonderful blog promoting our funfilled group and our (mostly vintage) trailers. We do have more fun than anyone!! We were thrilled to be a part of raising money for your beautiful Chestnut Square and hope you will invite us back. We love showing off our adult doll houses and are proud that you enjoyed seeing them.

    • Beth Barton

      Billie Jo, Patti, Judy, and Linda, thank you!!! Judging my just my friends’ reactions on Facebook, I think that you may have a whole mess of new sisters in the process of shopping for campers. 🙂 I can’t wait ’till you guys come again.

  7. sandra reynolds

    I had such a great time “camping” with my trailer “Clementine” in McKinney!! I love Mckinney & all of its charm!! Thank you so much for this great article about our fun group & all the great ladies!! And thank you so much for the photos & mention of my Goat Milk Soaps, Southern Lady Soaps!! (find me on FB) I sincerely appreciate that so much!! Great photos too of all the wonderful trailers!!! Sandra Reynolds, Sister 3519

  8. Cindy Johnson, Chestnut Square

    When Tammie Ragsdale came to us at Chestnut Square and told us about the Sisters on the Fly and their interest in camping in McKinney we knew it would be magical! What better fit than at Chestnut Square where our mission is to preserve and perpetuate our heritage! The Sisters message of empowerment for women is one we can all line up with and we were so honored to be chosen as their partner! The Sisters and their campers were a hit with all and we hope they come back soon!

    • Beth Barton

      Thank you, Cindy! You have a special talent for always bringing fun and unique events to our community. This was one of my favorites.

  9. Tammie Ragsdale

    What a joyous post and beautiful replies. Beth Barton, your photos and observations captured the kinds of moments that are so precious to us as Sisters. The friendships we make along our Sister journey are cherished and nourished – enveloping more hearts along the way. Thank you for the beautiful piece. This will go in my Sisters on the Fly scrapbook and I will smile each time I think of our adventure at Chestnut Square and all the new friendships that were begun there . . . .


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