I don't know why, but every once in a while the stars align and something wonderful happens – last year, we had a really nice get-together that just spontaneously happened. Sort of. Back in June of last year on the Roadtrek Yahoo forum, there was some talk about meeting somewhere, and Yan Seiner took the initiative to set a date and place, and reserved a group campsite at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon for a mid-September weekend, hoping that enough people would show up so he wouldn't get stuck with the whole rental fee.
Fortunately for Yan and for the participants, the thing sort of snowballed, and by the time mid-September rolled around, the Roadtreks were converging on Silver Falls from all over the western US and Canada. I think we ended up with sixteen or seventeen Roadtreks overnighting the two nights of the get-together, plus a couple of day visitors. Click here for a super-wide-angle shot showing everyone's rig. Yan bravely vouched for our behavior to the park staff, and we had three days and two nights of relaxing fun.
Yan took pains to stress that this was an ad-hoc, non-official, unsponsored event. There was no umbrella organization, no corporate sponsorship, no rules and by-laws, no election of officers (except Yan, whom we referred to as our spiritual leader, much to his annoyance), no name tags, no seating chart, nothing. Despite this lack of structure, and the somewhat sparse agenda, we all had a great time. The “agenda” consisted of vague talk about a meet and greet Friday as people arrived, and a pot luck dinner Saturday night, times to be determined by the consensus of the people present, and that was it. People sort of wandered around, looked at each other's rigs, talked about stuff, and hung out. There were hikes to the falls for the adventurous, or you could sit around and people watch – it was up to you.
I'm not partial to organized activities myself – I camp out in the middle of nowhere, don't go to rallies (although I'm a member of FMCA and Roadtrek International), and generally prefer to pursue solitary recreational activities. I am most comfortable when I can look out from my campsite and not see another sign of civilization. And yet I had a great time at the get-together, thanks to the loosey-goosey vibe and spontaneous nature of the proceedings. I got to meet many people who were just names to me from the Yahoo Roadtrek forum, and I got to discuss the intricacies of my solar set-up with Yan and others there who had solar themselves. Fiona the Fearless Kitty made the rounds, although she disapproved of all the dogs attending. Unlike me, she thinks there ought to be stricter controls over who gets to attend and how they should behave 😉
Thanks to the success of last year's get-together, Yan is doing it again next month, and we are all booked up for a mid-September weekend for both group sites now – 50 Roadtreks, and more on the waiting list. I was the first to sign up, and I'm looking forward to seeing Yan and his family, Lana, Mike and Bev, Gretchen, Esther, Vince and Sara, Nelda and Jerry, Linda, and all the other folks who were there last year, plus a bunch of people from the Facebook group who signed up and I haven't had the chance to meet yet. It ought to be fun – unless they start organizing charades games and scavenger hunts and three-legged races and stuff like that…