Sunday, September 18, 2011

North-East/Ohio Valley Truck Camping Jamboree

OK folks, we’re back for our second rally with the North-East Truck Camping Jamboree.  The Ohio Valley Truck Campers have also been invited to this rally and over 90 truck campers of all kinds will be here for this four day event.

No rally can truly begin until Wagonmaster  Mike(Mikeee)  Tassinari arrives with his cargo trailer loaded with all kinds of rally stuff.

A special feature of this rally is the sweet corn, 300 pounds of steamer clams and 36 feet of sub sandwiches for Saturday nights dinner.

    Mikee always has really good deals on camping clothing and everyone quickly comes to see what new items he may have.

Jackets, blankets and shirts with the jamboree logo are always popular items.

With over 90 truck campers present, we don’t think any manufacturer was left out.  Arctic Fox, Northern Lite, Chalet, Big Foot, Host, Eagle Cap, Palomino, Adventurer, Lance, Okanagan,S&S, Shadow Cruiser, Northstar, and Travel Lite were all present.  I am sure we missed some.  With all these models and owners present, this has to be the best truck camper show one could find.

Gordon and Angela White from Truck Camper Magazine were there with a Travel Lite camper for everyone to see and tour. 

                     Mikeee had the usual endless pile of firewood, all of which was used.

The morning seminars on truck and camper maintenance and related issues were well attended.

We had a wine and beer tasting demo with everyone bringing samples from their travels.  Saki, Nova Scotia Blueberry wine and home made moonshine were my favorites.

                     Here’s a group of people that can tell you a lot about truck campers.

                   Part of the rally is paid for with proceeds from the raffle that is held at every rally.

There were a lot of nice donated items.  We brought a lobster trap from our summer trip to Newfoundland.

                                          We ate six of these six foot sub sandwiches--

                                       ---and 300 pounds of fresh, steamed clams.

                                           Lots of melted butter for the clams and corn.

don’t think anyone can add more enthusiasm to a rally than Mikeee.  Here he is going over his last minute instructions on how to best enjoy his corn, sub and steamer extravaganza.

                      We took his advice and all agreed that the meal was a huge success.

                              These New Englanders really like their steamers.

John, from Arkansas, didn’t do too bad either.

The raffle is always well attended, with many nice items going to the lucky winners.

                                        This helps to pay a major part of the rally expenses.
                     The rallies always end with a Sunday morning breakfast prepared by the guys.

Scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes and coffee send everyone off on a safe trip home.

   Got to get that flame just right.

                                                 Hey, they’re looking good right now.

                                                         You want your bacon crisp?

Mike Olesnevich from Xtreme RV in High Point, North Carolina sponsored this Sunday morning breakfast.  Mike specializes in truck campers and that is all he sells.

                     Time goes fast and before we know it we are on our way--

--through the mountains of Pennsylvania, and into West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana--

--where we will visit relatives and our kids while we volunteer at the Chain-O-Lakes State Park near Chicago, where we used to live.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Mighty Susquehanna

We were able to bypass the wrath of tropical storm Irene by heading north
                     to visit friends in Quebec.  

It is now two weeks after the storm as we pass through New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

 Swollen rivers have receded considerably, but still remain high above flood stage in many areas.

               This is a beautifully scenic area with many rivers, bridges and rural roads. 

Destruction is now wide-spread and massive, with many bridges and roads completely missing or seriously damaged.  Water rose over 14 feet here to completely cover this bridge and road.

With so many roads and bridges destroyed, even now two weeks after the storms, police, state highway workers and the National Guard could not tell us which way to go.

This guardrail was taken out by the force of the rushing water and debris that came down the road.

 This is the main section of  Vestal, New York two weeks after the storms.

                                 These stores still have one to three feet of water in them.

   With no electric and water and for some no homes or cars to return to, it will be a long time for normal life to return.

   We have never before seen this much destruction in our travels.

After four hours of closed interstates, washed out impassable roads and completely missing bridges, we counted our blessings as we finally found our way south to the North-East Truck Camper Jamboree this weekend in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.