By Charlie Schrenkel, L140050
We are stopped for the day at the Oasis RV Resort, off of Interstate 40 in Amarillo, Texas. This campground is a Family Motor Coach Association commercial member, and the people who run it have been extremely helpful to FMCA members who have stayed here.
FMCA’s 83rd International Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, just concluded, and as I write this we are headed back to the East Coast. I think a great time was had by just about everyone who attended. True, the weather was so changeable that we experienced winter, spring, summer, and fall all in one day. However, there were plenty of warm buses for transportation to and from events. The evening entertainment was all inside, and, as an added attraction, most nights we served beverages, snacks, and dessert to those attending. The vendors were numerous and inviting, as were the outdoor coach displays. Seminars were well-attended and informative.
I wish to thank the members who took me up on my invitation and stopped to chat and share with me at the convention. It was great meeting all of you. We are truly an international association, with members from all around this great continent.
The Rainbow Ryders provided hot-air balloon rides from the motorhome parking area at Balloon Fiesta Park. They were kept busy throughout the event, as weather permitted. And part of their work involved taking yours truly on his first balloon ride.
Those who know me are aware that I am a fixed-wing pilot. I like the wings on any airplane I fly to stay in one place while I am in it. It did not appeal to me to leave this earth in a basket tethered to a nylon bag that was filled with air heated by an oversized Zippo lighter.
Boy, was I wrong.
That was one of the most enjoyable flights I have taken. The experience and skill of our balloon pilot, Dean Donley of Rainbow Ryders, was evident during preparation, liftoff, flight, and landing of the balloon.
The ride was smooth, with no sensation of climbing, descending, or changing direction. (A balloon pilot changes direction by changing altitude, to take advantage of different wind directions that exist at different altitudes.)
The view from the balloon was spectacular. It was a crystal-clear morning, and we could see for miles. I couldn’t be sure, but I thought I could see as far north as Canada! Thank you, Dean, and Rainbow Ryders, for giving FMCA members such memorable moments during our Albuquerque convention.
Finally, let me change direction to mention FMCA membership. There is a coupon in this issue on page 33 that any member can use to share our great association with a friend. Cut it out or copy it, or give the magazine (and that coupon) to an acquaintance who has a motorhome, and they can use it to join FMCA for $10 off the current new member rate. You don’t have to belong to a chapter (although that certainly adds to the fun) to invite someone to join FMCA. I encourage all of you to talk about our association, our magazine, our member benefits, and the joy of a lifestyle we are truly blessed to be able to share.
It just occurred to me, sitting here writing this month’s article, that I really don’t have to go east. Or south, for that matter. I can go anywhere. My house has a steering wheel.
Safe and healthy travels.