2012 Events

January 5-9, 2012 (with SoCal Chapter)

Hosts: Linda Brown & Barbara Roeder
Location: Bakersfield RV Resort

Linda Brown and Barbara Roeder were the hostesses for thisouting. Usually this function is jointly handled, but our travels across country prevented us from being of any help. Linda & Barbara did an outstanding job, and actually, this rally was more like a miniature Convention.

Our hostesses brought in seven vendors…Rachel & Joel Harp;Susan Cox & Dorothy Loll, Badges-R-Us; Mary “Moppins” Findley; Bryan Thompson & Ken Perry, Henderson’s Line-Up; Mac McCoy, the Fire Guy; Thomas Long- Jirah LED Co.; and Sue Daugherty of Sky Med drove in for a day to do her presentation.

Our very own Sally Johnson made a presentation on ‘What Info is needed to start your estate planning’. We all need to give this some serious thought.

Our wonderful new Chapter Leader, Angela Pettit, stepped up to the plate & invited the SoCaljourners to join the FreeWheelers in Chowcilla, CA in March. This would make it like having another joint Rally…sponsored by FreeWheelers.

Things kicked off with “Meet & Greet” Happy Hour on Thursday,a Baked Potato & Salad dinner furnished by the Hostesses, and continued on through the rest of the weekend with furnished catered dinner by the RV Resort Restaurant, a Pot Luck, and choice of evening fun. Participants could also take advantage of various attractions in the area or go shopping. There was some- thing there for everyone and lots of people to get to know better.

My dog Sadie and I helped our Past Chapter Leader, Judy Leonard, finish winterizing the bottom of her rig before shetakes off as a “Full Timer” “Solo”. Anybody looking for a photographic “partner-In-crime”? Give Judy a call or send her an email.

We really need to find some FreeWheelers who would be interested in co-sponsoring this joint event in the future.

Respectfully, Ardie Jarrett

February 2-4, 2012

Hosts: Arleen Huffman, Marlene Morrison
Location: Casa de Fruta, Hollister, CA Toll Free Phone: 1 800 548 3813

Well, we had one heck of a terrific party! We were blessed with decidedly un-winter-like weather. Sunny and mild in the daytime and chilly nights. About 14 rigs came early on Thursday with the rest piling in Friday. We had a number of folks staying at the Peacock motel. In total we had 60 enthusiastic women and about 30 rigs filling our special corner of the RV park. Thursday was a quieter “getting settled” day…2 of our members, Chris and Pat had a brand new trailer to explore and lots of questions which were answered by some of our expert members. Angela Pettit was seen entering their rig not once but TWICE through a window with the help of Jonni Pettit as the “step ladder”. Some people will do anything for attention!

Friday we got going slowly as we awaited the rest of our group to arrive. The Friday “welcome” appetizer gathering was noisy and happy as usual. A little later we gathered around a fine fire with blankets , warm beverages and good talk. On Saturday after breakfast and more exploring of the great Casa De Fruta market , winery and restaurants, Irene Paulin and Mary Sue Ferrell hosted a washer toss “training” session to get folks warmed up for the always fun Pardee Boondock Outing and Wiener roast. Late in the afternoon, we celebrated some new rigs with apple juice and champagne. While folks were busy having relaxing, talking and just fun, the Music Hall was being transformed into a Hollywood party site complete with Lady Oscars, balloons and lots of silver and gold. Thanks Mary Billecci for helping us with that darned helium tank! Jenna Tayshak and her husband Jon arrived to set up the Karaoke equipment for our party to come.

After a terrific potluck, some folks went to prepare their costumes for the night’s fun. We had some fine movie characters pay us a visit… we had Indiana Jones ( Marlene ) , a distinguished Star Trek Officer ( Jonni Pettitt) a gorgeous and scary Cruella DeVille ( Babe Poe) , The Wicked Witch of the West ( Connie McKenna) , Julie Andrews ( Faye Mendenhall) , Dale Evans( Ardie Jarrett) , even Julia Child ( Sheila Welt) ! We even had a theatre Usher helping everyone get seated (Arleen). During the evening, we paraded our costumed FreeWheelers around. It was a close competition between Connie McKenna and Babe Poe but in the end the Wicked Witch took the prize!

At the stroke of 7, the music began and Jenna began to rock us into the mood. Many folks sang their solo and collective hearts out… Jenna and Arleen started things off with “I Got you Babe” duet…. Later we had Sherri Tinker kill with an updated version of “My Favorite Things”, Celia Buckley blew us away with “Somewhere”. So much great singing….! So much fun! Toward the end of the evening we had to have a “Sing Off” to decide the solo prize winner..it was a close one with Sheri Tinker and Celia Buckley. Both had touching stories to tug our heart strings on why THEIR song was special but when Celia came up with Climb Every Mountain and did some very special singing “pyrotechnics”…well, the prize was awarded to Celia. One of the real joys was seeing lots of women get together and do group singing…wow…we EVEN got our Sue Copeland up to sing “Great Balls of Fire” with Arleen. What a hoot! This was such a fun party.

Sunday morning, there was our usual breakfast and more good conversation. Those of us who had to leave made our preparations and said our farewells but those who were staying were already making “Super Bowl Party “plans for the evening. It was fun right up to the end.

March 2-4, 2012

Hosts: Angela Pettit and Jonni Pettit,
Location: The Lakes – RV & Golf Resort – Chowchilla, CA

The Lakes turned out to be all that the managers promised. The pool and spa were warm; the weather pleasant; the golf course challenging; and the sites clean.

We noted eight places for our members to see, all within a couple of hours from The Lakes. More than ¾ of our members took us up on at least one, and several went to see more than one. Everyone that saw the Underground Gardens told us they’d bring others to see it. Ditto the Blossom Trail (it’s only active from the first weekend in Feb, until mid-April each year). The Big Burger Diner appreciated our business in Mariposa, as did the two museums. Even the Mammoth was a surprise discovery by many. Who would have thought a small town city dump would reveal such a find?

Many of our group also played golf, and outside of one bird that thought he could outfly a golf ball, all were impressed by our players.

There are still a few finds for next year too, and we’ll turn up more as well.

Our waistlines may have suffered a tad from all the good eats at our shared dinners and breakfast, but our pets got plenty of exercise without having dirty tummies or toes. The sites, all concrete with thick lawns, blacktop streets, and even the dog area was nice and grassy too. Our bicyclers got a workout too, we understand.

I think it’s safe to say a good time was had by all, and we hope to see even more of you there next year (after all, it’s just up the way from Casa de Fruta!).

March 30 – April 1, 2012

Sheila Welt, Patti Patton, Ardie Jarrett & Sally Johnson
Location: Rancheria RV Park, Jackson

This outing was wonderful, despite the rain. The club house was a must at this time of the year and was well used. We had a total of 34 rigs and 54 women. I think there were 23 dogs, 6 cats, 2 birds and one rabbit.

Despite the rain we still BBQed our main courses for the pot luck on Saturday night. The entertainment on Saturday was GREAT FUN! Thanks to all those that entertained us. My new Karaoke Machine worked well, once I figured it out. There were some glitches in a few of the CD’s – I have since figured those out. A new list of available songs is in the works.

Our Breakfast(s) went without a hitch and everyone enjoyed the company of friends.

We really enjoyed being the Wagon Masters for this event. It will continue next year in the capable hands of Kate Earnhart and June Alexander. Mark your calendars for the last weekend in March 2013.

Sheila Welt and Patti Patton
Rose (Poodle)

May 4-5, 2012

Hosts by Irene Paulin and Mary Sue Ferrell.
Location:Lake View Campground at Pardee Lake Recreation Area, 4900 Stoney Creek Rd, Ione CA 95642. Phone: (209) 772-1472

The weather for this weekend was just about perfect for our 7th annual weenie roast and dry camping rally plus we were treated to the “Super Moon” on Saturday. Pardee Recreation area, located 40 miles southeast of Sacramento, is regularly stocked with fish which were caught by some FreeWheelers and kayakers were able to enjoy the water. A total of 64 women in 37 rigs, including 12 solos and 4 guests gathered for this weekend which was hosted by Irene Paulin and Mary Sue Ferrell.

Friday started off at 4:30 pm with everyone bringing a drink and gathering around the fire for meet and greet. We decided to take the time to learn about each other so each person was asked to say where she was from, what she was doing, or had done, work wise and a significant event over the past year. After half the group was introduced, off we went to christen and celebrate Elizabeth Andrews’ new trailer then everyone had dinner on her own. Merilee Robinson, FreeWheeler “fire goddess” presented perfect coals for those who returned after dinner to enjoy S’mores.

Saturday morning started with a real treat—biscuits, gravy and sausage were prepared by Susan DuShane and Beth Gilliam—while the wonderful sides came from attendees. Following breakfast, we continued with introductions. Beverly Hiltachk told us about the Vial of Life –key medical information to be kept in one’s RV–and provided them to those interested. Next Holly Lepo showed us her new motorhome and we toasted to safe travels.

For the 3rd year we had a double elimination Washer Toss tournament with 20 teams (40 people) playing on four boards. The primary object of washer toss is to have fun and meet new friends. The winning team was Shirley Leister and Marilyn Orloff and in second place was the team of Cris Giordano and Denise Andreoli. There were comments about the turkey buzzards circling above and root beer floats were brought over to the final contestants. Next year we will either have more boards or fewer teams as the tournament took over four hours.

After the “competition” everyone was either starved or exhausted so we gathered around the fire pit to cook hot dogs to go along with delicious side dishes. Once the sun set we returned to a perfect fire and continued a tradition of remembering special people, past and present, with “fairy dust” which when sprinkled on the flames makes pretty colors. Thanks to everyone who brought firewood. With fires Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night we used almost all of the wood.

Sunday morning there was a potluck breakfast and FreeWheelers started on their journey home. Others went to the café for lunch and 16 RVs took advantage of being able to stay Sunday night for one more campfire. We have booked a return to Pardee in 2013, the first weekend of May.

Submitted by Mary Sue Ferrell

June 1-3, 2012

Sheila Grothe and Jeanne Stevenson
Location: Woodson Bridge RV Park, Corning

Forty‐one Freewheelers in thirty‐one rigs joined Hostesses Sheila and Jeanne for a HOT relaxing few days (May 31 to June 4, 2012) at Woodson Bridge RV Park in Corning, Calif. The cost per night was $27 payable at the office, and a bargain for the
atmosphere and service this park provides.

On Fri. night we gathered for our traditional “meet and greet with appetizers” which included a “favorite dip” activity, won by Sharon Schauer. Saturday started off with the potluckbreakfast including the delicious “biscuits and gravy” provided by Susan and Beth. Then we were treated to an always popular presentation on RV’s by Rachel. The heat prohibited the badminton competition but everyone seemed to find some relaxing thing to do. That evening, after our potluck dinner we played 8 rounds of BINGO, with one lady winning 3 of the rounds.

Sunday morning we had our potluck breakfast before some of the group headed home.

July 12-16, 2012

Beth Gilliam and Susan DuShane
Napa County Fairgrounds & RV Park

It was a wonderful weekend. We enjoyed 62 women in 38 rigs, most of which arrived on Thursday. Friday a few went to town to partake in spa treatments & massage. Wet noodles returned to camp smiling. Saturday was the busiest. After enjoying one of the most scrumptious pot luck breakfast we have seen in a very long time. (with everything soooo fresh and in season) we were off to tour the Castello di Amorosa. For the next 1 1/2 hrs we were toured thru an auhenic 13th century Tuscan Castle. This place is a MUST see if you have not been. Next we were off to “Old Faithful” natural geyser which erupted upon our arrival. No problem…We moved on to a Doson lead tour of the Petrified Forest. We saw some of the worlds largest petrified trees. Finally back to “Old Faithful” which did not let us down this time. It was awful nice to enjoy group rates and be able to tour so much and complete it in one day. Way to go girls. What troopers you turned out to be.

Back to the campground for evening pot luck. Lots of meat dishes, which made me really happy. After dinner we had a rig warming for Maurine Zwemke. Next day we were off to play golf on site there in the fairgrounds. Nice little 9 hole course and the price could not be beat. Susan & I even took Monday off to enjoy the surroundings and a leisurely drive home instead of the hustle & bussel.

Oh and lets give a shout out to our new friend & campground host Patty from Montana. Who we are sure will be joining us again very soon.

Susan put out a e-mail to those who attended to see if there was interest in returning..All positive responses. Who knows, someday we could find ourselves back again.

Looking forward to our next adventure, and seeing our FreeWheeler friends..

Happy Trails Ladies – Beth, Susan, & Dolly…

August 9-13, 2012

Host: Kathleen Huston
Location: Bodega Bay. NOTE CHANGE IN LOCATIONbecause of the heat the algae smell made Edgewater Resortunbearable to be in 😦

That pretty much sums up the fun time we had in Bodega Bay this month…

While the rest of the bay area was sweltering in hundred degree weather and smoke from fires, fourteen rigs joinedtogether last minute for an end of summer beach getaway. We were able to have foggy mornings, sunny walking afternoon
weather and cool nights by the campfire roasting marshmallows for somores … we even tried using Lorna Doone cookies to make them yummier!!

There wasn’t time to plan the usual elaborate activity schedule, but we did manage to have a tour of the University of California Marine Laboratory nearby which is a real study program of the Farralone Islands marine life. We did a beach walk from the campground and had a shopping spree at the salt-water taffy store and a farmers’ market right next to the campground.

I have to say that people went all out on the food for this event … it was wonderful!! Chicken enchiladas and eggplant pizza were my favorites… and I suspect the flour-less chocolate cake was a hit as well. And thanks to everybody for helping and for being willing to come on board last minute.

Hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did! So my firstexperience at Wagonmaster was a fun one thanks to fellow Freewheelers being willing to be my “training wheels”!! Many thanks to Beth and Susan for guidance; and to Shirley and Jane for standing in for me til I got there late Thursday night.

Sometime at a future campfire I will tell you the story of Windy Lane ….
Warm regards,

September 27-30, 2012

Beverly Smith, Faye Mendenhall
Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, CA

This was NOT a rainy, windy March outing like the past ones at this resort. The weatherman decided to give us temperatures in the 100s, about 15 degrees above normal for this time of year. Very hot and sunny the entire weekend! The swimming pool was a big hit!

By noon on Thursday the RVs were pulling into the spacious sites at Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff. Thirty “early bird” rigs were in place by evening, and their occupants sampled the taco/burrito/fajita bar in the clubhouse.

By Friday evening 44 rigs and 76 FreeWheelers and a large number of guests were enjoying the festivities. Beverly Hiltachk served her famous root beer floats on Friday afternoon. At 5 p.m. we had our “Meet and Greet” in the cool of the air-conditioned clubhouse with lots of sumptuous appetizers. Afterwards, Sue Copeland introduced Dee Johnson, the RVW magazine editor, and Dee Evans, the 2013 Convention Coordinator, who held a Q and A session about the upcoming convention in Sacramento.

On Saturday morning, we met for breakfast, followed by a talk by Angela and Jonni Petit on “Angela’s Transition: We’re Still Together.” They did a great job. We met at 3 p.m. in the clubhouse for Beverly’s fantastic root beer floats again. Many enjoyed their floats in the comfort of the swimming pool!
By 5:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, we were cooking on the grills and enjoying the great spread that only FreeWheelers can produce! After dinner, Kathy Dunn, Certified Dog Trainer, talked about how to produce manners and good citizenship in dogs. She brought her two dogs for demonstration purposes, and we thought Jeri was going to run off with “Dani Joy,” a beautiful Sheltie. Kathy will reproduce her notes for us so that we can publish them in the newsletter once she gets back from a trip she is taking.

Sunday arrived promising hot temperatures once again. We said goodbye to many friends after breakfast and look forward to seeing them again at upcoming outings. On Sunday evening 23 of us went to Luigi’s Pizza and Pasta for dinner.

-Bev Smith

November 9-11, 2012

Hosts: 2012 FreeWheelers Board – Contact Susan DuShane
Location:  Sugarbarge RV Resort, Bethel Island
Phone: (800) 799-4100

96 Women in attendance occupying 61 spaces. I think this was our largest ever. Many come early and stayed late. Friday nights meet and greet was sponsored by your chapter board. Exciting attendance. So good to see so many. Saturday mornings pot luck breakfast was phenomenal. As you can imagine when supported by so many. I’ve never seen so many choices.

Sue Copeland led our annual business meeting. Things seemed to go very smoothly. Past & present business was discussed. Each board member reported on their position. Different committees spoke with enthusiasm of being the host chapter of the 2013 convention in Sacramento.

Next we moved on to several rig warmings , followed bymembers selling their wares, while the washer toss tournament was in full action on four different boards.

If all this wasn’t enough, we had the good fortune of our own member Sue Clark bringing out her own plane for a fund raiser for animal transport/rescue. What a great time we had flying over the delta (sometimes over our fellow RVers at the park).

Saturday night following a fantastic pot luck, we were treated to our own All Girl Band for an evening of entertainment. And for a brief moment, Gracie even appeared.

This year’s outing will be a tough act to follow. But that is one thing about the FreeWheelers. You never know what that next adventure might be. — Susan and the 2012 Board

See more photos from this outing at our photo web site.

December 6-9, 2012

Casper Nordahl and Harumi McWhorter
Coloma Resort
6921 Mt. Murphy Rd. (P.O.Box 516)
Coloma, CA 95613-0516Dec. 6th-10th, 2012

What a fabulous weekend was enjoyed by the 32 ladies in their 22 rigs at the Christmas in Coloma outing December 6-10th. Hosted by Casper Nordahl and Harumi McWhorter, it was a really fun time for everyone. Our Thursday arrivals came in amongst showers of rain and fog and muddy sites, but by Friday morning the weather was beautiful at the lovely Coloma Resort on the south fork of the American River. (This campground is literally next door to the Marshall Gold Discovery Site where gold was discovered in CA in 1848 creating the massive Gold Rush). Thursday and Friday saw many of our ladies up at Apple Hill enjoying the treats of fall, across the street at the Gold Rush Museum, or at the State Park above, and many just enjoying the sunshine reading along the river. That evening 14 enjoyed a fun time at the casino for dinner and gambling. We even had winners!

Friday evening was our usual Meet and Greet decorated in festive “attire”, but with appetizers that are traditional at their Christmas dinners.

Saturday morning brought our monthly delicious potluck breakfast. Many wore their Christmas attire throughout the weekend making it even more festive. After breakfast a few brave souls joined me, Casper, for a session of Zoogle, a baton throwing game,which I had learned at Convention in Goshen. The afternoon arrived with the ever delicious, creative, and fun Cookie Exchange. Eleven ladies brought 3 dozen cookies, and exchanged them for a Christmas bowl or platter of three dozen “other” cookies. It was amazing to watch as the ladies chose so carefully which cookies were to be part of their choice. That fifteen minutes went by very quickly but was lots of fun for the participants.

That afternoon also brought root beer floats for those wanting that boost in their afternoon, and a great time at the local Christmas in Coloma with local vendors of crafts and food.
Saturday evening’s potluck dinner featured traditional favorite Christmas dinner items including glazed ham and turkey.  Everything was there from sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, salads, rolls, and of course pumpkin pie. The ooh’s and aah’s at the aroma in that room was wonderful! (Pictured L to R, Beverly Hiltachk, Holly Leop, Joan Beason, Marty Jewell, and Patti Evans.
We made everyone leave the club house afterwards, so that Santa Harumi and Elfin Casper could prepare the room for our gift exchange.

Elfin Casper stood at the door as the ladies walked in and picked their “exchange number”. It’s always fun to “hear” what the ladies reactions are to their numbers as that is the order in which they choose their gift. A gift may be stolen three times before it is frozen. The laughter, disappointments when gifts were stolen, hugs, frustration of having to pick another gift AGAIN because your gift was just stolen – all of it was so much fun and everyone really enjoyed themselves. Elfin Casper and Santa Harumi also called site numbers for the 14 delicious door prizes of baked goodies of cookies, breads, and brownies.
Sunday morning saw several people unwilling to leave, but work did call. Those of us who are lucky enough to stay enjoyed a lovely day of reading, relaxing, cards, and dinner at a local restaurant.

I wish I could convey the fun that was had by all. It was definitely a highlight of my year hosting such a beautiful weekend.
— Casper Nordahl