RALLY ON THE COWLITZ
June 17 – 20, 2017
Brookhollow RV Park, Kelso, Washington
Wagonmasters: Al & Virginia Zimmerman, Mike & Lynn Ashbridge
14 coaches gathered at Brookhollow RV Park in Kelso for the pre-rally to the 2017 FMCA NW Area Rally at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds.
Mike and Lynn Ashbridge,Oregon City, OR
Bob Beers, Redmond, WA
Dean and Sue Bjornson, Des Moines, WA
Gary and Lucy Brown, Comox, BC
David Burton, Sammamish, WA
Bruce Matlack Wherever sailboat moored
Bret and Laura Medbury, Oak Harbor, WA
William and Joan Quant, Bend, OR
David and Pam Schulz, Hermiston, OR
Tom and Diana Schramm, Bend, OR
Bill and Paula Shull, Silverton, OR
Wayne Vandergriff and Janna Caughron, Truckee, CA
Steve Webber-Plank, Bellingham, WA
Al and Virginia Zimmerman, Coos Bay, OR
Rally attendees included several first-timers. Garry and Lucy Brown hail from Comox on Vancouver Island. They moved up from a Chinook class B to a 2003 Model 2610 Trek. David and Pam Schulz have a unique Trek – it has no magic bed and it is has a rear-mounted Cummins diesel on an Oshkosh chassis. There were very few of these units made. Bruce Matlack has just purchased his Trek and it is in Florida getting some repairs done. Bruce spends much of his time sailing the Caribbean. He arrived in a 1991 Ford Class B van conversion. He liked our group so much, he joined FMCA and NWTFC before leaving the rally.
Day 1 – Saturday, June 17
Rally started with a wonderful dinner of braised pork tenderloin or chicken picatta at the Longview Country Club. The golf course is situated in the midst of a residential area, however we must have smelled the food because everyone made it to dinner on time.
Day 2 – Sunday, June 18
Sunday began with a breakfast of pancakes and sausage. This was a free day to explore, make coach improvements, or relax. Zimmermans drove along the Columbia River to Cathlamet and Puget Island. They missed the ferry to Westport, Oregon by 10 minutes, so the return trip was the same way.
The Frustrated Maestros arrived during Sunday afternoon. It was fun to share the club house with this fun-loving group. Members came from Kansas, southern California, and other states, but mostly from Oregon and Washington. One of the maestros (Russel Warren) is a former Trek owner.
The evening meal was a heavy hors d’oeuvres potluck shared with the Frustrated Maestros. It was a meal filled with variety – from cheese and crackers to the always tasty meatballs and little smokies.
The day started with a continental breakfast. Mike Ashbridge led a caravan to Johnson Ridge Observatory on Mt. St. Helens. We enjoyed a ranger talk and a couple movies on Mt. St. Helens.
The evening meal was taco salad with beans and rice supplied by the Frustrated Maestros. Dessert was ice cream bars and cake. Following dinner, Danielle Robbins from the Cowlitz History Museum shared the history of the city of Longview. Longview was a planned community to serve the workers of the Long Bell Lumber Company. R.A. Long and his staff laid out the design of the city. The Monticello Hotel was (and is) a feature of the city that was intended to show that the city had arrived. Many civic facilities were donated by Long. A unique feature of Longview that is celebrated are the “squirrel bridges.”
The final day began with a continental breakfast. As usual, a group of guys were engaged in helping a member with some mechanical issues. A group diagnosed and then helped Steve Webber-Plank install a new alternator. Unfortunately, Wayne Vandergriff and Janna Caughron had to be towed to the campground and exited the same way. Trust they get back on the road soon.
We shared our good tidings with the Frustrated Maestros. Their jam sessions and practice times brought music to our ears. At 10:30 am those caravanning to the FMCA NW Area Rally assembled for the short journey to the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. The rest of the NWTFC scattered to places in various parts of the northwest.