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Welches ’10th Anniversary Rally’ 2014

10th Anniversary Rally
August 18-20, 2014
Mt. Hood Village RV Resort
Welches, Oregon

Thank You Rally Masters, Ed and Jeanette Block  and Rodger and Colleen Wright

Twenty-three members attended this rally as well as NWA FMCA VP, Kathie & Andy Balogh, and FMCA Treasurer, Percy & Pamela Bell – having traveled from British Columbia, Florida, Oregon, Washington & Arizona.  Many had just enjoyed a memorable week at the 90th International FMCA Convention in Redmond, Oregon.  It was ideal that our sites were now full-hookup and in the shade of lovely evergreens — in close proximity to each other and the clubhouse.  We enjoyed  old friends and new at the campground, on the river trail and at Mt. Hood under sunny skies.

Rally welcome bags held our special ‘10th anniversary’ T-shirts, silkscreened with a NW image by mural artist, Dennis Dame, the daily itinerary, an attendees’ photo directory, helpful brochures for the region and handy items donated by RV vendors.  Delicious breakfasts were catered by the onsite, Dragonfly Café & Bakery and the rally itinerary included a wonderful dining experience at the national historic landmark, Timberline Lodge, at Mt. Hood.

Day 1: By 4 p.m. all had gathered for a festive happy hour and members’ specialties lined the buffet for an appetizer potluck. The meeting room was nicely decorated to celebrate this event and it was a treat to see so many wearing their rally T-shirts – as well as reliving past rallies, flipping through the pages of our club albums.  Photo centerpieces also showcased 10 years of memorable rallies.

Rodger Wright introduced our FMCA VIP attendees and gave them the opportunity to share a little about themselves. Newly elected, NW Area VP, Kathie Balogh, presented our club president, Al Zimmerman, with our 10 Year Certificate.   Memories were shared of our club’’s formative years, and  Colleen showed off our anniversary cake decorated with a snow-capped mountain, wild flowers & clouds and ‘Let’’s Celebrate!’ wording.  There was soon a line forming for the tasty white, crème filled cake, vanilla or chocolate ice cream (Tillamook, of course) and a cup of the citrusy, raspberry sherbet punch.

Day 2:  We started the morning with a tasty breakfast at the clubhouse followed by a tech talk by Brazel’’s Performance RV from Centralia, WA with owner, Steve Brazel, & shop foreman,  Alan Sanders.  Al focused on our Trek’s auto-parking brake problem and solution and took questions afterwards.  In a drawing, Al & Virginia Zimmerman won the Scan Gauge donated by Brazel’’s.

A quorum of the membership was present for the good, productive business meeting that followed. Signup sheets were started to determine interest in several club rallies for 2015 as well as a sheet for attendees needing transportation to Mt. Hood the next day.   Ed & Jeanette then proceeded with the drawings for the 20+ door prizes Ed had rounded up from five RV-related businesses who were happy to support our celebration:  Brazel’’s,  Camco, Camping World, Davis Cabinets, FMCA & Redland’s RV .  As the donations were quite varied, the winning person/s got to choose their own prize as their name was drawn.  The rest of the day was FREE to enjoy as we wished.  Many chose to simply mingle until the dinner hour, some joined Al Z who led them to fine views on the nearby Salmon River Trail and still others took scenic drives including the Columbia River Gorge and spectacular Multnomah Falls.   We had lots of options to enjoy a good lunch/dinner at local restaurants, but good weather encouraged picnics at campsites too.

Day 3:  Raindrops pattered on our Trek roofs throughout the night and visibility was poor in the morning.   All enjoyed an early breakfast of French toast w/cream cheese & blueberry filling, sausages & bacon, etc. while hoping the sky would clear.   A call to Mt. Hood’’s Timberline Lodge brought welcomed news that they had SUN.  By midday most of us had carpooled to the mountain.  A few took the ski lift up Mt. Hood’’s “Magic Mile” to mid-mountain Silcox Hut that had long been a hiker/skier way-station.  See Colleen Wright’’s report below.  It’’ll be there to tempt us another day.

At Timberline Lodge, the USFS guided tours highlighted its 77 year history, the challenges the CCC faced in its construction and its special artistic features.  We passed time searching out the lodge’s 6odge’s 6th generation Saint Bernard dog, lounging at impressive Roosevelt Terrace and talking with serious hikers, taking in the exhibit at the lower level, shopping at the gift store — or having a good cider at the Ram’s Head Bar . . . all as we awaited our private happy hour in the Raven Room.  The appetizer canapés were excellent.  Expansive windows allowed for lofty views of Mt. Hood as well as impressive Mt. Jefferson, the ‘3 Sisters’ peaks, lakes and green & purple ridges far beyond. With no-host wine & beer available, glasses were raised to the Block’’s on their 48th wedding anniversary.  Humor reigned as past presidents were asked to comment on their experiences and past & present officers and wagon masters were recognized.

A marvelous buffet was prepared for us including a wide variety of salads, roasted potatoes, vegetables, Artisan rolls, and delicious entrees – slow roasted, hazelnut smoked prime rib and NW cedar plank salmon.  The yummy dessert was 3-berry pie.  The evening then naturally turned to light-hearted and creative fun.  As I couldn’’t be everywhere taking photos, I’’m grateful to Al Zimmerman and Steve Webber-Plank for their camera work, as well, in capturing these memories.

Submitted by J. Block