Saturday, June 22, 2013

FMCA Rally

Well, after five and a half years of full-timing in our motorhome, we finally are going to our first big national RV rally.  In fact, we'll be going to two of them in the next three weeks!

The first one is the FMCA rally.  FMCA stands for Family Motor Coach Association of which we have been members since retiring.  Most rallies have side trips that you can sign up for either before or after the rally, so we decided to try one of those, too.  We signed up for the Durham Buffalo Ranch tour on Tuesday, June 18th.  It was great fun!  We boarded the big bus at 9:30 a.m. and headed about 40 miles south from Gillette. 

The bus was guided way out to the far end of the 60,000 acre ranch where the bison (American buffalo are not true buffalo but are related closest to the European Bison and the Canadian Woods Bison) were that day.  The ranch has been owned and operated by the Flocchini family since 1965 and the herds number around 2,500.

We all departed the bus but stayed pretty close by as you can see.

And, this is exactly why we didn't venture far!
Must still be spring here in Wyoming as evidenced by the "shedding".

Really enjoyed seeing all the little ones.
 Afterwards, we were all treated to a wonderful lunch of bison burgers (delicious!), chips and beans.  After seeing how these bison are raised and how little they are "handled" (they spend much of their lives on grass), we now buy Durham Ranch products whenever we can.  Love bison meat!

The FMCA rally began the next day, Wednesday, June 19th and lasted through Saturday, June 22.  All in all, we had a great time.  We met some fun people, went to as many educational seminars as we could, enjoyed wandering around the vendor's area and wandered through the many RV's that had been brought in by various dealers.  The big entertainment was The Buckinghams and we really enjoyed that, too!

We had company during the rally also!  Our oldest son, Eric, was moving their stuff down from Alaska to Colorado and he stopped by for an overnight.  It was great to see him again!  At the same time, my sister Deb and her husband Mark were moving from Alaska back to Missouri and they also stopped by for a couple of hours.  They had run into some delays the day before but we had a nice visit for the short time they were able to stop.

On Saturday, the 22nd, we prepared to leave for a week.  Unfortunately, it had been raining and we had heard all the horror stories about RVers needing to be towed out of grassy fields like this at other rallies, so we pulled out early and parked on one of the nearby streets until it was time for us to get weighed.  In the meantime, we were headed back to the motorhome after saying goodbye to the Escapees crew and noticed that there was a big black cloud headed in from the west.  Got back inside just before it hit.  Wow!  It hailed for probably nearly 10 minutes.  We hid out in the back on the bed since our big front windshields were facing directly into the storm!  Afterwards, the little trees next to us didn't have a leaf left and we found out later that some RV's a bit to the east had some hail damage.  As soon as things calmed down, we headed a couple blocks away and got weighed by Howard and Linda Payne (we had met them several years ago in Benson AZ).  Hooked up the car and headed out to the interstate only to find that there was still enough hail on the road that we didn't feel comfortable continuing.  We pulled off onto a long pull-out (where 3-4 other rigs soon joined us) and waited another half hour for the hail to finish melting.  We headed back east about 4:00 p.m. and arrived at the Devil's Tower KOA at 6:30 p.m.

Time for a little R&R with our friends, John & Susan!

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