Hidalga is one of a kind. The mold was purposely broken to make something better.

She came into my life at the end of April 2014 and we’ve been living together ever since. She is referred to as many things: my Alaska cabin on wheels, executive office, baby girl, giant suitcase, continual project, land yacht, artist studio, mistress…but most importantly, Hidalga is my home.

On the third day of being with her, cushions were tossed out and the interior was marked for the jigsaw. She went from an awkward duckling to graceful nobility.

Hidalga is a simple beauty. No tanks, no propane, no air conditioning. All she needs is a nice pair of shoes and greased hubs for rolling. I will not burden her or myself with complicated systems that will require space, maintenance and repair. After several years of companionship we’ve perfected the natural dance between shelter and outdoor living.

Hidalga is one of the featured trailers in this 2020 YouTube video. You’ll see her interior and exterior at the 9:23 start.

How Hidalga Got Her Name

I often get asked what Hidalga means or how I came up with her name. It started with John Steinbeck’s 1962 book, Travels With Charley: In Search of America. Mr. Steinbeck called his truck camper Rocinante, which he named after Don Quixote’s horse.

A sixteenth-century French depiction
of an hidalgo in the Spanish colonies.
Courtesy Wikipedia

Don Quixote considered himself a hidalgo. He would be a Spanish or Portuguese member of nobility, but not through direct traceable bloodline. Hidalgos were recognized as immemorial or ancient nobility. The condition of the hidalgo was that of a freeman without any land wealth, but with the nobleman’s rights to wear arms and to be exempt from taxation. Without land wealth, they often roamed the countryside.

A travel trailer is a vessel and like any properly named ship, it would receive a woman’s name. The feminine version of hidalgo is hidalga. With the romanticism of hidalgos and the ingenious imagination of Don Quixote considered, this noble immemorial wanderer of a trailer was christened Hidalga, and I am blessed to be roaming with her.

Upon Hidalga’s cabin entry; suited brass and a gifted keyhole plate from a historic lighthouse keeper’s dwelling.