By Charlie Schrenkel, L140050
We experienced an early spring in much of North America this year, and many motorhomers who live in the northern and middle parts of the continent are on the road, enjoying the weather. As the summer camping season begins, the upcoming months hold the promise of many interesting places to go and lots of new things to see. Many of these adventures fall within the spectrum of our association.
This month I’d like to call your attention to upcoming FMCA events. Our first two area rallies of the year — Western and Southeast — took place in January and February, respectively; so, following is a description of the remaining events for 2012. You are welcome to join in as many of these as you would like during your own travels.
To learn more about any of these upcoming rallies, as well as FMCA’s Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase this August, check out the International Conventions & Area Rallies listing that begins on page 76 of this issue.
This month, the Great Lakes Area Rally, or G.L.A.S.S. Rally, as it is also known, will be held in Berrien Springs, Michigan, at the Berrien County Youth Fair grounds. This is a really nice part of the country to visit during Memorial Day weekend. The rally takes place May 24-28. Berrien Springs is not far from northern Indiana, which boasts great Amish food and crafts and the RV/Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame and Museum, with its collection of antique RVs.
Next up on the GPS screen is the 2012 Northwest Area Rally, June 21-24, at The Mill Casino on Coos Bay, in North Bend, Oregon. The twin towns of Coos Bay and North Bend both offer beautiful views of the Pacific, and the area boasts beaches, boardwalks, and museums.
Shortly thereafter, festivities for the Midwest Area Rally will begin at the Winnebago County Fairgrounds in Pecatonica, Illinois, June 27-30. Located west of Rockford, Pecatonica is a pretty town that reflects the past with historic homes, a preserved business district, and a local history museum.
The Northeast Area Rally will be held July 19-22 at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction, Vermont. This area rally has a large youth program, which assures that the children and grandchildren of members who attend will have a great time. The venue is close to Lake Champlain and is ripe to explore and enjoy. Quilting shops and antiques shops can be discovered during your stay.
FMCA’s 87th Family Reunion & Motorhome Showcase takes place August 27-30 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. This promises to be a major highlight of the motorhoming season, at a venue well-suited for an FMCA event. Seminars will help you to learn more about taking care of your home on wheels, and plenty of new motorhomes and converted coaches will be open for inspection. Not to mention the best part of an FMCA Family Reunion — seeing old friends and making new ones. And don’t forget to explore Indianapolis, with its impressive museums and state park right within the city limits. For more details, see the article about Indianapolis attractions that begins on page 48 in this issue. Better yet, sign up now to attend — see the registration form on pages 72-74.
The Rocky Mountain Area Rally, also called the Rocky Mountain Ramble, will gather RVers September 11-16 at the CAM-PLEX in Gillette, Wyoming. This is a wonderful facility in the midst of America’s renowned wide-open plains and mountains, not far from the famous Black Hills of South Dakota.
The Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, is the host venue for this year’s South Central Area Rally, or Six-State Rally, which runs September 26-30. While you’re in town, check out some great museums showcasing art and history, as well as the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center.
Last but, by far, not least, visit the Eastern Area Rally (known as G.E.A.R) October 10-14 at the York Expo Center in York, Pennsylvania. You’ll want to explore the nearby Pennsylvania Dutch country with all of its good food, and stop to admire the colorful autumn scenery for which this part of the East is known.
So, if you want to enjoy your motorhome more, plan now to attend an FMCA area rally or Family Reunion, for you’ll find them in all parts of the FMCA neighborhood. Fill up your fresh water tanks, empty your holding tanks, and set your GPS or mark up that map. Then experience the joy of visiting with your family again.
Safe and healthy travels.