Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Rally Begins

We're about done with day 2 of The Rally, an annual gathering of RVers from around the country, sponsored by Affinity, a holding company that owns Trailer Life, Good Sam Club, Camping World and other associated businesses.

We arrived about 10 on Friday and found signs and volunteers along the streets, directing us to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park, where all RVs are parked and the evening entertainment tent is located. Arrival times are staggered and we were part of the group that was to pull in between 8 am and noon on Friday.

The line ahead of us was short, but it didn't move too fast because we were being assigned spaces one after the other and all sites were back-in. That takes skill and time in the best of conditions, and because some of the rigs on the opposite row still hadn't pulled out their tow vehicles, the driveway was narrow. But we only were really delayed by one driver who couldn't seem to get his rig in the right place.

I don't know how many RVs have come to the show, but there are acres and acres of while metal boxes (plus a few in shades of brown). Many sites have electricity. A smaller number are for those who chose to dry camp and use their own generator. By the way, they also saved $150 for the four nights of the rally. We thought electricity and the quiet of no generators was worth the expense.

After set up and a quick lunch, we walked over to the shuttle stop. Small trailers with seats and a canopy are picking up people all over the grounds and taking them to the "bus station" where buses would take us the 10 miles or so to the Albuquerque Expo Grounds. That is where all the exhibitors are located and seminars held. The weather was cold and there were intermittent showers. Everyone accepted the cold with good humor. When the wait for a bus lasted over 45 minutes, there were some grumbles. On our return the wait was over an hour and many (including us) were saying we'd drive our own vehicle on Saturday.

We walked through all of the indoor exhibit space Friday afternoon. It was busy and there is too much to absorb. But we bought a grill shield so it will be easier to cook outside in the wind. We also picked up a new patio mat for outside the rig.

Overnight it rained until at least 2 am. But this morning we awoke to sunshine and puddles. First thing, we acted like real RVers. We drove to a nearby Cracker Barrel Restaurant for breakfast. I think most RVers eat out most of the time. We rarely go to a restaurant. But this seemed like the time to do it.

We drove to Expo Center, along with many others. As we left the Balloon grounds I saw eight buses waiting to pick up riders and a bus would leave whenever it had loaded whoever was there for a ride, not waiting till it was full. We probably should have driven ourselves yesterday and ridden the bus today.

I attended a seminar on extended service or warranty insurance that was very helpful. John picked up literature on RV generators and looked at other booths. After checking out a model trail exhibit and some vintage vehicles and RVs, we headed back about 1:30 pm.

The rally lasts through Monday evening. How many more things can we buy?

1 comment:

  1. "Birds of a feather. . . ."
    I am sure you enjoyed being with fellow RV'ers.

    We have a large gathering of RVs near here each year around a week of fiddling and step dancing.

    A great gathering like yours is happening a couple of hours north of here this year, The International Plowing Match. I hope to get there and kick up a little dirt with the farming crowd.