2004 Events

January 2004

Lake Minden

    We had a rainy start to our outing at Lake Minden (Thousand Trails) on Friday, but Saturday dawning bright and chilly.  Because of the rain Friday night, no one wanted to go the ½ mile to the lodge for a game night – and because Saturday was so gorgeous, no one wanted to go to the lodge for munchies.  The best laid plans went awry, but everyone still had a great time! The area was great for the bird watchers – Penny & Gail added to the festivities by serving margaritas on Saturday. Others joined in bicycling, checking out the nearby Del Web retirement community, or just taking a walk (or two). All in all – in spite of the “no fire” rule, a good time was had by all 17 of us in 13 rigs, plus two who joined us Saturday on their way home from cabin building. Everyone agreed this should stay on the list of a return trip by the group. – Jo Murdock

February 2004

Lake San Antonio

  Report on February’s RVW FreeWheeler Outing, held at Lake San Antonio on President’s Long Weekend, Feb. (12), 13-14-15-16-(17).  We had such a large group that we ended up having participants in two different areas of the Lake San Antonio Monterey County Park. We had 55 people (38 RVW members, 3 new RVW members, 5 with dropped memberships, and 9 guests) in 34 rigs. The weather fluctuated between cold & warm, cloudy-foggy & sunny, but generally O.K. and no rain to speak of. The proceedings started Friday with decorating the rigs with “tacky lights”, then everyone contributing to a communal Chili pot for dinner. Later, the infamous fire goddess (aka Sue Owen) created a wonderful fire for all to enjoy. Saturday was laid back until the RVW FreeWheeler Business meeting, where we discussed how to go about restructuring the chapter to meet with the National RVW requirements. After the business meeting, everyone put out their items that they wanted to sell and the bartering began. This was followed with a “finger food” cocktail hour, dinner on your own, and Story Telling around the campfire, led by Minnie Bowman of Tennessee. I think we all learned something about the history and importance of Story Telling. Sunday afternoon found us with all our decorated potatoes on display with Kip and Nell taking first place, Connie McKenna taking 2nd, and Jane Van Gorder taking 3rd. If I don’t have the placement of prizes correct, please forgive me. Babe Poe took first in tacky lights, Sheila Welt and Patti Patton took 2nd, and Carolyn Price and Dee Dias took 3rd. This was then followed by our wonderful potluck and another wonderful campfire and more stories.  Monday found most of us breaking camp and saying our good byes until “we meet again”, hopefully March or April. We give you all fair warning, once again, Ardie and Sally will not be hostessing the February Long weekend outing and Definitely, not at Lake San Antonio.  We hope you all enjoyed our efforts and experiment at doing something different at an outing.
Respectfully submitted by the “Outing Leaders”, Ardie Jarrett and Sally Johnson

March 2004

Canyon Creek

What a weekend! Spring by Putah Creek; the weather was so perfect that Jackie, Kip, Nell and I stayed two more days.  We had sixteen rigs in our strip across from the grass on Putah Creek, really more like a river–the water rushed past us in a torrent. It had flooded two weeks before and when I got there the tables were on the rise above our camp sites, and some of the electrical hookups had yellow tape on them, but all was restored by Friday morning when most of our group arrived.  We had snacks on Friday night, with a fire and margaritas, mixing, courtesy of Penny, and the ingredients provided by Donna; Saturday night, Canyon Creek put on their annual Mardi Gras Festival. A steak dinner for $8.00 included gambling chips and all had fun betting on Kip as Blue in the “horse race,” which she won. She brought in Hundreds of dollars in chips for our gals–Go Kip. Nell paid $52,000. for a back scrubber and $139,000 for a bird nest. There were astonished faces next morning from some of us who had not stayed for the gambling, when Penny and Gail told the story of a woman flasher (not one of us), who did an impromptu t-shirt strip and encouraged all the other women to do the same. A man sitting next to her egged her on by giving her $500. in chips for every flash. The croupier got into the act by flashing his chest (nipples too). Good thing I wasn’t there because if I had joined the flashers, I would have turned all lookers into stone.  We had two full timers join us at the last minute. Nonni in her snazzy van, and Donna in her 35 foot sport car, well, she drove it like a sport car, and Rosalie and her partner, Julie with their new big rig.  Lorrell, a new member arrived Friday in her beautiful new rig for a first time trip accompanied with companion, Nanna, a white great pyrenees.  I hope everyone had as good a time as I did, and thanks Freewheelin’ Women for being so much fun and such good companions.

April 2004

Cassini Ranch

The weather was beautiful for our Casini outing. Most of the group chose to relax in their rigs on Friday evening, resulting in a lightly-attended campfire. On Saturday, as usual, everyone went their own way during the day, canoeing, sightseeing, shopping, walking, reading, napping, or visiting. Some (Oh no!!!) even worked. Several people went out for breakfast or lunch, and a number of women checked out the riverside campsites for future visits without the group. Many had not been to Casini Ranch Campground before, and were impressed by the beauty of the surroundings. The daytime winds eased well in time for afternoon snacks. As usual, we had more than enough food, and we enjoyed eating and visiting. Along with the red hat ladies, Nao came dressed in her little red hat and purple, metallic, sparkly bow or bib. Very cute! Did anyone get a picture of her? Entertainment was provided by Ann Vode, who played the accordion, and Becky Harvey, who sang. It was a beautiful, professional quality concert, much too short, but greatly enjoyed by all.  The Saturday campfire was very well attended. The group was lively, the discussions interesting the stories hilarious, and all was accompanied by much laughter. Nancy Hoffman had brought her telescope in hopes that we would be able to view the alignment of the planets currently visible in the night sky (Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn and Venus); but, alas! – fog and clouds obscured the sky, so we were out of luck.  Most of the group left on Sunday, but a number of us couldn’t tear ourselves away, so we continued on. First was an impromptu group lunch and lots of talk, then off to various other pursuits. Two of us went to Rivers End restaurant in Jenner for dinner, which was expensive, but the food and view were worth it. The rest dined at the campground. Later most of us gathered for a campfire, and a very pleasant, relaxing end to a wonderful weekend.

May 2004

Morgan Hill

Mother’s Day Weekend at the Morgan Hills, Thousand Trails Resort was a small intimate group of 16., some of whom arrived early to enjoy the ambiance a bit longer. We had 3 newbies and enjoyed camp fires Fri, Sat and Sunday night. Sat we had a miniature golf tourney and the winners were Beverly and her daughter. Then on Sunday a few of us went to the Bonafonte Gardens in Gilroy. The weather was real pleasant that weekend.

June 2004

Olema Ranch Campground

It was another fun, relaxing Freewheelers weekend.  Some rested, some experimented with WI-FI, some played Phase 10 dice, some watched the horse races, some read and some went birding or to see the local sights.  Everyone visited and caught up on each others news.  On Friday we had Margaritas at 5pm and then about half of the group went into town for dinner.  The rest of us had dinner on our own and we all gathered for a great campfire and good conversation.  Saturday was clear and nice.  Nine of us took a ride to Audubon Canyon Ranch to see the egrets and herons at the rookery.  It was a bit of a hike to the overlook but we were rewarded with lots of baby birds on the nests.  Some “teenagers” were almost as big as their parents but still begging for food and some nests had small downy babies whose parents had to keep them warm.  We enjoyed a picnic at the ranch and a walk through the book store before going back to camp.  Some people took a ride out to the lighthouse at Point Reyes and early in the morning some went to Bolinas and the Point Reyes Bird Observatory to see the bird banding.  Munchies on Saturday were their usual wonderful selves.  There were all kinds of delightful goodies.  Kip and Nell brought a big box of oysters to BBQ on the campfire.  It was a new taste for some but anything with garlic butter has to be good.  We really enjoyed meeting all the “newbies” who came to our event and those “long timers” who had a chance to stop by and visit us.   We all seem to learn something more about our rigs each time we get together.  Beth and Susan had breakfast for us on Sunday morning.  Susan’s wonderful biscuits and gravy were as good as ever.  Most of us had to say our good byes and head for home.  The lucky ones waved good bye and stayed another day.

July 2004

Snowflower Thousand Trails

Snowflower Thousand Trails is a wooded preserve nestled in the mountains just west of Donner Pass off I-80. 16 rigs and 27 campers enjoyed the usual munchies on Saturday, July 10, plus Saturday morning a group was treated by Susan to biscuits and gravy…plus eggs, sausage, oj, and coffee. Fantastic! Beth shuttled 2 groups down the hill to explore the camp store and a couple of us went to the pool. Several hiked, others snoozed. This was the first time I know of that we had Nevada people and there was also the largest number of fulltimers in my experience…3! We missed the fire and the fire goddess but just one look at the woods made it very clear why the” no fires” policy! All in all, we had a great time and the weather was perfect…except for the mosquitos!

August 2004

Benbow RV Resort

The Freewheelers had about 20 or so members at the Benbow event. We all gathered at Sue and Jan’s spaces Friday evening for appetizers. We were taken over by the yellow jacket bees and they tried to walk off with the shrimp that Connie and Nancy brought.  She finally put a lid on it capturing many of them and dumped it in the garbage. One of the gals brought a yellow jacket trap and hung it near us and that distracted some of the bees, but they thought our food was better pickins.  Saturday night was our potluck and I asked the office if there was somewhere we could have our dinner without the company of the bees. The manager gave us a meeting room at the Benbow Inn, just a short walk from the campground. We were all very happy about that. Weather was hot, and some of the gals ventured to the river for a swim. There was also a pool at the rv park.  I think everyone had a good time.

September 2004

Golden Pines RV Resort in Camp Connell.

It was great to be up in the pines and out of the valley heat. The weather was beautiful and the air clear. 30 women participated, 13 of which were newcomers. We enjoyed meeting all of the new women and look forward to seeing them again in the months ahead. The group circle of rigs seemed to be a big hit. Everyone congregated in the center to socialize. A few of us were lucky enough to be able to arrive on Thursday and enjoy an extra day. Friday was meet and greet with a campfire that night. Saturday everyone was on their own, but again, most congregated in the circle for talk and laughter. Some of us went to Calaveras Big Trees State Park to hike among and enjoy the majestic giant redwoods. As always, the hors d’oeuvre/potluck was scrumptious.  Thank you ladies! For desert we all shared a carrot cake provided by the wagonmasters. Yum. The campfire closed the evening with many stories and much laughter. Thanks to Beth and Susan for the delicious breakfast of biscuits and gravy. We also wish to thank Anne Vode who provided accordion music for us throughout the weekend. It provided a soothing background for our weekend.  Also a special thanks to Kip and Nell who joined us Friday and Saturday evenings. Kip spoke to the group after the potluck providing updates pertaining to RVW and Freewheelers.  Although the sites were dusty and we also had to fight off the yellow jackets, the consensus was that this resort should stay on our list of places to go. Sunday we all packed up at our leisure, but we still had time to visit “in the circle” before leaving. A great time was had by all. This was our first time as wagonmasters and we had a fun time planning and setting it up. We might even do it again someday!  See you at Bodega Bay!
Sue Copeland and Gloria Jarvis

October 2004   

Bodega Bay, California

Another great weekend has come and passed.  We arrived on Thursday afternoon to greet the arrivals.  We had reserved 30 campsites.  All were used and then some.  Here we thought we would volunteer in Oct when many would still be traveling from convention in Tenn.  The turnout would be small right?  We had Women from all over.  I believe our furthest distance traveler was Polly from Red Bluff, Calif. The weather was wonderful.   

From the RV Park you could take a short walk past the memorial bells for little Nicolas killed in Italy where his parents donated his organs, already 10 yrs ago this past weekend, or walk through the State Park to the beach, where I am told you could watch the surfers.

Everyone pretty much explored at their will up and down the coast.  Some returned to camp with their treasures.  I saw kites and even fresh salt water taffy.  There were even a couple of Women that had seen Whales. We enjoyed munchies in the rec hall at 5:00 on Sat. with 42 women in attendance.  We had quite a few new people that had come for their first outing; we sure hope to see them again.  I’m sure we will. With the weekend drawing to an end we said our good byes & gave our hugs at the same time discussing where we would be seeing everyone next. Wishing everyone a safe journey we left kicking & screaming till the next camp out.  – Beth Gilliam & Susan DuShane.

November 2004

Edgewater Resort
Clearlake, California

The Freewheelers November Campout was at Edgewater Resort “on the shores of beautiful Clear Lake.”   The weather was absolutely  beautiful.  Clear and sunny, cool in the shade, but warm in the sun.  There were l9 rigs and 31 women.   Nights were cool, but our roaring campfire helped take the chill off the evening.  Saturday morning biscuits and gravy by Susan and Beth was the best ever. Practice makes perfect!  They are spoiling us.   Some spent the days fishing (not catching), hiking around Clear Lake State Park, which in itself was pretty awesome with lots of birds, squirrels, and even some otters enjoying a nice fish lunch, or just relaxing, reading and talking.  Lorelle and her friend took a taxi to Konocti Harbor for a show.  Margo and Deb from Reno came with their kayaks for the weekend.  The potluck had it’s usual array of delicious dishes to choose from.  We shared the club house with a small group of campers from the Santa Rosa area called the “Happy Hook-ups”.  Just loved that name.  Wish I had thought of it.  I hear one of them has decided to join the Freewheelers.  About 10 or 12 of us stayed over Sunday night and had leftovers for dinner in the club house.  Just as good as the first night!  The evening ended with a rousing game of Pool and Peppermint schnappes!!!!!  Monday was cool and cloudy, that made it a little easier to pack up and head for home. – Pat Macias

December 2004

Tower Park Marina and RV Resort
Lodi, CA

Our December outing was held at Tower Park Marina and RV Resort, 5 miles west of Lodi in the delta. Despite the ominous weather forecast of a very cold, rainy, and windy weekend, some 32 women in 19 rigs showed up on Friday afternoon and evening. Thankfully, Mother Nature smiled on us with a mostly sunny and dry weekend. On Friday evening, some of us went up to the Marina’s restaurant for dinner. Great fish and chips! Yum! Then a few of us braved the cold around the campfire. It got down to 29 degrees that night, leaving a few folks with frozen water hoses in the morning. Sat morning dawned clear and, as is now the ritual, Susan and Beth served up some hot delicious biscuits and gravy with sausage. Teri showed up with a tray of scrambled eggs and Susan even made a special cup of hot chocolate for Mary Jo, who was especially chilly. Guess those cats in RVs just can’t keep you warm, huh Mary Jo?? Most of us had decorated our rigs with Christmas lights and were preparing for the Sat. evening pot luck holiday meal and Secret Santa gift game. We did take time out to christen THREE brand new rigs in the group. Each was as beautiful as the other and those of us still driving “old faithful” were green with envy.  Saturday night’s dinner and gift game were really fun. Some great gifts were found for $10. We were worried about the cold, since the pavilion  is open on 2 sides but thanks to a roaring fire in the wood burning stove and lots of hot food and body heat, no one seemed any the worse for wear. After the party a few of us once again gathered round the fire and had some good laughs. We had no new members this month except for Connie’s new puppy “Gracie”. What a cutie!!  We were all waiting for the rain to start during the night Saturday so were pleasantly surprised to awaken to sun again on Sunday. Another breakfast from Susan and Beth and then lots of chit chat with exchanging of addresses and phone numbers. We always have trouble tearing ourselves away from the group to head home. The group provides so much friendship and (not to be overlooked) shared knowledge. Some of the problem solving shared this weekend included: how to find you electric land line when it’s plugged into the generator outlet, how to get TV reception from your antenna by flipping the switch from “cable” to “antenna “, how to keep warm on freezing nights- furnace vs. electric heater, and finally how to keep that hose from freezing.  So, another wonderful week end of fun and camaraderie came to an end.  From all the Freewheeler to all of you, we wish you all the happiest of holidays and most of all we wish you Peace – Nancy & Connie