January 9-11, 2009
Nancy Hoffman & Connie McKenna, and Beth Gilliam & SusanDuShane
Location: Delta Shores Resort & Marina, Isletonwww.deltashores.com/resorts-delta.php
The Freewheelers started 2009 with a “Recover From the Holidays” weekend at Delta Shores RV Resort in Isleton. There were 26 rigs and 40 women, plus 10 more day visitors. And, we brought relaxing to a whole new level. Many of us arrived on Thursday to get a jump on the weekend. Friday dawned bright and brisk after below freezing temperatures overnight. We all gathered for the “Meet and Greet” get together on Friday before dinner. We were happy to welcome 2 new members. After our gathering, several of us drove down the road to The Lighthouse Restaurant for dinner. A few latecomers who were held up by a nearby traffic accident caught up with us at dinner and the camaraderie and laughter began.
Saturday morning was our first breakfast without Beth and Susan’s biscuits and gravy. They have officially retired from that task but went all out by bringing a bucket of powdered donuts. ? Just teasing, guys! The Tinkers joined us for breakfast and many of us placed orders for Freewheeler appliquéd shirts, hats, petwear, etc. After breakfast and a few announcements, we christened Merrily’s new fifth wheel, and then a group organized for a walk on the levee road and many of us got down to the business of putting our feet up. The weather was beautiful and a few of us even got a little sun while we sat outside talking and laughing until our cheeks hurt. Some folks played Scrabble and Taboo while some watched football on TV.
Even though we hadn’t planned it, we got a little lesson in RV electrical systems when Jeri’s outlets didn’t work, even on shore power. After much hunting, breaker flipping and fuse checking, we found out that the circuit breaker near her inverter had been broken off by something shifting in the storage compartment where the inverted is installed. Mystery solved! On with the fun!
Saturday evening, we joined the folks from the campground in the clubhouse for a potluck. Afterward there was a poker game, some of us lounged on the couches talking and some played billiards. There were lots of good laughs and fun had by all.
We weren’t able to use the clubhouse on Sunday morning for breakfast and had planned to eat outside since it had been so nice the day before. Unfortunately, there was thick fog that morning. BUT, not to be foiled by Mother Nature, several hardy women still gathered in the moisture to eat together before packing up to hit the road. 11 rigs stayed over on Sunday, and on Monday we all headed home with a few more memories of our wonderful times together.
February 6-8, 2009
Peggy Chinn and Karen Kane,
Location: Casa de Fruta, Hollister, CA
The theme for this outing was “Song and Dance”, and did we ever manage to make this theme come alive, even despite huge downpours of rain! The park was perfect for this kind of outing. It is asphalt-covered, so no mud to deal with .. just a few puddles where the asphalt dips! They have a very large, comfortable, heated clubhouse with a performance stage .. perfect for all of our activities all week-end. Rigs began pulling in on Thursday, then on Friday the park filled with rigs loaded with instruments, women, four-legged companions, and tons of yummy food!
The activities began with a Friday afternoon circle of about 20 women drumming and chanting, and a few others taking it all in! The spirit of shared rhythms continued during our “meet & greet” snack time. Arleen, our chapter leader, handed out the beads to our newbies and guests, and organized a couple of ice breakers that had everyone talking to women they barely knew, kicking us off with a wonderful spirit of sharing, inclusiveness and camaraderie!
On Saturday morning we had a fabulous potluck breakfast, which included Margaret’s blueberry pancakes! We announced all of the activities and directions people were planning for the day, and made sure that everyone was settled into exactly what they wanted to do for the day. Some women went on walks, others took off in the car to go outlet shopping, some went geocaching in the area, and others stayed in the clubhouse to play games. At 3 p.m. Beverly broke out the root beer and ice cream, much to the delight of many! At 4 p.m. the line dancing started! We had about 45 women, most of whom had never line danced before, join in for the fun – we actually learned 3 new dances in 1 hour – probably a record!
Then Saturday night we enjoyed a favorite, one and only FreeWheeler feature – the All-Girl Band playing love songs to honor the month of valentines and sweet-hearts! Half-way through, we had a surprise visit from our dear friend Gracie, and her faithful Nursie! The laughter grew from loud to outrageous roars!
Sunday morning wrapped up with a good-bye breakfast along with exchanges of emails and promises to send tidbits of information to one another. Several women, inspired by the music and laughter, began forming All-Girl offshoots … we have an All-Girl Accordian band, and an All-Girl Chorus starting up! We even heard some rumblings about an All-Girl comedy team! Beth and Susan started a fabulous tradition in FreeWheelers with their biscuits and gravy Saturday morning breakfasts, the spirit of which lives on, and the All-Girl band has now inspired an outpouring of talent to delight us all! So everyone – stay tuned for many more hours of wonderful music and talent along the way – not to mention the food!
March 6-8, 2009
Location: Lighthouse Marina & Resort
Our March outing started with damp campground but true to FreeWheeler style, there were no major problems that couldn’t be fixed by one of our various members. We had a full weekend planned so there was a little something for everyone.
Friday and Saturday nights we had Bingo in the clubhouse, Saturday and Sundays the park put on an awesome breakfast buffet for $5. Saturday morning we had an “Outing leader workshop” and a scavenger hunt. Beverly unveiled her birthday present and what a beauty it is. A stained glass window in her entry door that depicts a moose holding a root beer float!
Saturday afternoon, Barbara and Donna came to teach line dance in the clubhouse. Then we topped the day off with a Chili cook off. We had 17 entries and the winning prize of a 4qt. crock pot went to Sue Copeland. Sunday was checkout for those who needed to, but for those who stayed we had a great dinner at the Lighthouse restaurant. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful first weekend in March.
April 3-6, 2009
Sharon Adams and Susan Stanton
Location: Rancheria RV Park, Jackson
Hosts Sharon Adams and Sue Stanton welcomed 47 rigs and 76 members and guests to the Jackson Rancheria RV Park in Jackson, CA for the weekend of April 2 to 6, 2009 in the beautiful Gold Country. Thursday we were on our own to visit the historic sites or the casino.
Friday at 5:00 pm was our potluck appetizer “Meet and Greet” in the beautiful clubhouse. Sharon held a raffle for a Texas Train game, which was won by Merrily Robinson.
Saturday morning was our great potluck breakfast, then our very own Rachel Harp gave us an update on new RV products and answered questions on maintenance. Her husband Joel was performing maintenance on RVs during the day, which is so much appreciated. We then christened 2 new RVs of members Judy Leonard and Casper Nordahl with lots of champagne and cheers. Everyone was on their own to explore the Gold Country for the day, some went geocaching, to the casino, to Daffodil Hill or Sutter Creek. At 3:00 pm we had our daily Root Beer Floats at Beverly’s coach. 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. A local writer and historian, Suzanne Sheumaker, gave us a talk on the book she and her husband wrote called “America’s Living History – The Early Years”. The guidebook focuses on 300 premier historic destinations in the US. It is wonderful and she sold 20 books to members. The clubhouse was filled with card players and domino players in the evening.
Sunday morning was our clean out the refrigerator breakfast potluck. Then Joan Beason gave the morning prayer session. We said goodbye to those that had to leave Sunday afternoon, but we had 24 rigs staying the night into Monday. And we collected 72 pounds of canned goods for our local food bank. Thank you all. We had fabulous spring weather and lots of great camaraderie. We have our reservations made for May 6-9, 2010.
April 17-19, 2009
First Annual Gloria Jarvis Memorial Boondocking Outing
co-hosted by Irene Paulin, Jeri McLees, Sue Copeland and Mary Sue Ferrell.
Location: Lake Pardee, Ione, CA
The First Annual Gloria Jarvis Memorial Wienie Roast, held at Lake Pardee the weekend of April 17, was a poignant and bittersweet event for all who attended. As the FreeWheelers know, Lake Pardee was a favorite of Glo Jarvis & Sue Copeland – who had hosted the “boondocking” event several times in the past. With the passing of Glo last October, when she lost her battle with colon cancer, we decided what better way to honor her memory than to hold an outing at her favorite place!
And many of her friends agreed – the park was packed with FreeWheelers – with the “sissies”opting for the few available full hookups and the rest of us “enduring” the boondocking tradition. Glo had promised to keep an eye on the weather for us – and she sure did so, it was a glorious weekend.
In keeping with the other traditions of the April Pardee gathering, everyone was pretty much on their own. There were no potlucks or other planned events (except one) but members gathered at mealtimes, sharing camaraderie and friendship while bringing their own choices of what to eat. Several members indicated that they liked this option to the organized potlucks, especially given specific dietary needs of many of our group. Maybe other outing leaders will consider the idea for future events.
Following Saturday’s breakfast get-together, Mary Sue & Irene led a boondocking tips & tricks discussion – a lot of information was shared and it’s promised that it will be available on the listserve sometime in the near future. One thing came through loud & clear – Read Your Manual, it will save you a lot of time, aggravation and grief!
The one planned event was THE weenie roast – over a roaring fire on Saturday evening, the group bent over (a sight to see) to roast their favorite wienies – traditional hot dogs, brockwurst, sausages and even a hamburger or two were heated, burnt, dropped and eventually eaten. As always, the group outdid itself with the accompaniments – there was enough food to feed the whole campground, but FreeWheelers, living up to their reputation, cleaned their plates!
Following the roast, we paid tribute to Glo – there was a bit of angel dust available to throw into the fire by anyone who wanted to say something funny, not so funny, or nothing at all. We were pleased that Glo’s niece from Missouri joined us, as well as Sue’s daughter. Several long term friends of Glo & Sue’s also came for the weekend and shared with us their memories of Glo & Sue from many, many years ago. There were tears and laughter as we shared with each other what she had meant to each of us.
In many ways the weekend was a typical FreeWheeler event — some arriving early (Thursday), some leaving late (Monday) and in the meantime, friends visiting friends, some side trips in the surrounding area, dogs meeting old and new doggie buddies, root beer float time every afternoon – 50 + women joining together for a time to renew and rejuvenate. In one way it was quite different as we honored one of our friends who is no longer with us, but who’s smile and wonderful spirit touched (and changed) each of us in her own special way. Thank’s Glo, for making sure your “1st Annual” was a success!
May 1-3, 2009
Sarah Gonzales and Barbara Storms
Location: Angels Camp RV Resort, Angels Camp, CA
We relaxed in beautiful Calaveras County enjoying the scenery, great fishing and wonderful wineries. Our educational activity was to learn to enjoy each others’ company and to decompress from our over-busy lives. We enjoyed the traditional “Meet and Greet” on Friday night with margaritas (virgin and loaded) in honor of Cinco de Mayo. On Saturday morning, we OD’d on carbohydrates at breakfast and we enjoyed a wonderful potluck dinner that evening. During the day on Saturday, most of the women explored the antique shops and the wonderful restaurants in the neighboring towns of Murphys, Columbia, and Angels Camp. Other women enjoyed bird watching and hiking around the county and in Big Trees State Park. A more relaxed group took a limo tour of five, six or nine wineries but, hey, who’s counting? We tasted great wines like Twisted Oak Vineyard’s #@*&!! wine otherwise known as “Potty Mouth” Red. At Irish Vineyards, we heard about an exciting new wine that is about to be released called “Pog Mo Thoin.” A good time was had by all!!!
June – May 28-June 1, 2009
Marilyn Alessio & Phyllis Amon
Location: Woodson Bridge, Corning, CA
25433 SouthAve Corning, Ca
Phone # 530-839-2151
With many rigs arriving on Thursday, it was very casual day with lots of “hello’s and good to see you again’s”. On Friday most everyone was set up and looking forward to the weekend events — starting with TGIF at Marilyn & Phyllis’ site where munchies were shared. Chapter Leader Arleen introduced new attendees and guests and also announced the launching of the “second-timers” club – with special recognition of women attending their 2nd FW event! A book swap table was set up and there were over 45 books available for browsing (by the end of the weekend, most of them had found new “homes”. Natalie Bradford was kind enough to take the few left over books to recycle. As is tradition at Woodson Bridge, there was a professional rig washer available for the weekend and many members signed up to enjoy this spring clean-up.
Our Saturday morning started with our very popular pot luck breakfast with two more traditions – Susan Du Shane and Beth Gilliam’s famous Biscuits & Gravy and Margaret Evans’ wonderful Blueberry Pancakes, YUMMY YUMMY. With everyone full and content we were lucky to have Rachel Harp, our Rig GURU, to give a very informative talk about what was happening in the RV industry given today’s economic situation. She also talked about the importance of maintaining our rigs including some very interesting items now available. Following her talk, the attendees went separate ways – enjoying geo-caching, talking, walking, napping or reading their new-to-them books from the book swap.
In the afternoon Karen Kane and Peggy Chinn held a DRUMMING CIRCLE with several members under a shaded tree, while others enjoyed the drums at our own sites as we watched the Sacramento River go by. The weather was just about as perfect as it could be. Our Saturday evenings wouldn’t be the same without our pot luck dinner BUT we then were entertained by the ALL GIRL BAND. With their talented members Nancy Hoffman, Julie Lawyer, Marie Moore, Judy Leonard, Robin Rose and Laura Farrell. Members could not resist tapping their toes, clapping their hands and dancing to the music. Fun was had by all!.
Sunday morning, before packing up for those who would be leaving, we had our last get together pot luck at the club house to say good bye to those who couldn’t stay and enjoy one more day — and for the rest of us, we had just another great day and evening enjoying the friendship of our FW members.
July 10-12, 2009
Margaret Evans and Merrily Robinson
Location: Rivers Edge RV Park (near Graeagle).
Our weekend started out perfectly with a hosted fishing clinic and derby at Sardine Lake by Robbie and Laura. They provided the poles, bait, equipment, boats and fun. I think they provided the fish too, as we caught about 50 altogether.
Saturday, Martha and Christy gave a talk on geocaching, followed by a “treasure hunt” for caches that were hidden around the park. We had drum circles Friday and Saturday and a salad pot luck on Saturday night. Irene and Mary Sue brought a new game from their Lazy Daze group and we spent many evening hours with that activity. They have promised to bring it along to future events.
Sunday evening, many of those of us who stayed over went to dinner at the Sardine Lodge. In between all of these “scheduled activities,” there were lots of hikes, birding, shopping, site seeing and talking. We also welcomed two members from SoCal RVW. The new hosts of the Park have told me I could have more sites next year, so I have already reserved the park for the weekend after the 4th in July 2010 for 40 rigs. More info coming on that! Thank you everyone for making the weekend so much fun.
August 7-8, 2009
Location: Ponderosa Thousand Trails, Lotus, CA
60 women in 40 rigs, accompanied by an untold number of dogs, cats and parrot, soaked up the sun and enjoyed the American River at the Thousand Trails, Ponderosa Reserve. Grazing started with lemonade and cookies Friday afternoon. This was a substitute for the traditional root beer float that is usually served by Bev Hiltachk. Then came finger foods for the Meet and Greet portion of the afternoon. Members brought fixins’ to go with the wiener roast dinner. After dinner, a van picked up lucky people who wanted to go to Red Hawk Casino.
The next morning started with a potluck breakfast. While some took off to dip their toes and dogs in the river, others caught a bus to go white water rafting. Ages of adventurers ranged from around 40 to 85. Lemonade cooled those who hung around waiting for them to get back for a hamburger barbecue put on by Thousand Trails.
After dinner, members viewed and voted on fourteen embellished bras. The winning categories were the prettiest, weirdest, most creative, least wearable and most unique. Most had stories behind them, i.e. red hat boobs, golf tees, cancer survivor and over-the-shoulder boulder holder. The designers shared their stories behind their creativity. Winners received a Booby Prize ribbon, a package of toilet paper and a gift certificate donated by merchants. Members were asked to bring a White Elephant gift related to rigs. During the vote counting. a story was read that instructed members to pass the gifts left or right. It’s a good thing we have automatic signals in our rigs because the gifts ended up in a lot of pileups. Think of spinning plates. We closed the evening with a campfire, telling fish stories.
Sunday morning was clean-out-the-frig breakfast. After breakfast, Dr. Lee Kaplow, vet, discussed traveling with pets. He gave several suggestions on general pet care and safety tips.
Those who stayed over Sunday either had their own barbecue at the campfire or went to a historic hotel for dinner.
Unplanned activities included geo caching, minor rig repairs, bird watching and meeting a lot of good new people, especially the SoCalJourners and nine guest and first timers who joined us.
September 11-13, 2009
Beverly Hiltachk and Connie Mart
Location: Collins Lake
October 30 – November 2, 2009 – ANNUAL MEETING
2009 Advisory Board hosted.
Bethel Island, Sugarbarge RV Resort
Report prepared by Arleen Huffman
It was a dark and stormy night… WAIT! No, it wasn’t! Despite some predictions for a bit of rain and wind, Mother Nature apparently KNEW that the FreeWheelers were coming to Bethel Island and decide just to give in and provide us with glorious weather. The weekend began on Thursday where 21 of our
expected 46 rigs arrived to a BIG FW welcome to our early birds including one very cute little 6 Ft Tear drop trailer. We who arrived early settled in, met up with friends, shared hugs, stories and various dinner gatherings.
Friday dawned bright but with a bit of drama as one of our members, Connie Mart, encountered a serious health problem. However, in usual FreeWheeler style, many of our members kicked in during that day and the whole weekend with both large and small things to provide whatever was needed.
Shirley Leister went on a hunt from rig to rig looking for baby aspirin, Phyllis Amon & Marilyn Alessio hustled about getting our member to the nearest Kaiser facility and spending the day there until the danger was passed. Jeri McLees and Nao took over the care of Connie’s “Fur Child,” Gracie. Throughout the weekend, Jeri also provided ongoing updates and coordinated many of the details of what to do with pets and rigs. When they finally let Connie out of the hospital, Beth Gilliam and Susan DuShane hopped in the truck to take her purse, clothes and Gracie back to her. And finally, June Alexander and Kate Earnhart got Connie’s rig to a safe place to store it until Connie can get back to the fun. Everyone did what they could to make Connie feel safe, supported and loved. What a group!
Fortunately, the rest of the weekend was devoid of further scary stuff and we had a great time. The remainder of our folks rolled in to the park to our welcoming committee that included Peggy Chinn, Sue Copeland and a revolving group of smiling faces. Friday night the Advisory Board hosted the evening Happy Hour with great snacks and wine. We welcomed some new members and guests with special Hallowe’en beads and all caught up on what we have all been up to…along with some great Convention stories.
Saturday morning started with breakfast and more chatting and then we moved right into our Annual Meeting. We recognized two new members of our Advisory Board, Connie DeCoud and Jini Squire and thanked the two outgoing members Connie Mart and Margot Jordan. We had a lively discussion about our proposed Guest policy (YES we still want one) and whether we wanted to add an activity fee to each outing sign up (No,
At noon we held our Pet Costume Contest and enjoyed Tarantula Bunnies, Pumpkin dogs, a Stuffed animal entrant, and a host of our fur children adorned in various skirts, hats, saddles, pants and ears. Yes, we even had an attempt at devil horns using aluminum foil and two Chile Pepper lights. (Nice Try Debbie!) In the end, Rachel Harp and her Mugsy won with a saddle, cowboy and hat. We ARE so easy when it come to our pets.
In the afternoon, we had Craft and Collectible shows & sales at various rigs throughout the park… I saw folks carting lots of goodies back and forth. I’m not sure that Merrily’s roof top vent cover counts as either a craft OR a collectible but what the heck!
At 6 p.m., as usual, we had one of our terrific potlucks! I still say FW cooks are the best cooks in the whole RVW organization. When we were all full and happy , the evening’s entertainment began with a celebration of Pat White’s retirement from the CHP after 26 years! Good job, Pat! Then we moved to our own version of FreeWheeler Idol. We had an esteemed panel of judges like you have never seen: Beth “Ellen
DeGeneres” Gilliam, Jeri “Paula Abdul” McLees and Teri “Simon Cowell” Shugart. And, we had our MC/Chapter Leader Arleen Huffman up front and our Funky DJ Marlene Morrison spinning the CDs. Women competed in Karaoke performances for prizes. We had first time Karaoke singers, duets, solos…we even had one wonderful A Cappella rendition of “Big Spender” by Jeanne McKracken that wowed the crowd. As the evening went on courage built up so that we even got our wonderful Sarah Gonzales up doing “My Way.” The judges were mean or kind depending on which one was talking but wonderful and in the end we awarded the Solo prize to Sheri Tinker, the Group prize to Nancy Hoffman and Connie McKenna. A special
award was bestowed onto our Sarah for having the guts to get up and have fun with karaoke.
On Sunday, the group gathered one last time for the Hitch Up Breakfast and s-l-o-w-l-y off we went amid hugs and waves…sad to go but knowing the next outing is just around the corner.
December 11-13, 2009
Location: French Camp RV Park, Manteca, CA
Our group met for our PJ morning breakfast at 9 a.m. At 1 p.m., Winona and Haurmi met to cook the turkeys and stuffing, along with whatever everyone else brought to prepare. Everything turned out delicious!
At 6 p.m., we met for our annual Christmas Dinner and gift exchange. We all had a fabulous time in the large tented gazebo room – it had propane heaters that kept us nice and toasty. The ladies were all feisty this year, what with stealing gifts back and forth – and there was a little issue with Casper and Jeannie over a homemade pillow that Winona had made!
On Sunday a.m., we had our regular “clean out the fridge” breakfast.
Weekends like these are the special times we get to really know one another, so those who were able to make it were richly blessed. Thank you to all that help in by pitching in whatever that way was.