Mary and I (Sheri Tinker) with Sheridan Designs just came back from the Bakersfield outing. Alternating between sunny and bright to foggy and cold weather , we had a fun time meeting new gals from the southern California group. Badges R Us was there and we rekindled our friendship with the owners Susan Cox and Dorothy Loll whom we met at the San Antonio convention. The new 'in' thing is to have a badge with your dogs’ names on it...little paws on either side. Very cute. Many Freewheelers will be sporting those so take a look and you can reach Badges R Us by phone or online. Great people!
Business was pretty good. The SoCal Journers, the Solos and the FullTimers were not used to seeing the display of attire and accessories so there was a lot of interest. Thanks to the cold weather we sold a lot of RVW Founder Sweatshirts!! Favorites were the antennae balls and the picnic/wine totes for pot lucks. Friendship shirts, as always, are a big hit. Jan Harris' words will live on forever!
The entertainment night was a kick. First off, no one can sing Like Arlene Huffman and she brought her karaoke for all to enjoy. I (Sheridan) sang and created a lot of laughter amongst the gals. Rachel Harp was 'on' as usual and provided a lot of entertainment and motivation for all to join in. She danced and wiggled herself to every song, much to everyone’s delight. The Hot Flashes performed again and were better than ever. Their witty renditions were thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. Who got that all on YouTube????
Harp's RV was in attendance and Rachel and Joel brought son, Nick, to help out. Nick is looking very well (unless you're blind...he's a real cutie!!) after his illness last year and feeling up to snuff. He was a major addition to the Harp's busy schedule and could be seen under, over and in many rigs doing repairs and enhancements. He is one capable young man and was surely an asset to the weekend for Rachel and Joel.
Sheridan Designs is gearing up for the trip to Casa De Fruta...our first as we missed last year. Our Mary had some surgery and is movin' kinda slow so we ask for patience as we try to manage keeping up with Mary's usual schedule! Pat and I are clearly overwhelmed and without Susan DuShane, we would be mired. Still available online and by phone for orders. Nothing stops Mary from the phone!!! (humor)
This was a magical musical event, beginning on a rainy Thursday afternoon when about 15 RVW rigs pulled into the Casa de Fruta campground. This campground has a wonderful “music hall” -- a large clubhouse that includes a kitchen, ample tables and chairs, and a stage! The early birds gathered in the clubhouse to stay warm, re-connect with old friends, and welcome some newcomers.
On Friday the rest of our group rolled into the campground .. a total of 45 rigs, and 70 women! We were distressed to learn that one of our advisory board members, Jini Squires, had an accident when she was on her way to join us .. her trailer flipped over on the road and was totaled. She was not injured, but was not able to join us for the week-end. Thanks to excellent wi-fi connections, we were able to stay in touch and confirm that she was OK. Friday night we had our traditional “meet and greet”. We welcomed several new members and guests, adorned them with beads to signify their newcomer status to the group, and promised to make sure that they were integrated into our group throughout the week-end.
Saturday began with a potluck breakfast, then despite the rain women found fun things to do during the morning while the All-Girl Band practiced in the clubhouse. Peggy and Karen and their trusty helpers Brenda and Janet stuffed the oven with potatoes that everyone brought for the “potato roast” potluck dinner .. what a sight to behold .. a standard oven stuffed with about 100 potatoes of all sizes and shapes! And the aroma filled the clubhouse and beyond. I am not sure if the aroma inspired the line dancers, but about 30 women gathered to either participate or observe the rest of us doing “stomp, stomp, wiggle, wiggle” in unison as we learned three fun, relatively easy line dances!
Then Saturday night was our big potato roast! The call to dinner began with Martha playing her bagpipes, filling the campground with that wonderful sound to let women know it was time to gather in the clubhouse (the rain thankfully gave us a reprieve for this migration!) Women brought “fixins” for the potatoes and everyone enjoyed a potato potluck dinner! Then the entertainment .. it all began with a surprise performance by the All-Girl Accordion Trio! Then our ever popular All Girl Band, playing many of our old-time favorites, with lots of sing-alongs and a few brave dancers to boot!
The gray skies and drizzles continued on Sunday morning but not for a moment did this dampen our fun, and joy in being together. We cleared out the fridge for a farewell breakfast, and waved goodbyes as rigs made their way out of the campground to their next stop or home again. Casa de Fruta is a perfect spot for a rainy and chilly week-end gathering. The large clubhouse is warm and spacious, and the Casa de Fruta folks are wonderful campground hosts. We will return next year .. first week-end in February 2011!
The weatherman threatened “to rain on our parade” but relented at the last moment and allowed us some sun and warmer temperatures than predicted for our FreeWheeler weekend. Not even March winds arrived to spoil our fun. By noon on Thursday the RVs were pulling into the spacious sites at Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff. Twenty-seven “early bird” rigs were in place by evening and their occupants partook of a sumptuous wiener and smores roast in the clubhouse. Many of the gals said they hadn’t laughed so hard in months. Several members enjoyed the hot tub while others sat in front of the roaring fire pit. Those who didn’t want to brave the evening chill stayed inside to play games and chat.
By Friday evening 45 rigs and 71 FreeWheelers and guests were enjoying the festivities. Beverly Hiltachk, though feeling less that “perky,” arrived on Friday afternoon in time to serve her famous root beer floats. At 5 p.m. margaritas and tapas were served at the “Meet and Greet.” Arleen welcomed a record number of guests (11) and new members (3) with strands of “Freewheeler” beads.
You know the saying that you “can’t teach old dogs new tricks.” Well, the FreeWheelers taught the hosts that breakfast before 9 a.m. is not acceptable. Only a few brave souls showed up for Saturday breakfast at 8:30 a.m. After breakfast groups went to Redding to see the Sundial Bridge and Turtle Bay Exploratorium and other groups went to the Sacramento River Discovery Center in Red Bluff. We met at 3 p.m. at Beverly’s rig for root beer floats again. One thing the FreeWheelers do well is eat!
By 6 p.m. on Saturday evening, the grill was blazing and the meat sizzling as we met for our evening barbecue and potluck. After dinner, a drawing was held thanks to donations from Sheridan Designs, Harps RV, Durango RV, and Bev Smith. About 20 of us watched Duplicity with Julia Roberts, the winning choice from five movies offered by the hosts, while another group chatted and laughed uproariously in front of the fireplace in the clubhouse (occasionally disturbing the movie!).
Sunday dawned with clear blue skies (a perfect day for those who got to stay) and about 30 of us partook of omelets, bacon, scrambled eggs and sausage, home-made cinnamon rolls, and lots of fruit and donuts. We said goodbye to many friends after breakfast and look forward to seeing them again at upcoming outings. Taking advantage of the weather, the members who were lucky enough to remain sat in the sun, strolled along the Sacramento River trail, played cards on the picnic tables, and generally lounged around doing much of nothing. On Sunday evening 20 of us went to Luigi’s Pizza and Pasta for dinner.
It is a gorgeous time of year to be in the hills about 40 miles southeast of Sacramento where the grass is lush and green and wildflowers and wildlife, especially birds, abound. The weather
was ideal for this weekend outing, primarily dry camping, hosted by Sue Copeland, Jeri McLees, Irene Paulin and Mary Sue Ferrell. There were a total of 67 women in 44 rigs, of which 25 were solos.
Highlights of the weekend included our first real campfire of the year under perfect weather conditions. Friday evening after a "meet and greet" new members and "old" friends, and announcement time.
Saturday morning there was a breakfast potluck with the highlight being a special return of Susan and Beth's delicious biscuits and gravy. Following breakfast, those interested in “Gadgets and Gimmicks” visited two rigs to see examples of a quick release water attachment, windshield wiper protectors, and easy attachment for putting water in batteries.
The group then retreated to the picnic table area for a "show and tell" about things that make life easier with our rigs. Mary Sue brought out her bag of essentials for connecting to all electrical hook up possibilities such as up to 50 amp or down to 30, or 110 & 12 volt adapters. An important lesson was learned by several who had "checked" the viability of their battery for dry camping while plugged into 110 at home. The measure was "the lights worked," but lo and behold the battery did not when they were camped under the trees at Pardee!
Cheryll Clark, who had a hook up site, went above and beyond when she loaned her coach battery to another FreeWheeler for the weekend who discovered her batteries did not work.
Dumping black water tanks happens whether you're dry camping or hooked up. Gadgets for easier handling were demonstrated. And yes, one can use propane to boil water for instant coffee and not need the generator for a coffee pot. It can also be used to heat a small RV or trailer with an upside down orchid pot placed over a low flame on the stove, with a vent opened slightly of course. There is no better place to learn about dry camping than with other RVW members to help you!
FreeWheelers have expanded their interests from eating and talking to shopping and playing games! For the shoppers, Sheridan Designs had a small selection of their items and Sue Copeland had an assortment of her custom designed magnetic jewelry. FreeWheelers had their first ever Washer Toss competition with 8 teams competing in a double elimination tournament. The winning team was Cheryll Clark/Christy Stevens and in second place was the team of Jini Squire/Kelly Morris.
Jeri McLees and Nao ran a picture contest fundraiser, with submissions (high school to college age) from 24 attendees. All you had to do was match the picture with a name, and Merrily Robinson won by correctly matching 21 out of 24. The beautiful weather continued as we gathered around the fire pit to cook hot dogs that accompanied many delicious side dishes. Once the sun set we gathered around a perfect fire and continued a tradition of remembering special people, past and present, with “fairy dust” which when sprinkled on the flames make pretty colors.
Sue Copeland gave us an update on Carol Watters who was not able to attend; she’d been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Only six days later Arleen, our chapter president, reported on the listserv that Carol had lost the battle. We're all eager to have her daughter, LeeAnn, join us at a FreeWheeler outing.
Finally, thanks to those FreeWheelers who contributed the 70+ t-shirts for Maryhouse; it is a daytime shelter for homeless women and children located in Sacramento.
Mary Sue Ferrell
Host Sharon Adams welcomed 53 rigs and 81 members and guests to the Jackson Rancheria RV Park in Jackson, California for the weekend of May 6 to 9 in the beautiful foothills of the Gold Country. Thursday we were on our own to visit the historic sites or the casino. Sharon set up a book exchange table at her rig and that went well. Friday at 5:00 pm was our potluck appetizer “Meet and Greet” in the beautiful clubhouse. New members and guests were welcomed by our chapter leader Arleen.
Saturday morning was our potluck breakfast. We then warmed a new Trailer of Margaret Evans and a new 5th Wheel of Beth and Susan’s with lots of cheers and champagne. Everyone was on their own to explore the Gold Country for the day. Some went geocaching, to the casino, or to local historic towns and shopping. And some went wine tasting in Shenandoah Valley. Our very own Tinker Gals brought their T-Shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc. for sale from Sheridan Designs. We chose our Polo Shirt color for the upcoming Arizona convention. Mary Sue and Irene had their picture rugs for sale, and Sue had her magnetic jewelry for sale.
Saturday night was bring a dish to share for the potluck and bring your own meat for the B-B-Q if you wanted to partake. Our “All Girl Band” played after dinner to an arousing crowd. The clubhouse was filled with card players and domino players later in the evening.
Sunday morning was our clean out the refrigerator breakfast potluck. Then Joan Beason gave the morning God Talk session. We said goodbye to those that had to leave Sunday afternoon, but had 22 rigs staying the night into Monday. And we collected 76 pounds of canned goods for our local food bank. Thank you all. We had fabulous spring weather and lots of great camaraderie. We hope our guests that came to check out RVingWomen will join us. We will be at the Rancheria the first weekend of May next year.
Since 95% of the rigs arrived on Thursday, it seems now this is our new starting day. It is a wonderful casual day of reconnecting. On Friday, when everyone arrived, we met in the Clubhouse for TGIF. Arleen gave a welcoming talk. Sign ups were taken for rigs to be professionally washed.
Our Saturday started off with a breakfast potluck - highlighted by Beth and Susan making their famous biscuits and gravy. The very informative Rachel Harp, talking about what was happening in the RV industry, presented us with some new RV gadgets and answered any and all of our questions. The "Tinkers" were open for business with all their RVW and FreeWheeler attire and many took advantage of ordering their convention shirts.
Several of the members took advantage of the many things to do in and around Corning. The Barry Kirshner Wildlife Foundation, a Big Cat Sanctuary, drew the most praise.
Saturday night we all met at the Clubhouse for a COOL PICNIC POTLUCK, followed by BINGO, prizes and $$$$. The members could not get enough of it!! Thanks to our callers - they were great!
Sunday we said our goodbyes and safe travel to those leaving. For us remaining, Sunday afternoon we were invited to share in Nao's 13th birthday -- the humans sharing almond champagne and the furkids munching on some special treats. Then we all just did our "Sunday" night thing....leaving Corning Monday for places unknown/or home.
Perhaps due to the distance many had to travel, or perhaps due to the amount of activities available, most of the Freewheelers attending the outing arrived on Thursday and stayed until Monday. Some went golfing on Friday and Saturday, arranged by Ellen Blalock. Others went fishing on Saturday, arranged by Cheryll Clark and Christie Stevens. Most did whatever they wanted: kayaked, shopped, hiked, talked, and, of course, ate.
We had a meet and greet on Friday night, following a thunder storm and rain that cooled things down. Saturday morning breakfast and then dinner pot luck Saturday night. The hosts provided desserts from the Blairsden Bakery: pies, cookies and cake.
Sunday we had a clean out the fridge breakfast, although with most staying, we didn’t completely clean out the breakfast items.
Monday saw the rest of the Freewheelers leave. Celia and Marion have agreed to take on next year’s event and have arranged for Clio’s Resort again, although the date has moved to the first weekend in August.
The weather was absolutely perfect in Mt Shasta at the Lake Siskiyou Campground Resort, with a good number of members arriving on Thursday. We started this beautiful weekend with a Thursday night campfire with snacks brought to share.
There were discussions on what to do on Friday. A few chose to see the area east of Lake Siskiyou near McCloud with hiking to the nearby Lower, Middle and Upper Falls of the McCloud River. A few tried their luck fishing, and others just relaxed around the campground.
By Friday all 21 sites were accounted for and everyone was settled in. We had 21 rigs of all shapes and sizes, 29 members and 4 guests. Beverly unselfishly shared her root beer floats at 3pm each day to all who came by her rig, we are so grateful for this cool, sweet afternoon treat.
Friday night was our Meet & Greet with everyone bringing appetizers to share with homemade bean dip and chips provided by the hosts. We had several guests and a 1st timer joining us and it was wonderful getting to know these great women. Each and every person brings another great facet to the Freewheelers chapter, adding to its diversity and enjoyment!
A beautiful new RVW shirt design from Sheridan Designs was revealed and modeled (this particular one was a nice modest cut tank style shirt), which can be ordered from them in several colors. You will love this shirt! We finished the evening around a crackling campfire with old and new friends getting re-acquainted.
Saturday started with a few early risers bringing their breakfasts over to greet the day and talk about what they had planned for the day. Several women went fishing, some tried their skills at a rousing game of Washer Toss, some went into the town of Mt Shasta coming back with bags full of great thrift store finds, a few went to visit the Mt Shasta Fish Hatchery, while others simply relaxed, napped and played card games while enjoying the natural beauty of the area.
Saturday night’s potluck was a great feast! Homemade Sangria helped cool the fire from all the yummy spices in the wonderful Mexican themed potluck dishes. In true Freewheeler style, there was a wonderful selection of dishes to choose from, no one went hungry!
A colorful rooster piñata dangled nearby, tempting us with its hidden goodies to those who dared to take a swing at it. After dinner most all of our members took a turn entertaining us by wacking the piñata before all the treats and treasures tumbled out and we couldn’t laugh anymore! Piñatas aren’t just for ‘kids’…..We all played like we were 10 again! Laughter is never far from any Freewheeler outing. Again an awesome campfire was built and we relaxed around it telling stories, jokes and making more memories.
Sunday morning we had coffee, bagels with schmears and toppings to share before some had to head home, while some were able to stay over until Monday. The weekend was just about perfect. The weather couldn’t have been better. The food was fabulous, the fun didn’t seem to ever end and new as well as old friends promised to stay in touch until the next Freewheelers adventure! Thanks to all who made this such a memorable outing.
Hosts: 2010 FreeWheelers Board
Location: Sugarbarge RV Resort, Bethel Island
Phone: (800) 799-4100
As always seems to be the case, our Sugarbarge Annual Meeting Outing this year was blessed with sunny days and cool nights and a full house! We were joined by 72 FreeWheelers in 49 rigs. The fun began early this year with over half of the attendees arriving Thursday. Unfortunately, the internet ate the email I sent to all attendees with their space assignments so no one knew where they were supposed to be…however in true FW style, people just jump in and figured out how to help. A BIG “thank you” to Cheryll Clark, who jumped in, got a list from the office and got people to their assigned spaces before I could get there. Friday throughout the day we got all the rest of the gang settled so we could head off to the clubhouse for nice Meet & Greet sponsored by the Advisory Board. At this Meet & Greet we learned a little more about our newest member, the FreeWheeler Hitchhiker. Afterwards, all headed back for BBQ’s, campfires and friendship.
Saturday morning, we convened breakfast followed by our Annual meeting where we handled some business, introduced new officers and said goodbye to outgoing board members.
Above: 2011 Board members (L to R): Judy Leonard, Connie DeCoud, Cheryl Clark, Jini Squire, Christy Stevens
Above: Outgoing chapter leader Arleen Huffman and 2011 chapter leader Cheryl Clark
We had some great fun with a Flashcard routine put on by Cheryll Clarke and Christy Stevens.
Saturday afternoon, we had our Craft & Collectible Show and Sale and saw some terrific crafts and gave people a chance to clean out their rigs of useful “treasures”. The finale of the day was our wonderful Potluck. We decided to start a new tradition at this year’s Annual Meeting Saturday potluck by inviting our beloved Joel Harp to have dinner with us. He and Rachel attended and we had a great time. We hope this becomes an annual tradition going forward. We finished up the evening with a Disco Lounge and Karaoke Club that night where folks danced and sang until they just couldn’t wiggle. There were many great disco and hippie costumes…even a great 50’s outfit sported by our own Connie DeCoud. The winner of the costume prize (by audience acclaim) was Kathy Nellis. I hope you folks have some pictures to share because they were terrific costumes. The fun kept up until Arleen your Love and Peace MC played the “Last Dance”. Next morning, we had our last potluck and bid the Sunday departures farewell… until the next time.
Forty women (and many courageous furry animals) braved the uncertain weather and came to enjoy the wonderful camaraderie, food, and crafts time at our December outing in Corning, at Heritage RV Park. Many of our group arrived on Thursday and we all enjoyed the lovely buffet dinner at the casino in town. Friday was a quiet day for most of us. Several people found themselves reading, watching TV, and diligently working on decorating their wreath, their rig, enjoying our meet and greet time, and gearing up for all the fun on Saturday. Several people went into town and shopped at the local craft faire or went to the Olive Oil Factory coming home with some very interesting oils.
Saturday started out with a wonderful potluck breakfast. Then by one we started more fun. People were arriving with their gorgeously decorated wreaths and we put them all on display. Voting for the best and most original was extremely difficult. The 42 decorated wreaths were donated to the St. John's Retirement Center in Woodland, California, where they were "oohed and aahhed" over and everyone wanting "that one" for their door. We also had a glass ball ornament painting class, and the four people who signed up turned into 10, when they saw how gorgeous they were. At the same time, 8 people participated in a cookie exchange where everyone brought and received 3 dozen different, delicious cookies. Everyone was given a Christmas cookie platter and everyone spontaneously put the platter on their faces, what a funny group the "Platter People" were! Voting for the best rig, it was a tie.
After an afternoon of fun and activity, we had a delightful potluck dinner, followed by a hilarious gift exchange evening. People were laughing so hard, some had to leave the clubhouse! Much joking and hilarity was had by all. It had been another FreeWheeler great event.
Many left us on Sunday, but those remaining enjoyed the day playing games and chit chatting with friends, whilst that evening we all went out to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. Monday morning several of us said our farewells at a local cafe for breakfast. Nothing can dampen the FreeWheeler spirit, so a great time was had by everyone who attended.