2011 Region One Rally

2011 Region One Rally
Published: October 21, 2010
Quebec Canada Unit
 
The WBCCI Region One annual Airstream rally will be held in Riviere Rouge in Quebec from August 4 - 8, 2011.
The WBCCI Region One Rally is an annual Airstream event held within the geography of Region One during the month of August. The Quebec Canada unit is hosting the “First Nations” Region One Rally from August 4-8, 2011.

First Nations Rally Schedule


Thursday August 4, 2011

Opening ceremony followed by a cocktail around 7:00

Friday, August 5, 2011

A.M. Breakfast included, bring your own dishes and utensils

P.M. WBCCI Flea market on the site

Local Sightseeing included

Evening: At the casino at your own expense (free transportation) for the ones not going to the casino, free games on the site

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A.M. Breakfast included, bring your own dishes and utensils

Region 1 meeting

P.M. River rafting with ice cream social or First Nations day on a sacred site including a presentation and a lunch and sales booth of indian crafts for the ones not going on the river

Evening : Presentation of next year rally 2012 and a drawing of gifts, Dinner included followed by music and dance!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

7:30 Breakfast included

10:00 Picking and tasting of mushrooms with a specialist

2:00 Closing ceremonies

3:00 Free activities

Monday, August 8, 2011

Departure

>>Download the sign-up form in PDF format (opens in a new window)
>>Download the rally program in PDF format (opens in a new window)

Region One Newsletter October 2010

Region One President’s Newsletter – October 2010

Published: October 21, 2010

By Russ Melocik

When we last wrote, Cynthia and I were fresh out of the International Rally in Gillette and the many business meetings and seminars. Since then we have summered in New England and visited family and friends on each side of the Canadian border. As summers go, 2010 was good. As good summers go, it went. We have now returned home and have been digging into what is arguably the busiest eight weeks of the WBCCI year: that period between new officer elections/installations and all the paperwork required by the First of November.

The highlight of the summer, of course, was the Region Rally in Durham CT. The Charter Oak Connecticut Unit, through its hard-working team of helpers put together a wonderful, fun, weekend. The “Miss Elaineous” beauty (?) pageant was a scream, the chow delicious and the flow of activities comfortable. Thank you, Charter Oak. And special thanks for your generous donation to the battered Region Treasury.

Francois Martel and his fellow Quebec Canada Unit members put together a slide show of what can be expected at their 2011 Region Rally in Riviere-Rouge. The “First Nations” theme will focus on the culture of the earliest inhabitants of the region. We can all look forward to a fun rally with built-in entertainment & education. Set your sights for August 04 to August 08, 2011. (Look for the rally coupon / flyer at the Region One web site: .

WBCCI is dealing with three issues of great importance: two ad hoc committees on motor homes and Constitution & Bylaws and the club’s financial management. We now have a balanced budget following a year which saw an operational deficit and a profitable International Rally in Gillette. You should know that the club is in good shape financially and has taken steps to assure profitable International Rallies in Du Quoin, IL, in 2011 and Sedalia, MO, in 2012.

Come join us in 2011. Have fun. Get involved.

Vermont 251 Club

The Vermont 251 Club
Published: September 1, 2010
By Russ Melocik
Derby Line, VTHave you ever heard of Vermont locations such as Beecher Falls, Island Pond, Center Rutland, White River Junction and Wilder? These and others are legitimate addresses but only as Post Office designations or railroad stops whose popularity has overshadowed their legal names. White River Junction, for example, is one of five villages in the Town of Hartford. Each of the five has its own Post Office and unique ZIP Code. (Ever heard the origin of “ZIP?” Zone Improvement Plan). Things can get confusing. There is a way, however, for getting these differences straight while having fun in the process.

The Vermont 251 Club is a non-government association of those interested in visiting all 251 cities and towns in Vermont. (Actually 246 plus five unorganized towns) It is a “for fun” club. It offers the membership a challenge to not only visit Vermont towns but also to get to know the people and locations. An extra challenge is a visit with each Town and City Clerk’s office which can be daunting when considering that some clerks open for only a few hours each week in their kitchen or sitting room while others offer limited parking nearby. But whatever, The 251 Club offers a wonderful opportunity to meet and share conversation with a very interesting mix of good folks.

Ever hear of Derby Line VT? It’s a village within the town of Derby (named, perhaps, after Derby CT). Thanks to a survey snafu in the early 1800’s, the International Boundary between it and Rock Island Quebec was incorrectly drawn. In fact, an Opera House and Library were constructed right on the line in the early 1900’s. Until recently, their patrons could partake of these services without the inconveniences usually associated with an international border crossing. And yes, there are lines on the floor and you can stand indoors in two countries at the same time. What a hoot! For more information, read the NY Times article on this topic.


Visiting Vermont

Visiting Vermont
Published: August 1, 2010
By Russ Melocik
Billings Farm, VermontIn all the years we have lived in Vermont and otherwise called it home, we have overlooked a good number of local historic sites. Two come to mind quickly: The Billings Farm and adjacent Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock and the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in nearby Cornish, NH. Each is the only “National Historic” designation in its respective state.

Woodstock has a very long history as, among others, the shire town of Windsor County and, briefly, the meeting place of the Vermont Legislature prior to its moving to Montpelier. It is better known and appreciated as the village Laurence Rockefeller so thoughtfully restored. Think of Colonial Williamsburg but about 125-plus-years younger – and very New England. Now dependent on tourism, the town’s economy once flourished in textile milling and manufacturing thanks to hydro power provided by the Ottauquechee River which, like today’s U.S. Route 4, bisects the village.

Remember the1981 movie Ghost Story with Fred Astaire, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Walter Pidgeon? Woodstock. How about the Budweiser commercial featuring the Clydesdale Hitch in a snowy nighttime trot through town? Woodstock.

If your plans allow for a visit to Vermont, consider Woodstock. It will be as pretty as the brochures and internet images portray it. Being a largely unmodernized village, there are no wide-berth roads or accessible parking anywhere near the sites. Do bring your comfortable shoes.

The Saint-Gaudens site, a half-hour drive to Cornish, New Hampshire, on the east bank of the Connecticut River, comprises the summer home, studio and grounds of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the Irish/American sculptor. Coin collectors remember him as the designer of the 1905-era Double Eagle gold coin considered to be the most beautiful coin ever issued by the U.S. Mint. The only surviving 1933 edition of this coin fetched some $7 Million at auction a few years back. The grounds, museum and studio are open to self-guided touring. The house tour is conducted by a NPS guide. The gift shop includes a small theatre and features a short film on the Saint-Gaudens experience.

The grounds are RV-accessible thanks to a grassy overflow parking area. If you visit, consider calling ahead to see if the overflow area is available.


Region One Newsletter July 2010

Region One President’s Newsletter – July 2010

Published: July 8, 2010

By Russ Melocik

The 53rd International Rally has ended. There were some 115 units represented and 713 rigs on site. Can tabs weighed in at just under 2000#. By all accounts, it was a business and social success. Measured in calories taken in at the local eateries, it was more like a huge success.

Gillette is located in Campbell County, WY, home to “Camplex,” this year’s rally venue. It sits on some 1100 acres just 3-miles east of downtown and offers more than 1000 full-service RV hookups. Based on what we were able to observe going on elsewhere within Camplex, rodeo is a high school sport, you are not fully dressed unless you are pulling a 5th wheel horse trailer and “Cowboy (girl) Up” approaches a state motto. We were treated well by the locals and those in charge of meeting our needs at Camplex.

Our Region Luncheon was held on June 29 at Gillette’s Chophouse Restaurant. Twenty-nine Caravanners enjoyed Fish & Chips or Chicken Caesar Salad and the installation of Ray Richard as 2nd Vice President. The three officers presented The Sanders (Dan Dureiko was unable to join us in Gillette) with an embroidered Pendleton blanket, something they may well need to use during their trip to Alaska immediately following the rally.

Congratulations to Cape Cod for copping a third-place award for its bulletin board’s Originality. And to White Mountains for a second-place in the Theme category. New England was awarded a third prize for its newsletter and a first for its bound directory. Charter Oak scored a first for its loose-leaf directory.

Things were done differently this year from what we can recall at Bozeman. Lots of information and educational meetings for the benefit of the Region Officers and spouses and plenty of work to do with the various committee chairmen assignments. Out of the seeming chaos of daily responsibilities came an ordered, fun International Rally. Cynthia and I are glad we came and participated.

Our warm weather rally season continues toward the Region Rally in Durham, CT, in August and Units’ Fall Business Meetings which follow. The Region Officers will be making every effort to visit with each unit in the coming months. They will be anxious to sit down with the membership to get an idea of what’s important at the unit level. Far from inviting members to a bitch session, we will hope to gather as much well-reasoned input as is available. These “Round Table” discussions will be summarized and referred to the chairman of the 20/20 Committee for presentation to the club at the next IBT meeting in January, 2011. Please consider your comments and check the Blue Book for Constitution and By-Laws/Policy procedures for compatibility. Each unit should have a current hard copy of the BB. It is also available as a download from wbcci.org.

In the spirit of Fun, Fellowship & Adventure, all our best. See you in Durham.

Class Reunion May Press Release

Region One Rally “Class Reunion” May Press Release

Published: May 31, 2010

The WBCCI Region One annual Airstream rally will be held at the Durham Fairgrounds from August 18 - 22, 2010.

Greetings from Charter Oak CT Unit. As you know, we are planning the 2010 Region One Rally at Durham Fairgrounds, Durham, CT on August 18th. A few things we’d like to mention for those planning to attend:

If possible, we’d like a copy of your high school picture, preferably an 8×10 or whatever is available, with your name and unit printed in pencil on the back. We would like to use these in a collage for decorations in the building.

Also, we will be having a flea market/craft/hobby show on Friday, Aug. 20, from 9 to 12. Please bring your items to sell or display. If interested, the sign-up sheet will be at registration.

Saturday evening we’re having a dance-the DJ will have all types of music. Dress accordingly for the decade you would like to represent.

At Registration, there will also be sign-up sheets to volunteer for food preparation, servers, clean-up as well as other committees. Early parking is Tuesday, August 17th-help is needed for set up, decorating, etc.

For your information, here is a brief review of the rally program so that you can be prepared:

Tuesday: Early Parking

Wednesday: Dinner provided, Opening Ceremonies, Entertainment

Thursday: Breakfast, Registration, Things to do in the area, Dinner on your own

Friday: Breakfast, Flea Market/crafts, Late Registration, Dinner on your own, light entertainment

Saturday: Breakfast, Region One Business Meeting, Dinner provided, Dance followed by Closing Ceremonies

Sunday: Depart before noon


Our North America Adventure

Our North America Adventure

Published: April 10, 2010

Dick & Claire Wiklund #1275

Dick & Claire WiklundOur lives changed dramatically in 2008. We sold the boat that we had lived upon in Boston harbor for the past five years, I retired from practicing medicine, and we bought an Airstream trailer. We joined WBCCI (New England and Cape Cod Units) and planned to see North America. We learned the basics on two caravans that year. They bore an eerie similarity to our experiences in boating. By Spring of 2009 we were ready to tour the United States and parts of Canada on our own, our preference. We traveled a total of 20,000 miles in 2009 on two trips, two months in the Spring and two months in the late Summer, early Fall. Delorme navigation (click to enlarge)

I maintained a daily blog on both trips and published it to friends and family and I took thousands of pictures. On the technical side, I used an Apple MacMini computer with iWeb and iPhoto. I used a Verizon air card for Internet access because I found WiFi access to be unreliable. The photos in my albums were taken with Nikon cameras (D70 and D90 with 18-70 mm and 18-200 mm lenses). All the photos were edited in iPhoto for saturation, contrast, exposure, and color balance. Doing the blog became a daily ritual while Claire prepared dinner or walked Winnie, our Irish terrier.

I will describe the high lights and low lights of our two trips and the lessons learned. I did all the driving and Claire did the navigation (Fujitsu tablet computer using Microsoft’s Streets and Trips at first, then a Hewlett-Packard mini-notebook computer using DeLorme’s software. We preferred the DeLorme system. I tried our best to avoid interstate highways and found that we could go just about as far on two-lane back roads, had less anxiety, boredom, and tiredness. We established a discipline of a leisurely breakfast and breaking camp when everyone was done doing what needed to be done (including Winnie). Most days we would stop for lunch in the Airstream at a rest area, welcome center, or the side of the road. We rarely made reservations for a campsite and we were turned away only once (see below).

South and Southwest United States

We took advantage of a break in the weather to leave Falmouth, MA in mid-March. We did run into freezing temperatures our first night out in Dover, Delaware. Our route would take us down the coastal roads of the eastern shore of Maryland, across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the outer banks of North Carolina, and the lowlands of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. St. Augustine, Florida was our first destination. We would spend a couple of days there with friends who helped us see all of the area.

St. Augustine was the only stop where we could not get a campsite at our first choice of campground. The beachfront state park there is booked as much as eight months in advance.

One needs to be aware of the propane regulations of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Authority. You can transport propane but the tanks need to be turned off. They ask at the tollbooth but don’t bother to look. The resort areas of the Atlantic Coast (Ocean City, Virginia Beach, Cape Hatteras, and Myrtle Beach are nothing but honky-tonk. Hatteras National Seashore, on the other hand, is beautiful and unspoiled by development. Outer Banks (click to enlarge) We chose to back track off the islands rather than try the ferry to Morehead City. The ferries are expensive, not all of them accept reservations, and the ride can be choppy in the Spring. It was a good choice because the low lands of Washington County, North Carolina are well worth seeing.

I was stationed at the Naval Hospital in Charleston for two years so we were anxious to see Charleston again. “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread!” We camped north of the city and drove through the heart of the downtown area, along the waterfront, with the Airstream in tow the following morning. We made it without incident but with a fair amount of anxiety. My advice, leave the trailer behind and see downtown Charleston on foot! We camped at the state campgrounds in Edisto Beach and St. Marys, South Carolina. I recommend both of them highly.

Blue Angels (click to enlarge) St. Augustine is full of interesting things to see and do. Our hosts recommended that we stop in Pensacola and visit the Naval Aviation Museum. We spent an entire day at the museum and took hundreds of pictures. Admission is free and you can take a tour of the flight line and even see the Blue Angels flying in practice. Later in the year we visited the Air Force’s museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Wright-Pat is larger than Pensacola but I think the displays at Pensacola are much better than those at Wright-Pat. Both museums have an incredible number of rare airplanes (see the photos in my albums).

Avery Island, LA (click to enlarge)We avoided New Orleans, camped in Lafayette, and visited Avery Island and the McIlhenney factory, the makers of Tobasco products. This area is just outside of Baton Rouge, which means “red stick”. The red sticks were given to pepper pickers. Peppers are picked when they match the color of the stick! Claire bought some Tobasco chili mix, to which you add a pound of hamburger to make some of the easiest and best chili we’ve ever had. If you travel this area, visit Abbeville, Louisiana and eat at Shucks at the junction of US Route 167 and LA 335.

It took us three days to cross Texas and these were the worst days of the trip! The scenery is boring and there is not a lot to see other than around the Austin and San Antonio area. We skirted Houston and did not go to Dallas/Fort Worth. We camped (with permission) one night at Cabela’s in Buda, Texas. We opened the rear window of the trailer for the first time in the season. It stuck to the rubber gasket and then exploded into millions of pieces of safety glass. I could not believe our luck, we were right across the street from an Airstream dealer. I was disappointed in their support. They had an identical trailer on their lot but would not consider swapping out the rear window. We found a plastic ceiling panel at Home Depot that fit the opening well, with the help of a lot of duct tape! We arranged to have a window shipped from Jackson Center to the Airstream dealer in Oklahoma City, planning to be there in about a week.

We pressed on to New Mexico, the Carlsbad Caverns and the White Sands National Monument. The elevator ride down a shaft carved in the stone some 400 feet deep was scary but not as scary as the caverns themselves. I said to Claire, “I hope there’s no Hell because this is what it would be like!” Carlsbad Caverns, NM (click to enlarge)Both Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands are part of the National Park Service. Admission if free with a Senior Passport. The Senior Passport, as most of you know, is a “don’t leave home without it” item.

Griffith’s Airstream RV is not the easiest place to find, tucked into an area of endless trucking firms. Tom and Darla are wonderful people. . We arrived on Wednesday afternoon with the window scheduled to arrive Thursday morning. Airstream sent the wrong window and agreed to ship the correct window overnight.

We had a full two days to see Oklahoma City and visited the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and the Oklahoma City Federal Building Memorial. The Cowboy Museum is one of the finest museums we’ve seen. Unfortunately photography is strictly forbidden in most of the exhibits for “copyright” reasons, as I was told firmly when I raised my camera. Cowboy Museum (click to enlarge)

Our route took us through Arkansas and the Ozark Mountains. An ice storm in January had wrecked havoc on the forests. Most of the trees were snapped off two-thirds of the way up. At first we thought that a tornado must have passed through the area but the devastation continued all the way across the state and into Tennessee.

Army Corps of Engineer's campground in Nashville, TN (click to enlarge)We camped at an Army Corps of Engineer’s campground at a reservoir just east of Nashville. We would stay for two nights and it cost $7 per night with our Senior Passports! The man at the window showed me a map and marked our site. It looked fairly shallow on the map and I wasn’t sure if we would fit. He said, “I don’t think you’ll have a problem. The site is 130 deep.” The access roads and sites were paved, hookups included water, electricity, and sewer, and our site backed right up on the shore of the reservoir! This link will take you to a map resource for Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds.

The Tennessee Air Museum is well worth a visit in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The area is also the entrance to the Great Smoky National Park

We had two more stops on our way home. The first was at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. We spent two days there and wandered around the National Park for most of one day. The next stop was in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, our home back in the 1980’s, where we would camp at the Frances Slocum State Park and visit with old friends, Mark and Lillian Cohen.

Pacific Northwest and the Canadian Rocky Mountains

We arrived home from the Southwest in April and left for the Pacific Northwest in mid-August, just long enough to mow the grass, wash the truck, and repack the trailer! The primary goal of our trip was to join the Oregon Unit of the WBCCI for their rally at the Pendleton Roundup in Pendleton Oregon, September 13th to 18th.

We planned to go North to avoid the heat of the high desert, get to the National Parks after kids were back in school, and to be out of the Rocky Mountains before snow would close the passes.

We wanted to visit the Airstream factory and were on I-70 in Zanesville, Ohio at when cars passed us and people were pointing at our trailer. “Yeah, I like it too! Thank you, yes it’s beautiful!” That’s not what they were telling me. I looked in the curbside rear view mirror and saw black smoke. We just had our first blowout. Fortunately we were about a half-mile from the Ohio Welcome Area. I called Good Sam’s but never got any help.

We bought a new tire at Airstream and took the factory tour (no pictures allowed on the production line). We also took a day and visited Wright Patterson’s Air Force Museum in Dayton. It is a federal facility, it’s free of charge, but you have to show a picture ID. I showed the nice lady my driver’s license but she said it had expired six months ago! For the next 9000 miles I never exceeded the speed limit even once

If you are having service performed at the Airstream Factory you can stay in one of their RV sites, if I remember right, the night before, the night of, and the night after your service appointment free of charge. Otherwise, it’s $10 per night with full hook-ups. The campground fills up in the afternoon and a “happy hour” is fairly common.

We drove through Illinois and Indiana after we left Jackson Center. We were passing through Lafayette, Indiana when we had another tire blowout. Forget about Good Sam’s, Claire and I had that tire changed in fifteen minutes flat (no pun intended)! On Star helped us find a dealer who had the right sized RV tires. The storeowner showed me why we had two blowouts on successive days of traveling. We have a tire pressure monitoring system on our trailer tires. The radiofrequency stem caps are about the size of the cap of a water bottle but they are solid. He showed me that the valve stem on the blown tire had cracked and failed causing the blowout. At speed, the sensor caps cause the rubber valve stem to bend over and that’s where they fail. We installed steel valve stems on all of our trailer tires that afternoon.

Tornado warnings (click to enlarge)It had been a long day and we were tired. Bad weather was predicted for the evening so we found a state campground just outside Lafayette. About 6 PM, the park rangers came around to all the RVs and told us to leave or RVs and take shelter because of tornados in the immediate area. We had heavy rain, thunder, and lightening but did not see any funnel clouds

After we rounded Chicago by a large margin, we headed North into Wisconsin and then on to Minnesota en route to Glacier National Park in Montana. We drove north and then west when we were within 10-20 miles of the Canadian border. I felt that plains of North Dakota and Montana would more interesting than Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We followed Route 2 all the way across to St. Marys on the east side of Glacier. We saw some of the largest wheat and sunflower fields imaginable! It was interesting to see the progression of the wheat harvest as we drove west. Many of the small towns we passed through had small municipal RV parks, something we hadn’t seen before.

Glacier National Park (click to enlarge)Glacier National Park and Waterston Lakes Provincial Park are at the eastern boundary of the Rock Mountains and the Continental Divide. The highlight of Glacier is driving the Road to the Sun. Vehicle size is restricted (to 26 feet I believe). It is a serpentine road that runs from St. Marys to West Glacier Village. We stopped at the Visitors Center in Logan Pass where big horn sheep wandered around the parking lot.

The Road to the Sun was under repair so traffic was down to one lane and we had to follow an escort vehicle. When they repair the road workers are lowered over the edge in cages attached to a crane. If you drop a hammer or a wrench you’ll find it about 4000 feet down in the valley!

Glacier National Park road repair crew (click to enlarge)West Glacier is more developed than St. Marys. It is also close to Whitefish, a reasonably large town with nice shops and the home to the Great Northern Railroad. That’s where I bought my cowboy hat! Next time I will camp on that side of the National Park.

There aren’t very many glaciers left in Glacier National Park; they are in Canada north of Banff and you get to them by way of two of the most beautiful roads in North America (my opinion), the Cowboy Highway and the Ice Fields Highway. Dress warm and take the bus trip up onto the glacier, the view is spectacular and there are incredible photo ops.

Glacier National Park ice fields (click to enlarge) Over the next two weeks we would follow the Columbia River for its full length. We crossed over into British Columbia and headed south to through Customs and Immigration at Eastport, Idaho. The US agent took one look at us and said, “You don’t look like a criminal, a smuggler, a terrorist and you don’t look like you’d pose a threat to the welfare of the United States. Welcome home!” It was the quickest and easiest border crossing we’ve ever had. Hint: pick the most remote border point you can when crossing between Canada and the USA.

We had time to spare before arriving in Pendleton so we took a side trip to the Grand Coulee Dam. There is a state campground about 15 miles south of Coulee, Steamboat Rock State Park. It is one of the nicest campgrounds we have ever visited. Most of the campsites are on the waterfront. The pads are nicely shaded and they water the grass almost all day long! The most memorable part of visiting Grand Coulee Dam is the elevator ride down to the turbines. The elevator is glass and it slides down the side of the dam to a landing 465 feet below. If you don’t like heights, you hang on for dear life!

Mt. Rainier (click to enlarge)They made a mistake when they divided Washington and Oregon. The border should have been drawn down the Cascades (Mts. Rainier, St. Helens, Hood) rather than horizontally across the area. Eastern Washington and Oregon include the Yakima Valley and barren mountains of the high plains desert. The western parts of the states have lush forests and urban Pacific coast cities.

There was time to spare before Pendleton so we pushed on to Mt. Rainer National Park, the Columbia River, and the Oregon Coast where we put our feet in the Pacific Ocean. The Columbia River Gorge is spectacular. You should see it from the Oregon side in order to appreciate the waterfalls and the view from Vista House.

Columbia River waterfalls (click to enlarge)We spent three days in Joseph, Oregon and visited the Mule Days Festival in Enterprise, Oregon before going to Pendleton. Joseph is known for its foundries and there are bronze statues on every corner in the town.

WBCCI Oregon Unit (click to enlarge)I cannot adequately describe the wonderful experience we had at the Pendleton Roundup Rally with the Oregon Unit. It is an annual rally and I’d recommend joining them to anyone from New England planning to head west in the early Fall. The city allows the Unit to use a large parking lot and shelter for the whole week. There is water at each site and the Unit arranges for a portable pump out once during the rally. They are a nice group and welcomed us warmly. The Roundup is one of the major North American rodeos held each year (Pendleton Roundup, Calgary Stampede, and Durango Frontier Days). All the ranchers, cowboys, and Native Americans turn out! The Native Americans are in full regalia and raise their teepees on site. Hamley’s restaurant, bar, and store are a “must see”. Pendleton Roundup (click to enlarge)

Arches National Park (click to enlarge)From Pendleton we crossed back into Idaho and visited Craters of the Moon National Monument. Then we headed south into Utah to visit Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park staying in Moab, Utah. From there we headed further south into Colorado to Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde is over 12,000 feet high. Both Claire and I developed early high altitude sickness, could not climb down into the pueblos, and had to get down “off the mountain”. We felt better when we got down to about 8000 feet.

We started heading east after we left the Rocky Mountains and entered the Great Plains of Kansas and Missouri. Old Bents Fort, on the Santa Fe Trail, was a real treat. It’s out of the way but well worth the visit. The next couple of days were our “Presidential Days” as we visited the Eisenhower and Truman homes and then Lincoln part of Indiana. We stopped in St. Louis and visited the Gateway Arch. Claire took the cable car to the top and got some great pictures of St. Louis. I stayed at the bottom!

St. Louis Arch (click to enlarge)Our last major stop was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The museum has restored racing cars from all the decades. The track was closed to visitor because Hélio Castroneves was practicing in his Honda Indy car for the first time since a serious accident in the Spring.

Three days later we were home! This trip was over 10,000. We have camped in every state except West Virginia, Kentucky, Nevada, Arizona, California, Alaska, and Hawaii. All of these, except Hawaii and Alaska, are on our itinerary for our trip this August.

Region One President’s Newsletter – January 2010

Region One President’s Newsletter – January 2010

Published: January 31, 2010

By Franklin Sanders

Franklin Sanders, Region One President

Community Service Needs at 53rd International Rally
Janet Kendig, Chairman of the WBCCI Community Service Committee requests WBCCI Member help in meeting needs for assistance in the Gillette, WY community. In 2010, we are asked to donate food and “gently-used” children’s books. Food donations may be in kind, or checks; watch the Blue Beret for information about how money donations may be made. Please see if you have children’s books in reasonable condition which might be passed along by your children or grand-children to youngsters in Wyoming. Toiletries for the Abused Women’s Shelter would also be gratefully received.

If you are not going to the rally in Gillette, please ask friends who are going to bring your donations to the rally. Let’s show we care!

Florida East Coast Luncheon Defies the Weather!

Sixteen almost-thawed Caravanners gathered at the Palm Bay Golden Corral for a fun time among good friends. The smallish crowd, dominated by Cape Codders, had a wonderful time on the first day of seasonally warm and sunny weather in Florida in the New Year.

As in past years, members shared travel experiences, highlighted by John Fuller’s “This Is Your Life” recollection from the perspective of his very first Airstream.

Those unable to attend were missed and recalled fondly. Hope to see you Next year. Same Time. Same Place.

International Board of Trustees Mid-winter 2010 Meeting Report

The IBT Mid-winter Meeting & Rally was held in Rayne, LA from January 19-23, 2010. The Rally was hosted by WBCCI Region 6, and was attended by 116 member units. Region 1 was represented by Franklin Sanders, President; Russell Melocik, 1st VP; Dan Dureiko, 2nd VP; and Raymond Richard, Incoming 2nd VP. There was an extensive agenda, with reports presented by the chairmen of 24 Standing and Special Committees, and 29 motions presented for IBT consideration and action. The focus of the meeting was the tension between recent operating deficits, a proposal for an enhanced and redirected marketing program, and concerns about the merits of an increase in International Dues.

Committee Report Highlights:

Blue Beret: The online version of the Blue Beret has received favorable comment. Plans are underway to in-crease the color content of the online version, and to add links to advertiser websites.

Budget: The projected operating budget deficit for 2009-2010 has been reduced from $71,000 projected in July, 2009 to $62,000, despite approval of an initial $5,240 expenditure during the first year of the new marketing program (see below).

53rd International Rally: International President Tom Collier reported 620 members signed up for the International Rally in Gillette, WY. If you haven’t signed up yet, plan to join us. This will be a great Western Event! It is evident that President Collier will deliver a great rally, and in a more casual manner.

National/Special Event Rallies: Cape Cod MA Unit’s “Canadian Thanksgiving & Columbus Day Rally” was approved as a Special Events Rally by the International Executive Committee. The 2010 edition of the rally will take place October 7-11 in Provincetown, MA.

Marketing Special Committee: Fred Richardson, Chairman, presented an update of his persuasive report to the IBT last June, with plans for an enhanced marketing strategy, increased advertising space sales, interactive links from Blue Beret to advertiser websites, and improved membership promotional materials. His $5,240 budget request for the balance of 2009-2010 was approved; his request for approximately $15,000 in 2010-2011 was endorsed for inclusion that year’s budget.

Financial Advisory Board: This Special Committee was chaired by Franklin Sanders. The FAB reviewed the open budget, expense, dues and marketing issues arising from the June and July, 2009 IBT Meetings. The FAB strongly supported increasing marketing expenditures despite the deficit, and supported reductions of international and region officer expense budgets; most FAB members also supported a dues increase. The FAB’s discussions also resulted in introduction of several motions related to improved financial control and disclosures.

New Business:The IBT agenda included 29 motions; after consolidation of seven motions relating to Ethics & Grievance Committee procedures into one motion, 23 motions were considered. Here are the highlights of action taken:

  • Approved charging a $103,280 loss from the 52nd International Rally in Madison, WI against the International Rally Fund. This was a necessary accounting transfer; nevertheless, the size of the loss led to discussion of the need for better control of rally commitments and improved periodic reporting on such rallies.
  • Defeat of a motion to create a rolling fund for future Mid-winter IBT Meetings & Rallies. Most IBT members preferred that meeting costs be paid by Headquarters, with rallies to be for the account of the sponsoring region or unit.
  • Approved a motion to require distribution of the prior year’s international rally financial reports prior to the Mid-winter IBT Meeting, with such reports to be on the agenda for discussion at the meeting.
  • Approved a motion to require that each year’s operating budget include budgets for each pending international rally.
  • Approved a motion to require (“GAAP”) financial statements with income statements and reconciliation of equity be prepared, such reports to include the results of headquarters activities and international rallies.
  • Approved modification of the Model Unit Constitution to conform to last year’s change in the International Constitution facilitating appointment of an Affiliate Member of a unit to act as the Delegate for that unit to the International Delegates Meeting (including in the Model Unit Bylaws operative language in the WBCCI Constitution).
  • Approved a 25% aggregate reduction in international officer travel allowances. (These allowances are in addition to reimbursement for travel to the Mid-winter IBT Meeting.)
  • Approved a 10% reduction in region officer travel allowances. (These allowances are intended for travel within regions and are in addition to reimbursement for region president travel to the Mid-winter IBT Meeting.)
  • Approved an increase in International Dues from $55 to $65 per year, effective July 1, 2010. This increase of $10 per year was adopted after a proposed increase of $20 per year failed to gain a majority of the votes of IBT members. The $10 increase was regarded as the minimum necessary to balance WBCCI budgets for the next few years.
  • Defeated a motion to require unit voting at Delegates Meetings to be based upon the number of a unit’s members actually voting at Spring Business Meetings, rather than the total of regular members. Adoption of such a motion could have made it difficult to obtain quorums for the Delegates Meeting, and made it nearly impossible to achieve the necessary 2/3rds majority for constitutional amendments.
  • Defeated a motion asking amendment of the WBCCI Constitution to require that the June and July IBT Meetings be held within the official dates of international rallies. The motion conflicted with other requirements of the constitution, as well as scheduled activities at the International Rally; moreover, it was recognized that rescheduling of the June IBT Meeting closer to the opening date of the International Rally had appropriately recognized the desire of members to be able to attend such meetings.
  • Approved restatement of WBCCI Bylaws & Policy, Policy V, Disciplinary Procedures, and Appendix 11 (Checklist) to reflect changes in administrative procedures adopted by the Ethics & Grievance Committee in handling a recent spate of E&G complaints.
  • Defeated a motion to expand the right to appeal grievance decisions to include reprimands, the least severe action permitted in respect of an grievance complaint. Inasmuch as reprimands are in the nature of warnings to discontinue inappropriate behavior, it did not seem appropriate to require the IBT to review such decisions.
  • Supported a proposal to investigate reorganization of WBCCI to eliminate the International 3rd Vice President’s position and restructure the International Rally, so as to be conducted in connection with region rallies on a rotating basis; and a proposal to restructure and reduce the number of regions from twelve to seven in number. The proposal has been referred to the 2020 Longterm Planning Committee for report on the first proposal by the Mid-winter IBT Meeting in 2011, and on the second proposal by such meeting in 2012.