2017 Ortonville Rally

To all that wanted to attend the June 23-25 Rally at Clearwater Campground in Ortonville, MI, but couldn’t for some reason, “YA MISSED A GOOD ONE!”.  Co-hosts Robert & Linda Smith and Richard & Cheryl Sands were there to greet everyone and hand out goody bags as each rig arrived on Friday.  Inside each Goody Bag was a set of Airstream coasters hand-made by Robert!   Gary & Leslie Miller, Mark & Peggy Stephenson, Bob & Cindy Schwabel, Joe Peplinski & Lorrie Robertson, and Al & Dottie Miller all arrived by 3pm and had their Airstreams unhitched and camps set up in plenty of time for the 5pm Happy Hour.  Richard Sands served as our Chef for the evening meal and his  “Witches Brew”, a stew cooked over an open fire in a Dutch Oven, received many compliments.

Joe Peplinski provided the first half of the Friday evening entertainment, previewing a work-in-progress historical presentation entitled “The History of Airstream and WBCCI Caravans” that he is developing for the International Rally in Escanaba.  It seemed to be well liked and the feedback provided will enable it to be improved before the official showing on July 25th in Escanaba.  Thanks everyone for being “guinea pigs”!  As the presentation ended, the first “booms” of the Ortonville fireworks could be heard, signaling the start of the second half of the Friday entertainment.  Some watched the fireworks out a window of their Airstream, while others ventured to the front of the campground for a better view of the excellent 45 minute long show.  All-in-all, Friday was a great start to the Rally.

Saturday began with a delicious Breakfast Casserole made by Linda Smith, accompanied by coffee, juice, toast, English muffins, and fresh fruit.  The rally goers were then free to explore Ortonville and the surrounding areas using the excellent map prepared by Cheryl Sands.  While some of us were “out and about”, we missed day visits from long time Metro-Detroit members Dave & Shirley Brendel and new members Bill & Sharon Shannon, who had not yet made it to a Unit event, but wanted to stop by and “say hi”.  The Shannons stayed and talked with Robert and Linda for quite a while.

After the Saturday Happy Hour, the evening meal was once again prepared by Chef Richard.  His Brunswick Stew was a hit and at least a few of the attendees were happy that he used chicken rather than the traditional squirrel (or at least he told us he did).  Richard also baked the accompanying bread, quite possibly the best bread we ever tasted.  After dinner, a nice bonfire was stoked up and most of us sat around talking for so long that we did not realize it had gotten dark and the planned Saturday Night Movie, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (which features quite a few Airstreams), never got started.  During the bonfire, Unit President Robert provided a “thank you” gift to co-hosts Richard & Cheryl, an Airstream puzzle.  All too soon, it was time to head back to our Airstreams and retire for the evening.

The Sunday morning breakfast was pancakes and sausage, and coffee, juice, toast, and fresh fruit.  Was it just us or were Chef Richard’s pancakes the best anyone ever tasted?  After that, the Rally Goers began hitching up, saying their goodbyes and pulling out.  Everyone had a great time and we all look forward to the next Unit Rally.  If you missed this one, you missed a good one, we missed you, and we hope you can make the next one!  Thanks Cheryl, Richard, Linda, & Robert for a great rally!