First of all, I want to say, I'm Baaaack!
I tried the experiment with a Facebook page and wasn't satisfied with the response, so I decided to go back to my blog page.
We attended the RVillage Rally One at the Elkhart Campground in Elkhart Indiana, a park that we have been to several times. We have hosted a couple of rallies here and generally like this park very much. We love the owners, Bob and Gita and appreciate all the hard work that they put in to keep it clean and running properly.
I was interested in attending the first rally for RVillage, a page on the Internet, that I have seen as the "Facebook page for RV'ers" and hoped it would go well. I expected some hiccups on a first timer in large rallies, but nothing like the mess that was created here. We have attended many rallies over the years with the Heartland Owners Club and now appreciate even more the skill and dedication of Jim Beletti and the team that produces the Heartland National rallies.
Since I have a background in rallies, I volunteered to work on the parking crew. I know how important it is to give people a good experience at a rally, and that experience begins with parking. Stella was asked to work in the registration booth and she was glad to help.
The main meeting tent, where the group activities were held, the opening and closing meetings and the huge potluck dinner. Although all of them were late beginning, things went off well.
As you can see, we were near the tent, which made out walk an easy one, but it put us directly in the path of people walking across our lot to get to the tent. It didn't bother me, but the dogs didn't like it one bit!
These are the metal fabricated "Fire-birds" that were a highlight to Curtis, owner of RVillage and producer of this rally. They were very interesting and beautiful when the fires were lit inside them. More pictures to follow.
Here you see a start to the mess that was made of parking people. The rally was over booked, although that was denied. How is it not overbooking when you schedule 240 rigs or so to attend a rally in an RV park that holds 200? I have never seen this many units in any RV park at one time.
More double parking. The first unit to arrive was asked to pull forward as far as possible to allow a shorter unit to park behind it, sharing the pedestal and sewer. One unit was given the 50 amp service and the second was given 30 amp and they shared the sewer.
Some units pulled straight in behind and some were parked at right angles behind.
Luckily, most sites are large enough to accommodate this method of cramming in more units than designed for.
It rained heavily before we arrived and a couple of times during our time here for the rally. Luckily the grassy areas were hard packed and didn't rut as I feared.
Boon-dockers! In my opinion, these are very fancy and high-priced rigs to be staying at an RV park without basic utilities. Some of these may have volunteered to do this, but Stella and I will never do so. I know that Curtis and some others moved out of their full hookup sites to free them up for others, which was a good thing. At least the weather cooperated and it wasn't very hot.
There were some different rigs on hand. This is called a Uni-Cat all terrain vehicle.
There was also a VERY expensive New Horizons unit in attendance. These are very nice, custom-built trailers that are built very well and very heavy.
Above and below shows the turnout for the closing ceremonies. Just like everything else, the timing changed at the last minute and still had a late start.
Lighting up the Fire-birds.
Close-up views of the two Fire-birds.
The Bobby Dunne band. They were a decent band.
Is that a UFO?
No, just a private drone, that took some videos of the festivities. HERE is the video that was taken.
Another member of the parking crew, Dave and his wife Staci, lit up their site and had a party every night with their neighbors.
This is my parking crew partner Diane and her husband Steve, who also worked on the crew.
This is Bill, another "supervisor" of the parking crew. He and Dave, who was actually named as the supervisor have worked together before on other events.
To elaborate a bit more about the foul-ups at this rally, nothing went as planned, Nothing! Seminars were moved without notice, the rooms were not properly marked, confusion everywhere! We were never given an agenda, but were told to download an app for a smart phone to get one. Those of you that know Stella, know her opinion of smart phones, so she was very upset by not knowing what was going on. She said that in preparing the rally bags for distribution, they started putting an agenda into each bag, but ran out, so instead of making more, they pulled them out and threw them away! I will now stop ranting about this rally, but rest assured, this will be our last one.
On the upside, we met some nice new friends while we were here. We met Chuck and Gail Woodbury, editor of RV Travels.com and a friends of theirs, Dr. Deanna Tolliver, M.S., DVM, who gave a good seminar on traveling with pets. Dr. Deanna also writes a column on RV Travels. I have already added a free subscription to RV Travels and find it helpful and interesting.
We also met Steve and Diane, whom I told you about earlier, and fellow parking crew members Dave and Staci from Washington state. We met neighbors Tom and Cheryl, who are fairly new to full timing and were first-time rally-goers. There were many more acquaintances that were here.
All in all, I made a mistake in attending this rally and own it, but it was still a good experience and I will continue to stay in touch with the friends I have made.
I am also going to welcome myself back to this blog. I'm going to keep it up better through the summer in Colorado, where we will be traveling next week.