2014 Events

2014 Events are listed most recent first:

December 12-14, 2014

Hosts: Marsha Nichols and Casper Nordahl
Location: Coloma Resort, 6921 Mount Murphy Rd, Coloma, CA 95613

If you weren’t here, you missed a very fun end of year Christmas gathering with your friends. Marsha and I (Casper) thoroughly loved hosting this outing. Thirty-two brave women (including two new members and three guests ) “put up their nose” at the rain and CAME! And yes, Thursday and Friday, it DID rain. But oh, Saturday and Sunday were so nice. Friday night we strolled into the Town Hall to a very lovely Christmassy theme – lights, Christmas trees, warm glowing fire, table decorations, stuffed animals and books. We all enjoyed having relaxing time to be together with our friends. Saturday morning (so I hear, I surely was NOT there!) brought a bountiful of great breakfast goodies. After breakfast, 15 ladies enjoyed our bounteous supply of cookies for the annual cookie exchange. One of our ladies said to me, “This is where the Christmas Spirit begins.” Everyone told about their cookie and we all took home probably more than we brought, oh my! The afternoon was spent relaxing, reading, playing games, going into Placerville to tour, going to the local casino for lunch and gambling.

The evening brought the Christmas Feast, with hosts Marsha and Casper dressed up in their Santa aprons and silly reindeer glasses. (Marsha will never forgive me!) I loved it. The turkey and ham with all the fixin’s was an abundance of food and I heard absolutely no complaints! OMG, it was good. Everyone took a short break and then we entered back into the Town Hall with the glowing warm fire, Elf Casper passing out numbers for the gift exchange, and had a wonderful time of stealing, laughing, and thoroughly enjoying the evening with friends. I think Sheri ended up with what she wanted, so all is well with the world! (Love you, Sheri!) It was really a fun night. Sunday brought quite a few departures, but at least it was in the sun. Several people enjoyed the casino for lunch or dinner. Thank you to all for making this such a fun outing.

Also, it warms my heart to be able to say thank to each and every one of you who brought a stuffed animal and/or book/or both, for the St.John’s Women’s and Children’s Shelter here in Sacramento. We supplied 45 books and 45 animals! These women have been thru a 3 month “work program” and have now graduated and will be given housing and hopefully a job. This is all a temporary situation and of course the goal is for them to get out into the world and be able to provide for themselves and the kids. There are 33 kids in the housing this week and we will be putting smiles on faces – thank you so much.

October 30 – November 3, 2014

Host: FreeWheelers Advisory Board
Location: Sugarbarge RV Park, Bethel Island, CA

We hosted 80 women of which I believe 12 were “First Timers”. They joined us for our Annual Business Meeting on Saturday. After our meeting Saturday AM, we had 3 Rig – warming’s. Pat & Sheri Tinker, Margi Nielsen and Debbie Hurrle & Margot Jordan. Happy Trails to all of you in your new rigs. We had rain on Friday but Saturday we were still able to enjoy the Doggy Parade with costumes…. very cute & a great turn out that shows with FreeWheelers you cannot rain on our Parade. Saturday night brought on Open Mic night and Karaoke by our fabulous Arleen & Marlene at the machine. WOW what fun we did have… a serenade by Nancy Hoffman and Sheri Tinker of an old Elton John song ” I Need You to Turn To” , an A Cappella version of “Teach Me Tonight” by Sheri Tinker and another A Cappella number …”Fever” by Joyce Mangouney with some table slapping and backup singing by happy FW’s. Marie Moore was very busy accompanying several of our talented members. That was fun….And I’m sure no one will soon forget Little Shirley standing on a chair to dance with Donna who was attending her first Outing with the FreeWheelers. Last but not least we can’t forget the pink silly string. Lots of FUN was had by all.

September 4-7, 2014

Host: Beverly Smith and Faye Mendenhall
Location:  Durango RV Resort, Red Bluff, CA

Many of the same hearty Freewheelers who braved the elements, including snow, to enjoy a fantastic gathering at Durango RV Resort last December showed up again in the close to 100 degree heat to enjoy the Olympic-sized pool. Nineteen rigs and 34 women, including six guests and one new member, enjoyed our get together.

On Thursday evening, twenty-one “early birds” enjoyed a welcome meal of
salads in the clubhouse. At 6 p.m. on Friday, we had our “Meet and Greet” in the welcome cool of the clubhouse with lots of sumptuous appetizers.

On Saturday morning, we met for breakfast at 9 a.m. with many of us staying to chat until almost 11 a.m. Although the small number of attendees may not be good business for the resort, many commented on the fact that it was a fabulous outing in spite of the heat because we had time to really enjoy each other’s company. At 3 p.m. on Saturday we enjoyed root beer floats (thanks to Marie and Kathy!) by the pool- the main reasons for coming here during a hot month! At night, we barbecued meat on the grill and had our usual potluck with so much good food. The FreeWheelers do
know how to cook!

At 9 a.m. we had our “Clean the Frig” breakfast, said goodbye to many friends after breakfast and look forward to seeing them again at upcoming outings. During the afternoon, the football fans watched the 49s and Cowboys on the Durango RV Resort big screen, and Marie and Kathy served us another round of root beer floats. Afterwards 13 of us went to Luigi’s Pizza and Pasta for dinner to complete a great weekend.
– Bev Smith

August 14-18, 2014

Hosts: Celia Buckley and Sue Clark
Location: Benbow Valley RV Park

23 rigs with 35 women descended upon the Benbow RV KOA campground next to the beautiful California coast redwoods in mid-August.  The KOA opened their well-appointed and air conditioned Village Hall for our exclusive use Thursday through Sunday.  I set up a beautiful redwood jigsaw puzzle which proved to be so demanding that it took many FreeWheelers 4 days to complete it!  I was instructed to “never purchase a random cut jigsaw puzzle again”.

Most rigs stayed more than 4 days & some over 8 days!  Many group events were offered, and in true FreeWheeler fashion, some attended some while others did their own things.  Some ate at local restaurants including the historic Benbow Inn fine dining, many took scenic drives, and more than a few purchased souvenirs.  We were saddened that 3 rigs had to cancel at the last minute; 2 due to health and one unfortunate couple had severe engine trouble requiring a rig tow from Willets to Petaluma!

On Thursday 12 of us visited the “One Log House” which was an early RV carved out of a single redwood tree in the early 1900’s.  Friday morning 6 of us played golf on the Benbow challenging 9 hole course.  Later on Friday another 6 of us attended a computer class given by our Chapter Leader reviewing the elements found on our Freewheelers website, the national RVW website and our yahoo email groups.  At our Friday night “meet and greet” we welcomed guests, brand new FreeWheeler Morgaine Colston and christened her new PleasureWay with oohs & ahs Saturday after breakfast.

Saturday late morning 12 of us went on the Founders Grove Nature Loop Trail and were treated by an impromptu talk by a former ranger about how some of the ancient grove redwoods were saved from being cut down.  Saturday afternoon about 24 of us gathered in the next door Benbow Lake State Park for an ice cream social and an animated & knowledgeable interpretive talk on the coast redwoods by Julia Allshouse, who works for the California State Park Richardson Grove rangers as a naturalist interpreter.  She’s completing her degree in naturalist Interpretive Studies (who knew there was such a degree?).  Thank you to FreeWheeler Michelle Gardner for helping arrange this talk.

We had our usual delicious Saturday night potluck supper and Beth Gilliam and Celia Buckley were honored by a delicious sheet cake for our mutual birthday on August 15th.  Later, many of us gathered for the KOA sponsored karaoke.  We have certainly been spoiled by the great karaoke arranged by Arleen and we were reminded we were up in the “boonies” of northern California. Finally on Sunday, another 12 people went on a .6 mile trail loop to see the magnificent Rockefeller forest old growth redwood grove, which is considered to be one of the finest groves in the world.  Incredible to stand next to a tree hollowed out by a fire that swept through over 200 years ago, and to know that many of the individual trees have been living up to 2000 years.  Humbling.

July 10-14, 2014

Host: Polly Jones
Location: Olema RV Resort

Well, we could not have asked for more perfect weather.  While the rest of the state enjoyed broiling temperatures.. we were at a nice 75 degrees… perfect for lounging under the trees enjoying getting to know members better we have not seen for a while with our “I Didn’t Know That” Game… Congratulations to Charlie for getting the most trivia about ur group of 20 rigs, 36 ladies.  It was a small group.  We were able to have a campfire both nights and only a jacket was needed to keep cozy.
We started with a lovely dinner Thursday night at the Pt. Reyes Cafe,, for 18…Who knew almost everyone joined me for dinner…Over the rest of the weekend,, Celia and Marion went Kayaking,  Some of us walked through Pt. Reyes Station and enjoyed the unique stores and the Farmers Market.  Some went out to the lighthouse and the neighboring beautiful beaches… and lets not forget Drakes Bay Oyster Farm.  Kudo’s to those to tried them for the first time.  Thanks to Connie and Winona for sharing their knowledge of the area and ideas for people to go and visit.
As always,, Great food,, Great friends and I bet almost everyone learned something.  My highlight was Hitchin’ Sticks from Joan Beesley.  If you don’t know they are tall magnetic fiberglass rods that you put one on the hitch and the other on the camper tongue to line up  .. so I don’t have to keep getting in and out of my new truck to see how far I am to hook up.. Thank You Joan,, and for sharing your wonderful coffee…
Hope to see you next year… Oh,, I need to call and make some reservations… Polly

June 5 -June 9, 2014

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

A very hot weekend (103-105 degrees) greeted the attendees at Woodson Bridge along the Sacramento River, June 5-9, 2014.   The beautiful river and the trees helped make the weekend a unique experience with old and new friends.

The famous biscuits and gravy from Susan and Beth were a highlight of breakfast on Sat. as was the humorous and informative presentation by Rachel.   Sat. night the attendees at Bingo were surprised with Casper as the Bingo caller and amused when she accidentally allowed several Bingo balls to escape the machine on two occasions.

Though no other activities were planned we did experience some excitement as a result of the weather. As you know we in Calif. are experiencing a drought.  The lack of ground water for trees causes the leaves on branches to suck up whatever water they can and thus make the branches heavier than normal.  As a result the park experienced a branch breaking and falling onto an RV (not a Free Wheeler) causing damage to the roof.  The park manager has informed me that the owners are covering the damage with park insurance for which the RV owners are grateful.  On Sun. morning another branch fell between two RV’s (one of which was owned by a Free Wheeler), but caused no physical damage and the park manager offered the Free Wheeler a different site location.   I share this info because we all like to park our RV’s in the shade and yet there are always hazards inherent in such.

Thanks to all who attended this outing.  Who would have thought we would have a four-day heat wave this particular weekend.  Fortunately Free Wheelers  are able to acclimate despite what Mother Nature gives us.

May 1st – May 4th, 2014

Host: Carol Guthrie
Location: Lake Pardee

First let me thank Carol Guthrie for putting this weekend together and Iknow we all hope she mends quickly and feels better soon.  Also thank you to all the gals who stepped up and took over various activities for the weekend.  Irene who helped me with checkin, June, Kate, and Mary Sue who organized the washer toss and Bonnie Glover who kept the fire burning. Thank you to all who gently bent and swayed every time we did something different, like change your camp site or feeding times. We welcomed four new ladies; Marie Benedetto, Silver Hawk, Evelyn Hough and Eva Zanotti.  Vivian Veatch, from Virginia, camped with us as well.

 We had 41 ladies with  27 rigs, one tent and numerous furry friends  come out to enjoy this lovely park.  We were serenaded by many rather large turkeys and held at bay by a few black widows.  Saturday morning after our usual tasty breakfast 8 teams faced off in our Lake Pardee washer toss competition; it was the 5th year.  Our very young at heart winner was the team of Shirley Leister and Sue Davis/June Alexander.  Runner ups were Jini Squire and Eva Zanotti.  Some of the gals enjoyed a 4 hour party boat exploring the lake on Friday.  Did I hear something about floating outhouses???? Fisher women fished, kayakers kayaked, hikers hiked and a few went up and dropped a little money at Jackson Rancheria.  Saturday evening was the wienie roast, with potluck of side dishes, and s’mores furnished by Bonnie and Ruth to round out the dinner and use the campfire to its fullest.  Beth demonstrated her skill in roasting marshmallows to golden brown for numerous folks.

Sunday came way too fast for those who had to leave.  There were over a dozen lucky ones who were able to stay Sunday and enjoy the final campfire.
— Jana Kattenhorn

March 26-13, 2014

Host: Joan Beason & Winona Abrams
Location: Jackson Rancheria RV Park and Casino

One of the Gold Country’s most beautiful parks was the setting for our March/April outing. We had a total of 66 people and 46 rigs. Two new members who were first timers and six guests and one day guest joined the fun. And what fun it was with the Senior Olympics!

Thursday early arrivals enjoyed the casino, touring Jackson and the surrounding area.

Friday while the main group arrived we had sign-ups for our first ever Senior Spring Olympics. We gathered for appetizers at our “Meet and Greet” in the evening and meet new friends and connected with old friends.

Saturday after an awesome breakfast potluck we entered into our Senior Spring Olympics. We had 48 women participate in: Sewer Hose Bean Bag Toss (hosted by Winona), Red Cup Ping Pong Ball Toss (hosted by Harumi), Thermos Bottle Clothespin Drop (hosted by Joan) and Plastic Straw Javelin Throw (hosted by Marcia).The laughter was as infectious as the competitions for points. Of course Gold, Silver and Bronze metals were awarded at the ceremony that evening after our BBQ Potluck. We ended the evening with an open mic night. Our retired military ladies entertained us with singing “Rosie the Riveter” song. Marie played her accordion, and we were entertained with songs, guitars, banjos, and a harmonica. What a fun evening!  If I forgot any of our other impromptu entertainers I apologize.

Sunday was our traditional clean out the fridge breakfast and time to say goodbye. For those who stayed until Monday, we had dinner at the Casino and enjoyed playing games.

A big thank you goes out to Lynde Rammelsberg for helping with the clean up! You are a gem!

January 30 – February 2, 2014

Hosts: Celia Buckley & Marion Randall
Location: Casa De Fruta

Once again Freewheelers gathered and enjoyed our outing in the rolling coastal mountains near Hollister at Casa de Fruta.  We were blessed with a little rain in our drought stricken winter.  31 rigs plus 2 motel guests rounded our numbers up to 57!  Hosted by Chapter Leader Celia Buckley & partner Marion Randall, 22 rigs arrived on Thursday and 21 rigs stayed until Monday.

We gathered in love and remembrance of Jane Van Gorder Saturday morning.  We toasted a beautiful new rig belonging to Connie & Nancy.  About 20 of us enjoyed a 2 hour self-defense workshop and only hit Sensei Cris Giordano hard twice (oops).  I believe Sensei Pat Tinker avoided accidental injury, but was likely a bit sore since she was Uke to Sensei Cris.  Celia, Marion, Pat & Cris all allowed participants to punch and hit them while holding protective pads.  After dinner we laughed and learned as Rachel Harp directed a question and answer session about the care, maintenance and comfort of our rigs.

On Sunday we moved into Pacheco Hall for the game.  An auspicious start of the Super Bowl sung by Rene Fleming was breath taking!  However, the despite a lovely 40 inch television viewing, the game failed to live up to expectations as the Broncos gave a disappointing performance.

Other activities included human and doggy walks amongst the acreage found at Casa de Fruta.  More than a couple of folks were spotted at Casa de Sweets, and the 24 hour restaurant was reported as having excellent food.  We will plan on returning for the Super Bowl weekend in 2015 and hope for a more exciting game!

January 2-6, 2014

Hosts: Connie McKenna and Nancy Hoffman
Location: Vineyard RV Park, 4985 Midway Road, Vacaville, CA  Phone: (866)-447-8797

While much of the country was struggling with subzero weather, we enjoyed a beautiful sunny weekend with temperatures in the high 60s. There were 43 women including 4 new members and 2 guests in attendance. We gathered for our Meet and Greet on Friday evening as usual. On Saturday after breakfast we christened 3 new rigs and then everyone chose their own activity. Some went to tour the Jelly Belly factory, some played golf, some shopped til they dropped at the nearby outlet mall. Our intrepid bicyclist, Holly, had a close encounter with a car and we are so glad she did not sustain any serious injuries. We did have to hug her very carefully the rest of the weekend due to all her bumps, bruise and sore “everything”. For about a dozen of us, the high point of the weekend was going up with our own Sue Clark, retired commercial pilot, for sightseeing tours in a small single engine plane over Napa, Lake Berryessa and the local hills. She asked for a donation to her animal rescue group in return. Linda Turkatte took some awesome photos and video which we were able to view on the big screen TV after dinner Saturday night.

Here is a note from Sue:

Hello Freewheelers, and guests….

 I want to thank everyone who “donated” to the animal rescue effort this past weekend. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed sharing my passion for flying as well.

 We were able to raise more than $400.00 to help with fuel costs for rescue transports.  If any of you wish to accompany me by air or ground on one of the transports, I’m happy to have you ride along.

 And, for those who donated and didn’t fly…I appreciate that as well, and Olivier’s donation too.

Freewheelers Rule!!!!!

Sue Clark

We had an impromptu wine tasting before dinner on Saturday thanks to Mary Sue Ferrell and Irene Paulin who contributed several bottles of wine.

Some of us headed home on Sunday but about a dozen of us stayed a night or two more. We enjoyed the TV in the clubhouse to watch the 49ers beat the Packers. Then we went out for a yummy Mexican dinner.

It was a wonderful way to start the new year seeing many old friends and meeting some new ones. We love our Freewheeler Family!

Connie McKenna

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