Annual Rally in Plymouth CA

May 8-11, 2003
Cay Roberts

RVFers from across the country struck it rich at The Gold Fever Rally in Plymouth, CA, May 8-11. Wagonmasters for the annual rally were Paul and Edna Schiller and Jerry and Peggy Haley. President Bob Hamblin convened the RVF Board on May 7, joined by incoming president Ken Calderwood. As the rally began, arrivals were welcomed by Doug and Lois Hill, rally registrars, with other willing helpers. Fifty-six rigs, other RVFers, children and grandchildren made up the crowd from at least 10 states.

The first group activity was a Thursday evening welcome and Rotary fellowship barbeque dinner put on by the energetic Rotarians of the Jackson (CA) Rotary club. Three days' worth of tasty breakfasts, the Friday potluck, and Saturday night's catered dinner were handled by Gordon and Polly Lipp, ably assisted by John and Bobbi Greenwood and many other volunteers. On Friday, the group carpooled on the Mine and Wine tour, starting at the Sutter Creek gold mine. We were whisked deep below the earth's surface to learn about historical and modern mining techniques and see veins of gold-bearing quartz. No free samples, but the mine provided a gift shop and also an informative video on the California gold rush of 1849 and its aftermath.

From the mine, we drove into the beautiful Amador County wine area to visit Montevina. This winery was quickly re-established at the end of Prohibition and produces a large selection of excellent wines. Fortified by box lunches, the group went on a guided tour that included historical notes and production information, followed by a tasting. Amador County is noted for its classic red zinfandels and wines produced from Italian varietals. An optional stop was the nearby Deaver winery, but many RVFers headed straight for the Amador Flower Farm, with its colorful seasonal gardens and huge selection of garden gifts and plants, especially daylilies and perennials.

Friday night's potluck was the usual culinary success, offering excellent food and lots of variety. After dinner, entertainment impresarios Louie and Becky Donhost (assisted by Gordon and Polly Lipp) had arranged for a performance by the Sacramento Banjo Band: RVFers had a great singalong!

Saturday's activities were flexible and included golf or a bus trip to Old Sacramento, where the group enjoyed a guided tour of the California Railroad Museum and a chance either to visit the statehouse or to drive through Sacramento's elegant residential district and stop at Sutter's Fort. Back at the Forty-niners RV Resort, the RVFers gathered for a tasty steak dinner and some "slapstick Shakespeare"--a pastiche of King Lear, Othello, and Hamlet done with total energy and incredible costume changes, all performed by the Murphy's Creek Theater Company. Meanwhile, a group of diligent salesmen had been peddling raffle tickets for several days. The lucky winners took home gifts donated by La Mesa RV, Deaver Winery, and the Jackson Rotary Club, while raffle tickets purchased by annual rally attendees put $372 into the RVF Highway Safety Fund.

The beautiful gold rush table decorations were still luring wealth seekers at the Sunday break-away breakfast and general meeting. Outgoing President Bob Hamblin was thanked with a gift and his own president's flag; incoming president Ken Calderwood reminded the group of next year's June annual rally in Jackson Hole WY. Rotarians announced numerous RVF regional rallys all across the United States during 2003-04. New Board members were introduced, and President Bob thanked his Board with a gift for each one's service. The RVF made its Highway Safety presentation to the Jackson Volunteer Fire Department: three electronic direction signals used to route traffic around accidents, purchased for just over $1600. After some closing activities, a group picture, and many farewells, the annual rally ended on a beautiful California spring day.

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Caravanning to the mine
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But first, the gift shop
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To buy
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Buy
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& Buy
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Ready to go down
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This is how we got there
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into that dark entrance
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Who said they was golf here
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If we look, we'll find some!
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WITH DYNAMITE!!??
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Let's get out of here
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Then lunch at the vineyard
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Where we were told all about the grape which would show up later.
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Where we were told all about the grape which would show up later.
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Where we were told all about the grape which would show up later.
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Who stole the tires??
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Who said Rotarians didn't like to eat?
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And eat ...
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Then to announcements
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Everyone listened,
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Who's that eating in the middle?
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Followed by entertainment.
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The grandchildren came too.
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Important people
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Ah, the bus showed up!
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Off to the RR museum
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A short wait
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Two of WHAT?
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Back to the dinner table.
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There were lots of RVs
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Some didn't have much horsepower.
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Wrapping up.
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In memory of a good presidency
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Mr. President
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His flag
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And the first lady
 
 
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