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2022 Rally on the Lake Report

(to the NWA FMCA “Welcome Back” Rally in Coos Bay)   

Osprey Point RV Resort;   June 18 – 21, 2022 

Nine RVs made the journey to the south coast of Oregon for the Rally on the Lake in Lakeside, OR. 
Wagonmasters:  Al & Elaine Zimmerman;  Coos Bay, OR  and Scott & Carolyn Carpenter;  West Richland, WA 

Mike & Lynn Ashbridge;  Oregon City, OR
Ed & Jeanette Block;  Vashon Island, WA 
Roy Miller;  Medford, OR
Wojo & Kathleen Walczak;  Lakebay, WA
Glenn Schweizer & Valeta Weaver; Woodburn, OR
David & Pat Larson;  Reno, NV 
and their ‘Safari’ friends,  Thomas and Lisa Maxey of Stockton, CA
*Neither Gary & Irva Cooper or David & Sue Pierce were able to attend the rallies as they had planned. 

It was pleasing to see so many new people in attendance.  Well before our first evening’s gathering, early arrivals were enjoying the day’s classic car show right there at Osprey Point.  Some of our newer members could be seen picking the brains of experienced Trek owners for tips. . . one of the benefits of our rallies!  The resort’s hall served us well for all our gatherings . . . that evening, our ‘heavy hors d’oeuvres’ potluck and games.  Everyone agreed that Pat Larson’s BBQ ribs were the highlight of the meal.  Afterward, Scott Carpenter led a game focused on naming ‘celebrities’ (or people famous thru the ages).  Then, a dozen of us played the fast-paced dice game of ‘LCR’ (Left–Ctr-Right). The ’kitty’ was won by the last one still possessing a coin to play — David Larson — winning a lot of quarters that could come in handy in resort laundromats.

Following breakfast on Sunday, we all had a choice of things to do in the area.  It was the last day of the Oregon Divisional Chainsaw Carving Championship held every year since 2000 on Father’s Day weekend in downtown Reeedsport next to the Umpqua Discovery Center.  This event often draws competitors from worldwide.  The wooden carvings could be quite intricate and varied from bears to storybook creatures.  An interesting event is the “quick draw” in which competitors have 90 minutes to create a carving from a block of wood.   Following a satisfying dinner of chicken-a-la-king, the group enjoyed a special presentation by Helen Mineau who has been in the Coos Bay area for much of her life. Her topic was “Coos Bay–what was–what is–what is to come.”  In the 19th century, the Coos Bay area became the commercial center of the coast, as is the largest natural deep- water port between San Francisco and Seattle.  It was once the world’s largest lumber shipping port.  The future may bring a new emphasis on handling container ships — especially since it has a railroad, directly serving the area, designated for container docks.  However, the railroad would require major improvements for such growth. 

Monday’s breakfast was omelets-in-a-bag. . . . it was good because each person assembled their own!  We’d choose from a variety of ingredients, throw them into a Ziplock bag, seal ‘em up tightly, ID our bag and then Al would submerged many at a time in a pot of boiling water.  Approx. 12 minutes later, these omelets were cooked to perfection.   For this rally, something new for the NW Trek Fun Club was added – a Secret Safari!   No one but the wagon masters knew the destination.  With sack lunches and a sense of curiosity, the safari caravan headed up the Millicoma River, past Allegheny, to Gold and Silver Falls State Park.  Silver Falls (259 feet) and Golden Falls (254 feet) are the second and third tallest waterfalls in the Oregon Coast Range. At one time this was one of the best ways to travel from Marshfield (Coos Bay) to the valley. Travelers would board a steamboat and travel to Allegheny, then board a motor car and travel beneath Silver Falls, climb a roadway blasted out of the rock over Golden Falls, through Lee’s Valley to Scottsburg. After crossing the Umpqua River, travelers would go to Drain where they could catch the train to Portland. The last resident left the valley above the falls when the road closed in 1958.   Monday’s dinner was an Asian buffet supplied by Sumin’s Restaurant in Coos Bay. It was so good!  Games of Farkle and Mexican Train Dominoes followed.   After a continental breakfast on Tuesday, the caravan to the FMCA NW Rally was formed. It was a short and easy trip to The Mill Casino in Coos Bay/North Bend. Those who didn’t join the caravan made their way to their next port-of-call.

FMCA NW Area Rally June 23 – 26, 2022 Mill Casino, North Bend, Oregon 

What did you miss – if you were not able to attend the annual FMCA NW Area Rally?   It was called the “Welcome Back Rally” because it was the first time the FMCA chapters of the Northwest were able to gather since 2019.  214 RVs pre-registered for the rally, with parking in the Mill Casino’s lots or w/reservations for their waterfront RV park.  Restrooms & laundry codes were made available for all NWA rally participants.    

Our seven RVs traveled south on US 101 on Tuesday from Lakeside where the pre-rally was held, as volunteers were needed on-site before opening day for the NWA rally.  We all had signed up for electric service and were conveniently parked in Row 1 — so spared having to depend on shuttle service.   NWTFC’s assignment again was the ‘FMCA Store.’  On Tuesday the project was to inventory the merchandise that was shipped from Ohio.   Most of those who were in the caravan pitched in to help inventory and set up the store and their efforts were very appreciated.  With suggestions from our volunteers, our curtain backdrop featured a fine ‘hanger’ display of each apparel item.  They nicely corresponded with counter samples with prices and available sizes – so most stock was kept securely behind the counter.  Some volunteer training had to be ‘hands-on’ Thursday morning with the earlier customers.  Items were inventoried & priced on-line for easy processing, but intermittent Internet/blue tooth availability posed a problem within the Mill Casino.  Al Z. & Mike A. worked feverishly to resolve these frustrations.  Days were often very blustery, and we wished FMCA had supplied more apparel in the larger, accommodating sizes to satisfy all rally customers.  Other items, like the newest FMCA Road Atlas and FMCA lanyard ID pouches, sold quickly.  Volunteers worked two shifts so they had lots of time to benefit from seminars and each day’s activities.  No one even missed out on special rally treats . . . as sundaes were brought to working volunteers!

Wednesday was the famous annual NW Hot Dog Bash. The hot dogs were huge – must have been those Costco dogs by request.  Rally goers had chosen their preferred time for dinner, and the two separate times always had diners enjoying their meals with a minimal wait. 

Thursday’s dinner was salmon cooked over the coals of an Alder fire by the chief of the Coquille Indian Tribe, Jason Younker. There is just something special about the tender and moist salmon cooked this way.  Entertainment on Thursday was provided by the “Timberwolf Band” and their music reflected 40 years of making music on the Oregon coast. They were well-received and got many out onto the dance floor.  

The treat on Friday was the Ice Cream Social with strawberries and ice cream.  Saturday was the final day of the rally and will not soon be forgotten by members of the NW Trek Fun Club. First, it was time to inventory and pack all the merchandise to be returned to Cincinnati.  Quite the effort!!  24 boxes were loaded on the pallet.   Second, at each rally 50/50 tickets are sold with ½ of the proceeds going to “The Kids Hope Center” in Coos Bay. Mike Ashbridge, NWTFC president, was a winner and took home $461 in prize money!  Third, entertainment was provided by Matt Baker, a fine comedian and stuntman who excelled in juggling!  He has appeared on “America’s Got Talent.”  His final stunt was actually catching a bowling ball on his head. 

Roy Miller, from Medford, joined the NWTFC while at the NW Area rally.  He enjoyed the Trek pre-rally as well as the FMCA NW rally, likes to share a good story and is a helpful volunteer.  Owns a 2001 Safari Trek 2830 and electric ‘bike’, dotes over a dear wee dog named Issy (Isabel) and wears a western ‘Gus’ hat.   

Next year’s FMCA NW Area Rally in Albany, OR at the Linn County Fairgrounds, June 4 – 11.

Reports:  Al Zimmerman/J. Block              Photos:  Al Z./Jeanette B./Roy Miller