We’re attending the NorCal Samboree in Lodi, CA on the grounds of the Lodi Grape Festival. This is the location we chose for the Western Area Rally for Escapees (WARE), which we’re planning for April 2012. We volunteered to serve on the parking crew for the current rally so we could learn more about how best to park RVs on the grounds. We’re learning that, and other things as well, including how best to do some things, how not to do others.
Good Sam members are different from Escapees in many ways. I won’t go into details, but even though we’re lifetime members of both organizations, I know why we’re much more active in the Escapees RV Club! Don’t get me wrong, they’re all nice, friendly folks and have been very open and helpful to us. But they just have their own ‘style’ of doing things!
The Festival grounds are nice, with grass that’s well-groomed, paved roads and several large buildings. Electrical and water hookups are plentiful on the main grounds, surrounding the buildings and an outdoor amphitheater, which you can see on the far right below.
There are around 180-200 electrical hookups, with a total capacity of over 300 RVs. We don’t know how many to expect at the Escapees rally next year, but we think there will be 200-300, based on an informal email survey Don conducted with the Presidents of the 27 western regional Chapters, plus several Birds-of-a-Feather groups (BOFs).
A western Escapees rally has been talked about for several years, due to the fact that the Escapees RV Club now holds only one annual Escapade, and it hasn’t been in the west since March 2007, when it was in Stockton, CA. This year, as in July 2008, Escapade will be in Gillette, WY, not considered a western location by members living in states on the Pacific Coast. And next year the event will be in Sedalia, MO. The 11 Chapters located in California have talked about a joint chapters rally primarily for their members. But it never came together because no one took the lead.
The idea came up in discussions during our stay in Quartzsite, AZ in January and Don was approached to see if he was willing to do some groundwork. He agreed, and since we were heading north to Portland, OR for his niece Caren’s wedding Feb 12, we took the opportunity to visit several possible venues on our way going north then returning to southern Arizona. Lodi turned out to be our favorite.
With the help of Susie Orr, Chapter Director for Escapees along with hubby Denny, and good friends of ours, we’re pulling plans together. Susie agreed to coordinate activities and put together the program plans. Several others have jumped in to help, including Walt (parking) and Kellie (admin) Gunn, Art (security) and Caroline Fennell, and a few Chapters and BOFs have agreed to host meals and activities.
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*******************tedious details of our travel plan juggling!*****************
Now that the Samboree is almost over, we’ve been juggling our schedule for the next week. We had planned to spend a few days visiting Larry and Carol Jennings, who are currently at Sugar Barge Resort in the Sacramento Delta, about an hour’s drive away from Lodi. Carol writes a wonderful blog, and has posted several pics of the resort.
Meanwhile, we went to Modesto for Don’s eye exam yesterday, recommended by his primary care physician in Benson (who discovered the diabetes), and both that doctor and the opthalmologist wanted Don to get a blood test. He needs to fast for 8 hours prior, so he’ll have to do that early Monday morning.
Now, on top of all that, the water pump in our coach quit working, and we had trouble diagnosing the problem, so we previously made an appointment for service, also Monday morning. Thankfully, after a couple hours of testing, talking with various people and finally buying and installing a new water pump, we can cancel that appointment.
But we still need to be in Salt Lake City (actually Hill AFB) by May 4, about 725 miles away, a good 3-day drive in the motorhome without pushing too hard. So, the visit with Larry and Carol will be just for the day Sunday, leaving our motorhome in Lodi, and we’ll be able to get Don to the blood test early on Monday morning before hitting the road.
A final note: Don’s now wearing glasses full-time. He needs to make some adjustments to the type of lenses, so I’ll hold off on posting a pic of him in specs.