Monday, October 18, 2010

The Northern Cascades Fall Colors Caravan - Day 3, Winthrop, Potluck, and Bingo

Well, no cigars this time, sadly it's a work night and I'm broke till Friday :p.

But, enough whining about my lack of libations, time to continue on with Day 3 of the Northwest Fall Colors Rally.

In the last chapter, I left off with Moby and I having finally reached the town of Winthrop, where I finally caught up with some of the other caravaners who were parked in the one designated "RV Parking" lot in the town of Winthrop.

After taking Moby on a nice walk to stretch both our legs, I chatted with a few fellow caravaners before heading out of town a little ways to get fuel on the recommendation that the Red Apple market on the edge of town cost less for gas.

It didn't, but the pumps were easier to navigate a big truck and camper into than the old fashioned looking Chevron station in the heart of town did.

After fueling up, I made a few loops of town to get an idea of all that was there, mostly for future exploration, visiting the collection of all equally interesting shops would have to wait for a return visit when I was more on my own schedule.

Town of Winthrop

Eventually, I'd looped town about three times and finally got myself turned the right direction and start on my way up and away from town to the Silver Line Resort on Pearrygin Lake.

Along the way up the little two-lane gradually decaying road towards the lake, state park, and the Silver Line Resort, I came across this neat old Buick. I've never seen one quite like this one, nor in as good of shape. Best part was it was for sale, though I couldn't make out the price from the FOR SALE sign in the windshield.

After bouncing along the old road out of town and up into the hills above it, I finally came to Silverline and pulled in to the office to check in.

Afterwards, I went the wrong way down most of the campground roads to get to the dump station to empty my holding tank (The sites the clubs reserved had water and electric, but no sewer). I succeeded in driving the wrong way down all of the park roads till I finally located my site and pulled in.

For the potluck I had brought along 10lbs of potatoes (for the mashing) and a large quantity of Stove Top Turkey Stuffing mix, far too much Turkey Gravy Mix (Most of which wound up getting dumped into a toilet in the men's room after dinner since I had no place or interest in hauling over a gallon of instant turkey gravy with me), and two pies, one of which I'm still finishing off.

Several of the wives of the other campers came by and collected the potatoes and Stuffing mix (I had expressed concern on the club's forum about my skills to make decent mashed potatoes that actually involved whole potatoes vs instant potatoes) and left me to bake my two pies and make the gravy.

McCormick's instant Turkey Gravy is actually rather good tasting, thought it could use a bit more thickening agent.

While I waited for my pies to bake, I strolled around camp and snapped a few photos of the other truck campers and of the lake itself.

Finally dinner time came and with the help of several folks whose names I can't remember (Out of everyone there, and the folks I already knew, I think I managed to remember maybe 3-4 names total, I'm terrible with names, it was four months before I finally memorized my neighbor's name here at Island Cove RV Park), I added my pot of gravy, tub of cool whip (Which never got used and like the Cherry Pie I brought back with me, is still being eaten as we speak).

The smorgasbord spanned roughly five picnic tables from end to end, every inch filled with one dish or another.

We ate, we drank, we made small talk about camping, campers, projects (I got asked about my long range wifi antenna alot :) ) and anything else that came to mind.

Peter made multiple rallying cries for folks to make second and third passes on the dinner trestles, and the lottery tickets for prizes were handed out, one for each rig.

Eventually, we all reached our limits and the mastication died off to a quiet susurrous. Round about this time, the Truck Camper Bingo cards were passed out, along with crayons to fill them in.

Those of us that had been hanging out on the fringes while we dined migrated into the light of the hall and joined others for the evening's festivities.

Unlike standard Bingo, which uses numbers for each of the squares on the cards under the letters B I N G O, Truck Camper bingo used various names and phrases from members of the group and places that had been visited or would be visited along the caravan and even colors of the leaves.

The first round we played till someone got a traditional BINGO, then we moved to playing Blackout, which I surprisingly won...

My Winnings from the Truck Camper Bingo Blackout Round consisted of some rather nice LED replacement bulbs (At the time I chuckled, "I love these, but I all my fixtures use those tiny blade plug-type bulbs!", till later when I remember that a couple of the original 70s fixtures that had survived did use the older round socket type. One of the LED's is now in my fixture over the sink and has the nice quality of not getting hot and loosening the contact on the back of the bulb like the original incandescent bulb did), and a Maxxair Beer Cozy.

Afterwards, a few speeches were made and those that had organized the rally and done all the footwork to make it happen were publicly thanked.

Then the handing out of a Lifetime membership to our Century attendee who had celebrated 101 years of age this year was performed (Sadly, I couldn't get clear shot for a picture.)

Once all the cheering and hurrahing had ceased, we came to the last big event of the evening, the lottery.

It went around several times, till all of the prizes had been given away. In the end I wound up with:

A very nice solid oak Magazine rack, spice rack and remote control holster made by Xnorp;

Then a rather nice bottle of a local Washington BBQ sauce and more camouflaged Torklift International Ball Caps than I know what to do with :p (Actually, I do have use for extra hats, I've mastered the art of losing them or wearing them out prematurely), of which I do not have a photo, yet again.

As the potluck closed down for the evening, custom embroidered Caravan towels were given out as well as Truck Camper Key racks, and caravan fridge magnets.

Captain PJ had a bit of fun with his :).

After the dinner area was cleaned up and packed away, we all eventually migrated down to the large bonfire area near the lake. I brought along my cigar box and a few cans of pepsi and wound up taking over one of the canopies, call it the designated smokers tent if you will :p.

As we all relaxed, the fire was built up, and up... It was raining and a triffle cold, but with the monster fire that Rick wound up creating, I ended up migrating to the back of the canopy to keep from roasting, placing my self roughly 15-20 feet away.

As the fire grew, the number of folks under the canopies gradually grew as well, till we had a fairly decent complement of folks and the Scotch flowed freely once more.... :p

We sat and yammered for several hours, till around midnight-1am when we finally all retired for the evening.

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