Category Archives: Rallies

Stittsville News article

We had a delightful interview with John Curry, news editor of the Stittsville News. He found us at the Ontario Airstream Club’s rally in Richmond Ontario. In fairness, he could have filled two more pages about the rally’s crowd, entertainment and great dining.

The Ontario Unit of the Wally Byam Airstream Club is one of the largest, with almost two hundred members. Their rally attendance sometimes has seventy Airstreams, so this rally was a little small at nearly fifty rigs.

More later, wanted to share the fun interview we read today in the Stittsville News online. We hope you have fun reading it too.

 

How many years full-timing?

2-dswkayak2015 was a good year for us. It wrapped up an enjoyable eighth year of full-timing. We began the year in a wet and chilly Corpus Christi TX, and the year mostly improved from there.  Our year was full of interesting travels throughout much of the United States. We visited another FL state park (Silver Springs) for the first time before visiting Sarasota and Miami again. We added another state, Pennsylvania, to our camping list with two weeks enjoyable visits there.

5-liarWe traveled a different path westward to Farmington NM for the Airstream Club’s annual meeting and rally. It was fun to stop at the mother ship of Bass Pro stores in St Louis MO. Along the way we discovered a free city park in Elk City OK (electricity and water,) and nice RVers everywhere we went. While in Farmington at the annual meeting, Jim was elected to 2nd Vice-President of the international Airstream Club. This was an exciting event and promises to provide a lot of hard and rewarding work.

9-ChacoFarmington NM is a great part of the USA to visit. Attractions include Shiprock, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and Aztec Ruins, and Hovenweep National Monument, and Durango, among other ancient and more recently developed attractions. Summer may not be the best time to visit the southwest but we found the weather manageable and enjoyed our stay and the attractions.

3-CWCSadly, Jim’s mother died in mid-March last year. We left Miami earlier than planned to rush home to be with Catie and family during this tough time. Thankfully the campground in southwest Miami was very accommodating about refunding our unused camping nights, and we’re glad we weren’t any further away from the family home. Our full-timing lifestyle allowed us to quickly respond to the family’s needs and care for Catie so she could stay home during her last two weeks.

4-firewoodland

One of our daughters and her family repatriated from Vancouver in Canada last month. They’re getting settled in with many adjustments after being out of the country for ten years. We’re excited to have all our children and grands living in North Carolina for the first time. We sense, on the other hand, a tug to start settling on our NC mountain acreage. Doesn’t this look really inviting? We have courtesy parking – let us know if you’d like to stop in. It’s pretty nice.

 

6-Charlotte1-SAF

Two new grandchildren joined our family last year. We’re grateful our travels and their arrivals all timed well, and they’re both in N.C.

 

We encountered our fair share of mechanical issues last year. Our fridge and water heater both failed on our rain-soaked trip from Farmington. Not until we hit some dry pavement in Tennessee did these start working again. Our batteries stopped charging from shore power. We accidentally destroyed our folding step when we ran it into a projecting concrete sidewalk. Precipitates from the water heater clogged our sink faucet completely. The solar charger quit. Debbie’s makeup mirror LED lights failed. We found ourselves needing to replace the trailer’s brakes and turn the drums. We had our worst water leaks into the cabin. One that soaked the fabric base of our sofa and one that dripped onto the floor from inside the roof air conditioner.

These are all pretty routine maintenance issues to us. To have a gaggle of mechanical issues in the same year is unusual for us and was frustrating at times. We sometimes defer maintenance when we think we can count on getting to it before long. Ideally, we catch problems before they catch us. Other times, a delay turns out to be punctuated by a repair instead of preventive or scheduled maintenance. Dry camping is easy when most things are working. Living in an RV is easy for us when most things are working. Our RV is eleven years old and is apparently becoming a little more demanding. Okay – we’re on it!

Our 2015 towing mileage was 11,740, down from 14,866 miles in 2014. This brings our total full-timing towing miles to just under 108,000 miles. Our truck has 157,000 total miles, so towing represents 70% of our total truck mileage. The truck and trailer each continue to delight us with low maintenance needs and costs. We still plan to run the truck to 200,000 miles, or another three to four years, before replacement. Get your bids in soon for future purchase of a lightly used truck!

Our full-timing travel costs continued another year to trend downward. We spent $2,966 on camping sites, down from $4,050 and $4,565 the prior two years. Our average cost of camp site rental for 2015 dropped to $8/night, down from $11 and $13 the prior two years. Our average nights stay per site returned to six nights.

One expected decrease is our towing miles per relocation. We averaged 178 miles per relocation in 2015, our second lowest number in eight years. Moving more often within southeast USA from July through December 2015 drove this and other reductions. This year we’re likely to spend more time traveling out west, so some of these may swing upward again.

10-75 degrees

Finally, we now freely admit we’re likely to build a house. We bought very nice land two years ago in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Weeks spent at various times of the year getting a feel for the sun, the weather, the wind, and the neighbors, provide us good ideas for site placement.

This attraction to building a house runs counter to our full-timing ethic of the past 8+ years. We promised we would only stay on the road full-time so long as we wanted. We’re still loving it, but are beginning to wonder how many more years. We think it’d be nice to eventually have a house again.

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
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©2007-2016 Dreamstreamr odyssey

Why Are Dreamstreamrs Writing Again?

We had a nice visit to Rayne LA, a small town we’d never heard of and hadn’t realized we’ve driven by it every time we traverse I-10 east or west through LA.  We were in Rayne for the WBCCI mid-Winter International Board of Trustees meeting and Rally.  The folks from the local units and Region 6 of the airstream owners club put on a great rally.  We ate well, always had hot coffee and hot chocolate available (thanks Henry!), and enjoyed fun music performances by local musicians. Check out one of their rock bands, below:

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Okay, I’m kidding about rock band – these guys are both very good vocalists and fun entertainers.  They put on a good show for our crowd.  Rayne is a town of 8,000 people known in some circles for contributing greatly to the national supply of frogs legs.  You probably knew this but it is news to us.  We’ll look carefully at the packaging henceforth.  Here’s one of the clues about frogs legs we found in Rayne:

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Can you imagine how many frogs it takes to make 10K pounds every week?  We heard the frogs grow bigger down here.  We walked most of the town and enjoyed stopping in Worthmore 5 and 10 and in the hardware store.  Funny what you can find in small stores — look at this never-used and a bit aged merchandise:

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When we tell people where we are from, a small town in North Carolina called Kannapolis, they often don’t know about it.  But when we ask if they remember the wash cloths and towels with the little cannon they almost always remember this.  Kannapolis was known from “The Mind of The South” as the last remains of the feudal system due to its patriarchy by Mr Cannon of Cannon Mills.  Its been awhile since we’ve seen product from Cannon Mills — this is an authentic package, not from the company that bought out the name after the mills closed.  The Worthmore 5 and 10 had a lot of older goods in it.

We arrived yesterday in Ocean Springs, a little over 200 miles east of Rayne and Lafayette, LA.  Ocean Springs isn’t simply a nice driving distance for us from Rayne, it also is home to one of Jim’s first cousins and another one lives in nearby Biloxi.  Jim hasn’t seen Cathy in over 20 years.  We’re getting together tonight for dinner and a reunion, and looking forward to seeing them.  Hopefully we can lure them back to the campground and let them see firsthand how the other 1% (no, not like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, we mean that OTHER 1%) live.

About the distractions we mentioned yesterday.  This is not an excuse, nor an apology.  Just some explaining, as promised, about our long absence from writing here.  It started four months ago when an Airstream club friend asked Jim to consider running for International 3rd VicePresident.  We talked it over between the two of us for four days.  

The dialogue was repetitive the first two and one-half days — “Why would we mess up such a great lifestyle?; This offers us nothing, why would we want to do it? This would postpone plans we’ve sketched out for this summer and beyond.  We don’t have room in our wardrobes for the additional required clothing (prescribed jackets, slacks, shirts).”  These, obviously, were only the cons to the argument.

We reviewed Steve’s excellently written request of us and considered the pros.  We love WBCCI, the Airstream owners club.  We have gained immensely in RVing knowledge, caravanning, rallies, and friendships all over the continent from our associations resulting from belonging to, and participating in, WBCCI.  Having served as officers and members in our local unit and in a large intraclub of WBCCI we have firsthand experience with the difficulties in finding members willing to serve.  Did we mention, we love WBCCI?

The third day the tenor of our discussions started changing.  At first we admitted we could do this.  Then we started talking about the changes to our full-timing lifestyle, undoing parts of our 3-year plans (yes, we do plan up to 3 years — just a habit of list-makers like us), and what accepting a nomination could entail for us.

By the fourth day we were leaning forward, toward Steve’s suggestion.  If not us, then who?  We’ve heard that in various leadership seminars through our health care management careers.  We all have talents and may be the ones most likely to underestimate the impact we could have.  If no one volunteers and there is no one to serve, then an organization can fail.  We’ve experienced this at our first WBCCI International Rally when the Full Timers Intraclub conducted their last meeting and luncheon.  No one was willing or able to serve.  Each of us should serve if asked.  

Long story slightly shortened, we accepted the challenge and are really excited about it.  Several issues immediately popped up.  We developed and submitted to the WBCCI Nominating Committee our letter of interest for International 3rd Vice President.  We joined in a couple of busy forums about good leadership.  We started reading and writing club-related emails  nearly constantly.  We began preparing for our interview for the position.  

Unrelated, Jim’s daughter announced her wedding date last June as we were enroute to Huron SD and Vancouver BC.  We would have twelve days from Vancouver to return and prepare for the wedding in Asheville NC.  We’d already traveled from San Diego to Key West and North Carolina, then to the West Coast in 2013.  We decided we would stay the first part of the winter in North Carolina instead of returning to Arizona’s fabulous weather and daily tennis and good friends we’ve made there over the past three or four winters.

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Can you tell Jim is the proud dad?  He and Hannah are riding in the horse drawn carriage from the Bride’s room down the road to the ceremony.  We’re tickled, love her groom and family, and had a wonderful wedding and celebration.

We enjoyed travels to four rallies and to the Christmas luncheon of the Carolinas Unit of NC, our local airstream owners chapter of WBCCI.  We posted about a great odyssey along the NC Outer Banks, from Manteo to Ocracoke and then Beaufort NC.  Otherwise, we traveled very little — except for frequent trips regarding an exciting new development in our lives that I’ll just wait until tomorrow to talk about.

And we postponed posting to our Dreamstreamr blog site.

This past week we sat for our Nominating Committee interview.  The club conducted it at the Rayne Meeting and Rally, and advised us we passed muster and are now “certified nominees”.  Our CV will appear in the March edition of the club’s magazine, The Blue Beret.  That accomplished, we are still interested and participating in the forums yet feel a load lifted.  We’re traveling again, looking forward to three great Florida rallies in February and March and April (I’ll get back to this, too), and we’re glad to be on the road again.

Thanks for riding along with us.  Thanks for your encouraging words and for waiting for us.  We hope you are staying warm and healthy, wherever you are.  And we’ll deliver tomorrow about our next exciting life news — check back with us then.  

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamr odyssey™


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©2007-2014 Dreamstreamr

Sitting in the Shade

We’re at a rally of our airstream club, Carolinas Unit of NC, encamped under grand white oak trees. The trees around us are massive, strong and broad. They form a beautiful grove of sheltering long-limbed giants. Throughout the day they allow sunlight to filter through a little. And they add to the night-time darkness, allowing starlight only in the center clearing.

Rally camping in the shade

Rally camping in the shade

Camping in the shade, we can keep the trailer cooler but cannot maintain the batteries with our solar panels. We’re in our third day and still have 80 percent battery capacity remaining despite lots of laptop charging, use of water pump and fans, and lighting throughout the day and evening the previous two days. Battery voltage is sitting at 12.5, so everything is in good shape inside.

Camping in the shade we enjoy the shadows and calm filtered light entering our trailer. Sort of makes an argument for remote solar panels, I guess. But ours are so easy to work with, ninety-five percent of the time sitting in bright sunlight atop our trailer.

Oh — there is shore power too. But Jim enjoys seeing how many days we can thrive on just batteries and solar re-charging. Call it our small contribution to reduced carbon footprint.

See you down the road!
Jim and Debbie

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©2007-2013 Dreamstreamr

Alumapalooza, to Make & Renew Friendships

We are tickled we could attend Alumapalooza 2013 at Airstream’s trailer factory campus. Last year we missed by a few days attending and immediately marked our calendar for this year’s festivities. Lucky for Jim, the world’s largest ham radio convention occurred a couple of weeks before so he didn’t miss it, either. And we had time in between to visit with good friends in Dayton OH.

Our first Airstream trailer, in 2004, led us to many enjoyable weekends RVing throughout VA, NC, SC, and GA. We didn’t go much further afield in our first two years because we were working very full-time. Membership in the airstream owners club introduced us to our favorite thing in RVing, making friends and spending time with great people. Our number one priority for nearly every rally we attend is PEOPLE! We enjoy renewing friendships and making new friends.

Our home awaits her adjustments

Our home awaits her adjustments

We arrived at the Airstream Factory campus a few days before the Alumapalooza event. Our almost nine-year old trailer receives a lot of loving maintenance from Jim but there are a few jobs he doesn’t mind passing on. These we save for our occasional visits to Airstream Factory service in Jackson Center. As good as the service is, the visit to the factory is great icing on the cake for us.

Jim and Nick check out Mike's chairs

Jim and Nick check out Mike’s chairs

Every time we visit the factory campus we meet and spend time with fun and very interesting people. This year, because of the impending Alumapalooza rally, the camping area was chockablock full of fun folks. We enjoyed talking in the customer service waiting and camping areas, meeting people from NY City, San Diego, and many places in between.

Big Shaggy Buffalo Ranch sells wonderful bison steaks

Big Shaggy Buffalo Ranch sells wonderful bison steaks

A favorite Airstream rallies meet-up for us is with friends Matt and Beth. We enjoy their company and have had great expeditions with them. This time we rode down to Big Shaggy Buffalo Ranch somewhere near Sidney OH and then to The Spot in Sidney.

THE place to eat in Sidney

THE place to eat in Sidney


If we didn’t want the best pie or bison burger in all of Ohio, Sidney would still be a neat visit. It still boasts a downtown square, solidly anchored by the Shelby County Courthouse, surrounded by neat old buildings. One of many is the very notable Peoples Savings and Loan designed by Louis Sullivan in 1917. Click on that link to see Mary Ann Sullivan’s great photo work of this important example of early modern American architecture. We did eat in The Spot. The food is tasty and we’ll go back.

Our real reason for this visit, though, was to attend Alumapalooza 4. Are we ever glad we did! Great seminars, fun chidren’s programs, no flag ceremony (gasp!), inventive approach to arranging afternoon socials locations, and the best run rally announcements and door prize sessions we’ve seen in almost nine years.

R&B Events (Rich and Brett and many good-hearted crew) planned and orchestrated a week filled with fun events for attendees of all ages. Our airstream owners club could take a few lessons from this great rally. It seemed the assigned representatives of the international airstream club might have remained rooted in the vendor tent instead of attending the great seminars. Fortunately Joe and Sandy Perryman (WBCCI officers) were browsing the activities and seminars and taking notes — good for you two!

Jim joked with the current president of the international airstream owners club recently about R&B Events success in operating rallies. Jim asked John Boutwell if perhaps R&B Events should take over the annual airstream club rally, an event which is shrinking rapidly and appears nearly ready for withdrawal of life support. If the choice becomes shutting down the annual international rally or giving it away then MAYBE our airstream club’s leaders might condescend to allow professional management.

Some of you know R&B Events recently took over the former Florida State Rally — the airstream club gave it up for dead and R&B said, “May we?” Jim postulated that R&B Events could operate in the black, unlike the airstream owners club international rally. Too, the rally would be a real kick. R&B Events know how to excite things, and aren’t bound so tightly to toilsome traditions.

We’ve followed Airstream Life magazine and Man in the Maze blog for years. We met Rich (the R of R&B) in Perry GA in 2007, when we were embarking on our full-timing and he was full-timing in his Airstream bunkhouse trailer. We enjoyed swapping tales then and occasionally since. Brett usually was moving too fast for us to catch up with him at airstream club events, but we had admired his charm as an emcee and from watching him work with people. They’re great people we enjoy seeing and talking with.

Would we recommend an R&B Events rally? Absolutely, before we had ever attended one. Their track record is fantastic. We already committed for next year’s Florida rally named Alumaflamingo, the replacement for Florida State Rally. We’re sure it will beat the pants off any Florida State Rally we’ve attended, and we have attended several over the past six years. Why would we have more faith in R&B Events than in the prior organization?

Rich & Brett keep it short and to the point -- FUN

Rich & Brett keep it short and to the point — FUN

Simply stated, these guys are fresh, dynamic, insightful, energized, and keen to try interesting and different concepts to attract appreciative attendees. Oh, and they know how to run introductions, announcements, and door prizes meetings – crisply and without demonstrating too much attention to themselves or to their admittedly recent traditions. We look forward to our next R&B event. Thanks Rich and Brett, for showing how much fun a large rally can be!

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie

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©2007-2013 Dreamstreamr

Homecoming for Our Rolling Home

picture of airstream service center

THE Airstream Service Ctr

We are in Jackson Center Ohio, home of all modern Airstreams and our favorite place for service work. Our Airstream trailer was born here almost nine years ago. Bringing it back is a fun event for us, if sometimes expensive at $109/hour for service work.

All that's left of the side window

We long ago planned for this service visit. The timing is great, just after Hamvention Jim is willing and able to do almost all our RV’s maintenance work. Some things, though, are either more daunting or just plain messy. We replaced our rooftop antenna recently and figured the factory guys would be better fishing the coax above the ceiling into the front roof locker. Jim has cleaned and repacked our wheel bearings and decided this is a job worth paying for.

Having broken one of the expensive tempered windows, Jim is reluctant to mess with hinge adjustments.

Our rolling home has been here previously. The Airstream Service Center has done some great work on our RV. Full-timers need a good place to have work performed. One could go anywhere on the continent for this, especially as full-timers. Although 500 miles distant from our former home in Charlotte NC, many of our local unit members preferred to bring their Airstreams to the factory for excellent repairs and ready access to all needed parts and materials. We brought ours here for warranty work and were similarly impressed. We’ve returned a couple of times.

We’re parked in Airstream Company’s terraport, a nice camping area 150 yards from the customer service center. You can hardly beat the price, $10/night or free the night before and after your service appointment. Where else can we find water/electric/sewer connections for $10?

The customer waiting area is very comfortable, if chilly from over-cooling. Great wifi (can you tell? Jim’s using it now), free cookies and coffee, and comfortable seating. Best benefit? The company store has all the parts and accessories we need and many we don’t need but enjoy browsing through. It helps keep our minds off the rising labor cost of our repairs and improvements in the service center.

Verizon seems nearly non-existent in Jackson Center OH. Verizon provides all our phone AND wireless stuff, which usually works just great. Not here. We’ve been fortunate to use courtesy wifi at Airstream’s customer service center, but it only serves 25 users.

Within a couple of days we expect another one or two hundred RVs to Jackson Center OH for Alumapalooza, a big fun RV rally held on the Airstream factory and service center grounds. There may not be enough wifi to go around a few days from now. We’ll post again when we find connectivity. Or maybe we can use the phone in the dishwashing kitchen while we’re working down our repair bill.

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie

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©2007-2013 Dreamstreamr

The dreamstreamrs go back to work

We went to work yesterday for Bates RV in Tampa, transporting RVs from a show he held in Sarasota back to his place sixty miles north of Sarasota. It was easy work, but for the car fire on the shoulder of I-75 at our exit to I-4. I’ll get back to this. . .

We spent last week at WBCCI’s Florida State Rally in Sarasota FL. This was a great time for catching some seminars about using and fixing our RVs, for meeting new friends, and renewing friendships too. And we did a little work helping the WBCCI Amateur Radio Club.

The seminars we enjoyed were on RV air conditioners and refrigerators maintenance and troubleshooting, interior and exterior adjustments to Airstream trailers, amateur radio introduction, update on Airstream manufacturing and sales, and status of the WBCCI club.

We helped present the amateur radio seminar and helped with the licensing exams for amateur radio, and manned the club’s table at the flea market. This paid off, we recruited a couple of members and renewed a couple, plus were able to hand out some leaflets about NOMADS and Escapees to prospective members.

Our radio club’s name badge supplier gave up their business a year or two ago, unable to maintain their expensive equipment. The name badge guy at the ham radio show two weeks ago is very expensive. We found a much better price supplier at the Florida State Rally and worked with them on artwork and pricing for new and replacement badges for our members.

Lots of good work for our clubs, not as much down time for us at this Florida State Rally. One adventure we had not counted on was introduced by the Florida State Rally emcee. He announced Sunday night we could help Bates RV return some of the 100 RVs they had brought for the RV show at this rally, and get paid for it.

Debbie towed a 25′ Airstream International Sterling (the one with the purple floor) behind our truck. I towed another brand 25′ trailer behind an Airstream Interstate Mercedes van. This was fun — I wish I had taken time out for a picture. Hey look what the dreamstreamrs are towing now!

The Mercedes Sprinter van is a dream to drive. Rob and Jan Wilson demonstrated this in spades three years ago with their epic year touring all the national parks in 217 days. Driving one myself was still a nice surprise, and I really could hardly tell there was a trailer behind the van.

The van’s driving picture is huge. You are sitting up relatively high so can see over cars and pickup trucks. BIG windshield. Comfortable driving seat and great driving position with a nice dead pedal for left foot.

The diesel engine is smooth and quiet and the four-speed transmission works wonderfully. Oh, and I made 14 mpg towing in heavy traffic on mixed roads. Our truck made approx 8.5 on the same drive towing the slightly heavier Airstream trailer.

Our thanks to Frank Bates and Company for employing us yesterday morning, and paying us in advance. Debbie and I are thinking we may have found another career – transporting cars, trucks, and RVs. Any employers listening?

The party’s over, my friend


The party’s over
It’s time to call it a day
No matter how you pretend
You knew it would end this way

[Written by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jule Styne]

Our airstream club’s Region 3 Rally at Ocean Lakes Family Campground has ended. A few folks pulled out yesterday afternoon, hurrying off to other opportunities, obligations and obsessions. Most of the airstreamers will hitch up this morning and join the big beach exodus through Conway back to points west and north and south.

This period of a rally is one of our favorites — no expectations, no schedule, everything’s done. We’ll watch the parade of departures, wave to friends and acquaintances. Some, we’ll wish we had more time to visit with but can’t fix it today. Next time, old friends.

Until then we can enjoy the memories from this week-long rally. The week has brought new acquaintances and friendships, renewals with old friends, lots of sharing of ideas and experiences. The weather was widely varied with a could of hot days, a couple of cold days, bothersome winds and dead still mornings. We dodged a hailstorm or two — they passed 30 or 40 miles north of our resort — a very good thing.

We’re heading to Kannapolis NC to visit with family there and in Charlotte over the next few weeks before we start for Alaska and other travels following.

Jim and Deb
The dreamstreamrs

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©2007-2012 Dreamstreamr

shagging in Myrtle Beach SC

We arrived early this afternoon to Myrtle Beach South Carolina, the fabled Atlantic Ocean beachside home to the Gay Dolphin gift shop, the boardwalk, shagging (dancing on sandy plywood panels to great beach music), and some of South Carolina’s best beaches.

the weather outside is frightful

The weather wasn’t especially welcoming today in Myrtle Beach.  At least it waited until we unhitched and set up our utilities.  No sooner did we complete our set up than it started raining, lightly at first and then a downpour.

The Airstream club’s Region 3 Rally is this week at Ocean Lakes Family Campground.  We’ve been here four times in seven years with our club and have enjoyed every stay.  Lots of streets to walk without venturing onto the highway, nice beach, good kite flying, and a couple of nice swimming pools too.

We have a mixed bag of weather for the coming week.  We’ll just hope for some warm sunny days, and take whatever comes.  Hopefully we can find a place to do a little shagging, too.

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©2007-2012 Dreamstreamr

Our Iowa Week with friends and NOMADS

Last year we joined a volunteers in mission group, NOMADS. We knew a little, but not much, about NOMADS when we joined. An amateur radio and airstreaming friend, Suzanne K5UUU, first told us about it and we filed the info away.

We were luxuriating in the comforts of our home (on wheels) in south Florida during February last year. Remember what happened in Haiti? We watched with horror the helplessness and needs of the Haitian people. And we realized we could do more than just sit on our duffs all the time.

So we joined SATERN, an emergency radio network operated by Salvation Army, and NOMADS, a volunteer mission group of the Methodist Church’s Board of Global Ministries. We’ve not done much with Salvation Army other than check into their nets occasionally. But we’ve completed two three-week mission trips with NOMADs and are interested in more.

This year’s NOMADS annual meeting is in Forest City Iowa, kinda sort of on our way from North Carolina to Arizona. We signed up for a 3-week mission trip in southern Kansas and arranged to be in northern Iowa for the annual meeting. We’ll let you know how the mission trip turns out, we start in two days. But first we drove from NC to Iowa and headed for Slater IA to see friends.

We were lucky to spend four days in Slater Iowa, just south of Ames Iowa, with snowbird friends Janet and John. They are perfect hosts, sharing their house AND letting us plug our trailer into their water and electricity. Okay, they actually went way over the top — they arranged tennis every day for us. How great is that?

It was fun and wonderful to have time together, sharing meals, getting to know one another a little better. We met three of their wonderful grandchildren (and their son, Jeff). They showed us around Ames, Slater, Ankeny, and Des Moines, loaned us out to friends Loren and Becky, and Raj and Chris who we also know from Towerpoint Resort in Mesa. We had a great time with everyone and wouldn’t give anything for the four days together.

One hundred miles northward and we arrived in Forest City and the Winnebago/Itasca Travel Club activity grounds. The activity center is the largest factory-owned RV site in the world, capable of hosting the entire WIT membership group at their annual Grand National Rally with up to two thousand Winnebagos and Itasca motor homes visiting.

Our NOMADS annual meeting group size is only 160 RVs so we had lots of space to spread out in the rally activity center. We parked on Sunday afternoon, met the neighbors, checked in at the registration table, and rested up for a busy tomorrow.

Our Winnebago factory tour bus

Monday morning we hopped on factory tour buses and spent almost three hours touring the factory and campus of Winnebago’s tremendous production facilities. Wow! It is just amazing how vertically integrated they are, how much automation they employ, and how nicely put together the Winnebago motor homes are. This is a really neat company making a high quality product — we are very impressed.

George Stockman house by Frank Lloyd Wright

We spent the afternoon in nearby Mason City Iowa touring a pair of Frank Lloyd Wright projects, the Stockman house and the City National Bank and Park Inn Hotel. We started in the FLW interpretive center then walked to the nearby Stockman house. The Stockman house is a wonderfully restored Prairie house. The River City Society for Historic Preservation provided us a wonderful guided tour throughout this historic house.

Okay, free time is over, now the show is on. We’re here for the annual meeting of NOMADS, Volunteers in Mission. We’re first-timers, don’t really know what to expect. Didn’t matter. From the first session onward we can tell, this is a gently- but well-organized group. The meeting agendas are fully developed and the group stays on schedule. Leadership is calm, the organizing committee has done their job wonderfully, and the meetings went without a hitch.

What did we meet about? Each morning started with spirited singing, then a devotion. The NOMADS Board of Directors presented us a brief seminar each of three mornings on various topics, each topic presented by one or two different board members. So we heard from numerous directors. The most enlightening presentation was the Treasurer’s report. Cliff Shornick kept it very short and engaging: “Remember these three numbers, 15, 70, and 150.”

He explained briefly the significance of each of these three numbers in terms of financial goals and performance of NOMADS. Then he stated, “NOMADS has enough money, at the current rate of spending, to continue operations at least three or four years.” That’s all, that’s the treasurer’s report to the general membership. And why do we want to hear more? He hit the four key indicators, and anyone wanting more information can go read the annual financial report to the Board of Directors. Very refreshing!

We attended eight seminars, choosing from thirteen possible topics. Couldn’t attend all, wouldn’t have wanted to. We attended some together, split up a couple of times to cover competing time slots for two good seminars. We attended seminars on painting, sheetrock finishing, skilsaws, convection and microwave cooking, and insurance and tax tips for RVers. A broad range of topics, the seminars were well-organized and presented.

Yesterday the Board adjourned the meeting at 10:00 a.m., a few minutes ahead of schedule. We had already made our list of many things we needed and wanted to accomplish before departing today for Arkansas City KS for our three-week mission project. So we headed out from the grounds in our truck for downtown Forest City.

Hansen Hardware: going for 200 years?

Our first stops included visiting Hansen Hardware store for a saw blade, stopping at the gas station to refuel the truck, and to Farmers’ Coop to refill one of the airstream’s propane cylinders. The hardware store was the highlight of the morning’s errands for us. Hansen’s has been family-owned and in business for 100 years and is still a vibrant and well-organized store. We found the saw blade we wanted, a blade wrench (nice surprise!), and enjoyed browsing the various departments of this general store.

We re-installed the propane cylinder on the trailer and walked to the nearby WIT Club and Winnebago Museum building. We spent our first hour browsing the open motor homes and trailers outside the visitor’s center. We already mentioned the quality we found throughout the manufacturing processes. These were evident in the models we toured too.

Our favorites are the Winnebago View, a 24′ motor home on a Mercedes Sprinter diesel-powered chassis, and a 28′ and 30′ Itasca motor home with full-time beds and all the features we would want if we moved into a motor home. No, we have no designs on changing from our wonderful 25′ airstream home. But we do like to look and the Winnebago brand has a lot of good stuff to look at. We spent another hour browsing the museum and visitor center and enjoyed learning a little about the background and founder’s history.

But we had to scoot, it was time to play tennis. We had rain and very windy days all week until Friday and also only then gained free time to play. This worked out perfectly — the weather was in the low 60s with no wind and sunny skies. Just right for hitting tennis for an hour on the Forest City rec park courts near Waldorf College campus.

the only thing nicer is what's inside the cups

Then off to Cabin Coffee before they close — why close at 4:00 p.m.? Because they can? And hey, we can make it there in time, if we don’t stay too long at something else. Apparently this was true for a lot of other people too — Cabin Coffee had a fine and boisterous crowd of teachers, businessmen and RVers stopping in for a cup of the best coffee in northern Iowa. Thanks to Herb and Lois for recommending Cabin Coffee to us.

Nice way to end a great week!

The week ended, NOMADS’ annual meeting adjourned, and the sun set on our Forest City experience. Although we only were there one week we felt already at home. We were with 300 wonderful fellow NOMADS, we were in as friendly a town as we’ve ever visited, and the weather turned nice at the same time we gained free time to enjoy it. This sunset in Forest City is part of our warm memories of our visit, and we’ll look forward to returning.

Jim and Debbie

locate us here
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©2007-2011 Dreamstreamr

Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree is the greatest

We’re in paradise.  Almost like 75 degrees, the air is cool and dry and the sun shines all day in Sun Valley.  Averill Harriman probably paid a lot, a long time ago, for assembly of words just like these.  No exaggeration, this week has been super for us in every respect, really.

Our RV parking is a large level ski resort asphalt parking lot with no utilities.  The lot is in Ketchum, at the River Run Resort.  We use the resort’s super-nice showers and have dancing lessons there.  Much of each day finds us at Sun Valley Lodge or Sun Valley Inn or one of the other resort lodges.

Sun Valley Company does everything first class, from what we can see.  The craftsmanship evident in the buildings and campus is stunning.  Woodwork, tile, marble, stonework, all are beautifully done everywhere we look.  Money doesn’t necessarily obtain first class results, but Sun Valley Company seems to do it right.

And so it is with the Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree, a first-class act.  I know, I know, everyone has their favorite Jazz Festival whether in Mystic or Chandler or Pismo or Medford or Sun Valley or somewhere else.  We don’t need comparisons, this one is the greatest for us.

Two hundred twenty-four musicians perform daily from 09:30 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. in eleven venues throughout Ketchum and Sun Valley.  Twenty dance lesson sessions occur between Friday and Saturday, of which we attended seven.  We’re currently expert in Balboa (pure), Swing, Lindy Hop, Foxtrot, and ChaCha.  Not really, but we are getting the hang of Swing, after eight or nine years of trying.

And the music — we’ve attended over one dozen sets of great jazz bands from all over North America.  We listened to sets by Cornet Chop Suey, Blue Street Jazz Band, Midiri Brothers, Tom Rigney, Brady McKay, Titan Hot Seven, Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band, Meshiya Lake & the Little Big Horns, Dixieland Express, and several others.

The last set of the jazz fest, for us, was one of the best with Jeff Barnhart, Bob Draga, and Danny Coots.  Today provided us with several great sets, though.  We heard Titan Hot Seven (also with Barnhart and Coots and with Flip Oakes‘ tremendous trumpet and cool cornet.)  Professors Lite entertained us with their wacky humor and great music in the Sun Valley Inn dining room.  And Midnight Serenaders played a swinging set at Warm Springs Lodge just north of town.

Seven hours of dance lessons, fifteen or twenty hours of hot jazz, and we’re pumped up.  And we’ve filled the truck with gas and provisions for our 1,000 mile trip to Mesa AZ.  Today has been our mildest day yet with partly sunny skies and warm temperatures through most of the evening.

The weather has been as great as we could have wished for.  Low temperatures have been in the thirties, highs in the sixties, and bright sunshine every day.  We’ve had a little rain, mostly at night when we’re in bed.  Our solar panels have completely restored our batteries daily.

All around us, it seemed, the other RVs ran their generators every day.  Our generator sat smugly under the rear of our trailer, ready for action if only we would pull it out from its shelter.  We didn’t need the generator at all.  We hit float voltage every day pretty early, so the batteries get polished nicely afterward.  The furnace ran a few times nightly to keep our home above 45 degrees, and we still had plenty of battery each morning.

We volunteered over 30 hours between us this year and 24 hours last year.  Volunteering is a great way to meet a lot of other people from all over North America and provide much needed help operating the jazz fest.  The payback for volunteering is pretty sweet — the directors comp our passes and parking for the entire week.  And we received a pretty nice luncheon with ALL the hundreds of volunteers.

Friends told us about this event last year and we signed on through the Airstream club, WBCCI.  Region 10, a northwest U.S. and southwest Canada region of WBCCI, sponsors an Airstream rally in connection with this jazz fest.  Sixteen Airstreams parked in a pair of facing rows creating a pretty cool spectacle.  We attracted a lot of looks and questions from people walking through on their way to River Run lodge to hear music.  We’re glad Region 10 continues to sponsor the rally so more folks can hear about it like we did.

Our plan, when we arrived, was to call this our last SVJJ for a couple of years.  The plan, however, failed to consider how exciting and entertaining all the hot jazz is for us.  Call it a benefit of full-timing — we can spend a week almost anywhere on the continent, right?  We’re coming back next year — just can’t help it, gotta do this swing thing again.  Listen to the music from any of the groups listed above and we’re sure you’ll understand.

Gotta go for now — big driving day tomorrow.  Getting up early and heading south.

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
locate us here
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©2007-2010 Dreamstreamr

Oldest (continuously running) Hamfest in the World

Parading The Colors opened the W7G hamfest

We witnessed, a few minutes ago, the closing of the 76th annual Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park Hamfest. This hamfest was most like a very laid-back rally, not so much like any hamfest we’ve attended. The tempo and mood was mellow, not focused upon finding the best source and price on gear, throughout the weekend. This weekend’s greatest opportunity was meeting and talking with other folks.

Just enough tailgating to lure us out awhile and meet with each other

Absent also was the stimulating, yet somewhat tiresome, browsing past dozens or hundreds of tailgaters’ tables of electronics. Instead we saw perhaps one dozen tailgaters with the normal sorts of electronics gear and old books. Since the hamfest did not designate a special section just for vendors and tailgaters, the few tailgaters were mixed in amidst all the RVs. And it felt just right.

We could count on finding groups of hams ready to talk

Browsing constituted, as much as anything, walking about and socializing. Ask a ham about his antenna or his radio, or her truck or RV. And sit down and get to know each other a while. The hamfest was large enough to fill the pavilion, and beyond, at mealtimes yet the seminars and tailgaters operated at a relaxed pace.

A great hamfest site and a nice campground

Glacier Meadows RV Park rented sites this week to hamfest attendees only, and we nearly filled the park. All sites with water or electric rented early through reservations. Most of us parked in the meadow with plenty of space and sunshine. Our weather was ideal with cool evenings, warm and dry days, and steady afternoon breezes.

We had the luxury of picking the compass orientation of our parking

We lucked out and were able to face our RV to the north. Our large curb-side awning shaded the camper throughout the mornings and provided us a shady patio all afternoon. We were less lucky, sunshine-wise, for having lost, just one week ago, our solar charge controller. So much sunshine and nowhere to put it.

All this sunshine is raining upon our two 125-watt solar panels and coursing through the copper wires down to our connectors. Alas, the stuff is still pouring out on the ground for lack of a charge controller to translate the potential power into something our batteries can store.

We’re hopeful, though, we’ll pick up our refurbished charge controller at the post office tomorrow. We called the manufacturer two days ago and he advised he had already repaired it and shipped it to us. Our forwarded mail and the charge controller both, hopefully, await our pickup tomorrow. We’ll see.

The temporary loss of our solar charging has not been any problem, though, for our batteries or us. Our batteries have maintained greater than 12.2 volts since we arrived two days ago, Friday early afternoon. We’re intermittently using our water pump, reading lights, mobile hf/vhf/uhf radio. Our refrigerator and natural gas detector and other phantom loads have run more or less continuously.

This is our first-ever run-down test for these two 6-volt golf cart batteries. We very rarely disconnect the feed line from our solar panels to the charge controller. We almost always, when dry-camping for more than two days, set up and connect our generator to the RV’s 110v electrical input to allow occasional re-charging of the batteries. And, our generator is sitting alongside the camper.

We have not connected the power cord to the RV, instead periodically noting the batteries nominal voltage. It helps we have had such nice warm days which excite the batteries a bit, and very late daylight each day. And we haven’t done after-dark cooking to require lighting. We are using the batteries very lightly, so this isn’t too much a test. Nonetheless, we’re enjoying the quiet boycott of our generator.

The Only burgers in town were also excellent

The potluck yesterday evening, and the hamburger lunch earlier yesterday, were NOT characterized by a bunch of RVers showing up an hour early to eat. We arrived for the potluck at the scheduled hour and were surprised we were among the first ones to bring our food to the table. The hamburger lunch did kick off a little early to accommodate the large number of attendees already gathered nearby for other activities.

There were not many activities in conflicting times, so it was easy to attend the seminars and still enjoy enough time on our own or for socializing and learning. A ham also, Debbie chose not to register and participate in the seminars or meetings. This is the most expensive hamfest we’ve attended, at $28.00. Only Hamvention (Dayton) was close, at $25.00 for walk-in tickets.

Beams and dipoles for special event stn W7G in bkgrd

And the price is worthwhile to us. We like helping support a long-running hamfest for this very isolated part of the United States and Canada. We tire of hearing of activities, events, and membership organizations cancelled or terminated from apathy. When the hamfests disappear we all lose the option to stop and shop, browse and barter, talk and trade.

The nearest large amateur radio vendor might be 600 miles distant, in Portland, OR (HRO). No equipment vendors showed this year, saving some of our money (for now). Last year they showed and next year vendors will show up, and they support the hamfest every year through donated prizes and discounts to attendees. One supporter, QRZ.com, drove approximately 1,400 miles to attend this hamfest.

The biggest ham shack on the grounds this weekend

We enjoyed meeting and visiting with Fred AA7BQ and Robin. They are a lot of fun to talk with and have interesting stories. They showed us their new old motor home, a gorgeous behemoth (at least by our standards), in which they are representing QRZ.com at hamfests across the nation this summer and fall. If you’re in the neighborhood and can make it to the Shelby Hamfest (in Dallas, NC) on Labor Day weekend, take a minute to say hi to these friendly folks from Phoenix.

A ham who has attended this hamfest since 1937 won the pre-registration Grand Prize, a new Yaesu FT-2900r mobile. It seems fitting, for someone who has supported this hamfest for so many years, to win the dandy mil-spec Yaesu amateur radio. The most special prize, the 1937 unopened beer bottle, was awarded through a hotly contested special auction. Two bidders were deadlocked for the honor of 2010-2011 custodian of this special bottle, and the honor was decided through paper-rock-scissors.

We survived this enjoyable hamfest and people are pulling out in droves and calling out, “this is VE7xxx, mobile” as they hit Highway 2. Other hams chime back, “Safe travels, VE7xxx, from W7xx” and the same from several other hams from above and below the 49th parallel. We’ll hope to visit this hamfest when we’re again in this part of the country at the right time.

Construction on this grand old Lodge started 100 years ago

And now we are sitting on the veranda at the Glacier Park Lodge. This 161-room lodge, built in 1912, is a grand place to visit. We visited two years ago and are just as excited to see it this time. The main lodge is magnificent, with tremendous tree-trunk posts and beams. The views from the veranda are great, looking northwest at Dancing Lady Mountain. The mountains still have snow on them, just in a few north-side spots. What a great part of our great country!

We hope this is, for us, one of many encounters with the Oldest Hamfest in the World. As much as we like checking out new radio and antenna gear and parts, we both enjoyed more this most sociable and friendly Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park hamfest.

See You Down The Road,

Jim and Debbie
locate us here
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©2007-2010 Dreamstreamr

Hunkered down in Gillette, WY

The rain didn’t start until after we arrived and set up yesterday. Last night and all day today we have had rain. A very fine mist at times, a soaking rain others. And it is chilly!

The outdoor temperature at 4 p.m. today is 45 degrees, and we haven’t seen it much higher all day. The low tonight is 42 degrees, tomorrow promises the same conditions as today.

We’re camped in a large grassy campground in the eastern section of the Gillette CamPlex complex. It is a brisk twenty minute walk to the buildings, no shortcut found so far. More exploring in order if/when the weather clears.

Gillette proclaims itself the energy capital of the world. We might, if Homeland Security doesn’t object, receive a tour of one of the large open pit coal mines nearby. We’re looking forward also to exploring the area.

We’ll be here one month, so we’ll really find our way around Gillette and the CamPlex, and might learn our way around this corner of Wyoming as well. We’re looking forward to this time off the road. Except for replacing the trailer’s right rear tire, we don’t have a lot we have to do.

Our first job with the Club is to help the Rally Cashier collect additional fees from folks bringing in unregistered family or friends, or from folks who haven’t paid their registration.

Next week we will add responsibilities in coordinating rally Awards, helping in setting up the rally amateur radio club station, and preparing and presenting two full-timing seminars.

In between we hope we can play some tennis each week, catch up on our reading and relax in what, hopefully, will be nicer weather.

Jim and Debbie
locate us here
visit our website

©2007-2010 Dreamstreamr

WBCCI 52nd International Meeting & Rally

We have been in Madison, Wi, since June 19. Two days ago we found this Madison newspaper article with a nice picture of friends of ours, the Wallens. Enjoy!

Airstream Region 3 Rally in Perry GA

We spent Thursday last week driving from St Augustine to Kannapolis, NC. The buyers for the Snow White, our Airstream Argosy Minuet 7.3 trailer, advised they would arrive around April 20 to pick her up. We spent Thursday evening and all day Friday and Saturday working on Snow White.

She looked so great! She cleaned up well and all her systems worked even better than we could have hoped. I already wanted to keep Snow White for ourselves and somehow, miraculously, find time to restore her to her original fit and luster. Once we finished cleaning her up Snow White became especially appealing.

Sunday afternoon the buyers arrived and were instantly smitten by Snow White. Whew! We made the sale. We spent time Sunday evening, throughout Monday and then Tuesday morning helping them learn about their Argosy trailer and preparing them to tow her back to Canada. We left for Perry GA and they left for Ontario late Tuesday morning.

We’re attending the WBCCI Region 3 Rally, an annual event, at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry GA. We arrived just yesterday evening and spent the night in the “bullpen”, the parking area for late arrivals. Almost as soon as we arrived we had a visit from our good friend, Jerry Hall.

Jerry invited us to join the crew from National Landmarks West caravan for supper. We ate in Roberta & Bruce Williams trailer with Jerry and Ann and Wally & Carol Welch. It was wonderful to be in their company for the first time since Bakersfield CA last August when we all rallied around Jerry and Ann.

And what a difference in the weather! Bakersfield treated us to day after day of temperatures over 100 degrees. Last night the wind was reportedly gusting to well over 30 mph, some rain was mixed in, and the temperatures hit the low 40s. This morning Jerry was missing one of his vinyl tire covers. It had blown 100 yards to a pond and crossed another 100 yards over the water and was awaiting him there.

This morning the parking crew directed us to our parking site for the rally, we registered, met the neighbors, and dined at the rally luncheon. We prepared a little for our presentation tomorrow on full-timing, a brief introduction on basic considerations and how to avoid some pitfalls.

We’ll enjoy mid-Georgia weather and the company of many Airstream friends in Perry GA before we head north toward the greater Charlotte area for a couple of weeks. And we hope you are enjoying pleasant spring-time weather, too.

Earl Leggett Olympic Games in St Augustine

This morning’s rally breakfast was omelets in a bag. If you haven’t done this, we highly recommend this clean way to cook. We sometimes microwave an egg for sandwiches or salad garnish, using a small Tupperware rock’n’serve. It’s a no-mess way to rapidly (33 seconds per egg) cook a poached egg and doesn’t mess up any cookware. The rock’n’serve Tupperware wipes out clean very readily. Whatever you do, be sure the eggs are covered well in the microwave — they pop and explode wildly in their container.

Omelets in a bag is even less mess. Break and shake two eggs in a zip-loc freezer bag. Add chopped fresh veggies, some grated cheese, some herbs and spices and gently shake again. Express all the air from the zip-loc and seal it tightly. Put your name on your creation and drop it in boiling water for eleven minutes. Voila! One gently cooked omelet with zero clean-up. Just open the zip-loc and slide the omelet onto your plate. Nothing easier, and tastes great. Works great for large crowds, just have two large stockpots of water and run them approximately five minutes apart so you don’t have to manage all the baggies at once.

St Augustine weather has been really fine this week. We have a 10 knot breeze plus strong gusts, partly cloudy skies, and low 80s temperatures daytime. Our two roof fans are exhausting the warm air and pulling less warm air in from outside. Our awning and end sunscreen were keeping the sun off the south side of the Airstream until the gusts convinced me to reef the awning. The wind gusts seemed strong enough to wrap the awning completely around the trailer if I didn’t bring it in first. No other chores for today, Life Is GOOD!

Today seems like a recovery day — We’ve been hard at sightseeing since Monday and have pretty well seen what we wanted to this week. People wander about from one Airstream to another to sit a spell and visit, then move along. We had visitors after lunch, good friends who had not seen inside our 2005 International. The guys sat outside under the awning shooting the bull. The gals were inside talking up a storm, it seemed. I don’t know who had it better but everyone seemed satisfied with the arrangement. Otherwise the day has been very quiet.
Bunch of diaper butts at "The Games"

We are relaxing in our rally site after the fierce mid-morning competitive Earl Leggett Olympic Games. The events included the following: bowling, aqua relay, javelin, discus, golf, shot put, basketball, and extinguishing the flame. All events were, of course, senior-safe. And I think no one was injured in the testing or marketing of these games. My event was javelin throw — I didn’t hear the distance but it was a bit shy of Czechoslaviakian Jan Zelezny’s 1996 World Record of 98.48 metres. I think my drinking straw, I mean my javelin, went a bit over 3 metres. This was a respectable throw, as the winner couldn’t have been over 4 metres. Debbie was a team captain, responsible for more than 13 big babies, so her hands were quite full.

Lynn prepares to drive from first tee

Lynn prepares to drive from first tee

Tonight we will hear the results. Some of the event tabulations may be quite difficult. Golf, for instance, is judged upon not only stroke count, but also the time required to “hole” the Idaho potato on five greens (0.5 metre circles chalk-marked upon the concrete). Aqua relay measures the quantity of water transferred, by spoon, from one end of the course to the other and the time required for the four members, in turn, to transport the water and return. The normally very solemn ceremony of extinguishing the flame was rather more exciting and suspenseful. Some teams’ marksmen barely managed to douse their candle’s flame with their water pistol, while a few others (most notably Larry Strong) easily cruised to a Gold Medal in one or two efficient squirts.

Group photo of Debbie's team

Group photo of Debbie's team

Oh, speaking of squirts, here is a group picture of Debbie’s team members. As I said, they were just a bunch of big babies. They cried, “Protest”, at every turn and couldn’t be mollified by even the most patient judges. Our team, on the other hand, showed great maturity, dignity, and poise. A few, though, seemed a bit proud of their assets. Their “pride” might have rapidly deflated in several instances.

Vic in a striking pose for Green Team

Vic in a striking pose for Green Team

Everyone had a good time, no one was much injured (at least not physically), and we simply will have to wait until this evening to learn the winning teams’ identity. The prize? I suspect their reward may be more than just bragging rights, they may also earn first place in the desserts line after tonight’s entertainment. Gosh, I hope my team is not first — dessert tastes much better when you’re the last one to finish.

Today has been wonderful. And Debbie and I can hardly wait to learn if our respective teams placed in The Games today. We’ll let you know another time, okay? We’re on our way to the Awards Ceremony.