Friday, October 5, 2007

10/2 - 10/6/07 Fleetwood Rally, RV Repairs & Dave's Birthday

The Fleetwood Travelcade Club met in Meridian for a Rally. The average age of the group was 65, so there were no children or teens. Most of them have been with the group since the late 80’s and the friendships were deep. The group prefers hugs to handshakes and were very welcoming. There were plenty of group activities and social times.

Morning started with breakfast from 8-9. The time was a little early for Dave, Sarah and I since it was still a little dark outside and we weren’t used to being in the mountain time zone.

There was a morning activity. One day there was a luncheon. Each afternoon there was a social hour from 4-5 for cocktails, but we didn’t attend.

Dinners were fun – pizza, Mexican potluck and a steak feast. The meals were quite a challenge for Sarah’s new found vegetarianism, buy Mayim was happy that Sarah would pick the meat off her pizza and sandwiches and bring it back to the RV for her. We continued celebrating Dave’s birthday and brought a ½ sheet cake, chocolate of course, to the potluck and the group sang him happy birthday. All-in-all, we really scored on the meals. We paid $52 for our fee and because the Oregon Club underwrote the event, we ate all those meals at no additional charge.

The activities were perfect for us. Sarah and I learned how to line dance. She wore jeans and the pretty turquoise “pareo” scarf that Scott had given me. It was fun to dance in the in the row behind her. I was surprised at how many different dances and steps there were to learn. As soon as I started to get the hang of one, they started a new dance.

One day we went to the Idaho Historical Museum in Boise. We went in a 15 car caravan, but the car in front of us didn’t make the correct turns and we got separated from the group. Sarah began teasing that the group was trying to lose me. We had to stop twice to get directions. Many one way streets later, we finally arrived.

It was a great Lewis & Clark museum and also had a typical 19th century house sitting room, living room, kitchen and porch with authentic laundry facilities. There was a bar with a two-headed calf, a Chinese herb shop and a Chinese temple.

At the gift shop the kids bought chocolate “Potato Spud” candy … that tasted, in one word, awful. The woman proudly told us that they were sold only in Idaho and we knew why!

The next day we went to the Idaho Art Museum and their beautiful rose garden. Sarah loved the video room showing time lapsed drawing and the children’s “hands on” room; Dave liked the electronic moving kaleidoscope; and I liked the white mesh city-like sculptures hanging from the ceiling. Sarah and I walked around them several times and then, after waiting for the gallery to empty, laid on the concrete floor looking up at their graceful lines and shapes. The rose garden was dew covered with roses that smelled like … roses!

We also went to Cabelas, a sporting goods shop with all types of taxidermied animals. The magnificent moose, deer, elk, wolves, beavers, etc. and the hunting equipment completely freaked Sarah out. She was much happier at our latter shopping at Sierra Outfitters. We found her a $350 jacket for $40, a warm skirt, a knit hat and some warm long sleeve pullovers for Dave.

Disaster struck for Dave and his outside TV and gaming station. The slide that holds the heavy TV came unscrewed from its base due to the pathetic installation with three sheet metal screws. I sent photographs to Mel and we discussed the fix at length.

Three trips later to Home Depot I owned a Black and Decker drill, hack saw, assorted ¼ bolts, locking washers and nuts, metal strips for support and a hose to clean the black water tank. I have to admit that even though it was frustrating to make multiple trips to Home Depot, I felt empowered – I am very proud of my fix. It seems quite substantial and a good long-term solution.

Rewiring the damaged TV power cable was difficult. I think it would have been much easier with a better quality wire stripper and crimper tool. When I finished the rewiring project, Dave helped me carry the heavy TV outside and remount it. The rehooking the TV back up to the inside and outside audio system was tricky, but Mel and Dave were a great help. As Dave can attest, has outdoor system is back working perfectly! It was a project completely out of my comfort zone and I feel stronger and more capable because of it.

Dave’s real birthday morning was a travel day from Meridian to Kamiah. We gave him an electronic joke book, logic puzzles from the art museum, a rechargeable razor and an IOU for a new wallet.

We said goodbyes to our new Fleetwood friends. I heard many comments about my bravery. Funny, from a group of long-time RVers, I wouldn’t have expected that remark… I learned a lot of practical advice from this group including concern about my corroding batteries, my new tarp for the bikes, black water tank maintenance, snow chains and how to plan winter travel, tire maintenance and pressures, and cleaning snow off of the slides before closing.

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