Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall Samboree, 2011

The Oklahoma Good Sam Fall Samboree was held October 20-23, 2011. This year's venue was "Will Rogers Downs" in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Several of our chapter members arrived several days early to take part in the games and other events, which include competitive golf, horseshoes, washer toss, bean bag toss, Skip Bo, Hand & Foot, Chicken Foot, and sandbag baseball.

According to the Oklahoma State Director, Bettye & Edward Franz, more than 200 RV rigs registered for the Fall Samboree. 

While Susan and the others were playing games, Larry Keever, Frank Fowler, and I found our way to the Cherokee Casino and made our regular contribution to the Tribe's coffers. 

Below, several members of the Modern Wagoneers prepare for the opening ceremonies. 

Although Susan's vest sports colorful patches and pins,

it pales in comparison to a more seasoned participant.

The "Tulsa Tones Quartet" offered excellent evening entertainment,

while Good Sam RVers prove that you're never too old to dance!

Below, every chapter of the Oklahoma Good Sam's is represented by its own flag.  Our chapter, The Modern Wagoneers (2nd row, 2nd from left), was founded in March 1988.

Gary Tidball strikes a formal pose in front of the flag display.

Gary in his usual form . . . .

There are several good eating choices in Claremore. We recommend "Hammett House," 1616 W. Will Rogers Blvd., (918) 341-7333,  They serve traditional American dishes and fantastic pies.

For good Mexican food, try "Los Aztecas Mexican Restaurant," 784 S. Lynn Riggs Blvd.,  (918) 342-6845.  However, steer clear of "Pepper's Grill."  Bad food, bad service, and too costly!

The Route 66 Chapter of the Oklahoma Good Sam's have traditionally managed the ice cream giveaway at every Samboree for years; but this year, The Modern Wagoneers took over the official duty. 

The Modern Wagoneers were presented with a "Certificate of Appreciation" for their help with "Good Sam Day" at Camping World in Oklahoma City.

Bettye Franz (Oklahoma State Director) and Roy Scholl
(Assistant State Director), present Certificate of Appreciation
to Modern Wagoneers Vice-President, Bill Haivala.

Susan and Bill representing The Modern Wagoneers
in "Parade of Chapters."

Good Sam visiting with chapter members, Donna Keever
and Vickie Tidball.

Samborees attract vendors selling RV supplies and other items.  Below, Tim and Karen Sechrist display the custom tag made for their rig.

Claremore offers more than fast horses and stingy slots.  More importantly, it's the birthplace of "Oklahoma's Favorite Son," Will Rogers.  The following are a few photos of Will's childhood home . . . .

The above photo was taken at the site adjacent to the Rogers' home.
It is the location of the original "Will Rogers Airport," which
was dedicated after the famous "Around the World Flight"
by Will Rogers and Wiley Post.

All good things must come to an end.  So, when the Samboree was over, and while the men readied the coaches for departure, three old women sat waiting patiently . . . .

Vickie Tidball, Susan Magill, and Donna Keever.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Heartland Owners Rally, Fall 2011

The South Texas Chapter of the Heartland Owners Club held their Fall 2011 Rally in Canton, Texas. Three couples in our local Good Sam Chapter, The Modern Wagoneers, own Heartland 5th Wheels, and the six of us decided to attend the Texas rally and investigate the possibility of forming an Oklahoma chapter. Susan and I joined Larry and Donna Keever, and Gary and Vicki Tidball, as we caravaned to Canton.

The rally was held at Mill Creek Ranch Resort, which is a beautiful, upscale RV park. It contains concrete pads, hard surface roads, thick green grass, a grand lodge with pool and hot tub, guest cabins, and a pavilion for outdoor gatherings. Additional amenities include bicycle rentals, stocked ponds, and running streams throughout the park.

The City of Canton host what has come to be known as "First Monday Trade Days," a shopper's paradise where you can find antiques, collectibles, furniture, automobiles, and plenty of food ranging from corn dogs, to pizza, to homemade ice cream. From Thursday - Sunday before the first Monday of every month, more than 7,000 vendors converge to sell their wares in one of the largest flea markets in the world. Acres of booths and buildings display anything you can possibly imagine, including RV supplies.

We must have walked two miles before we gave out. The good news is, we're scheduled to return November 1 for a second look. I've been shopping for an RV pickup bed similar to the one owned by our friends, Gary and Vicki Tidball, which is built by CM Truck Beds. My efforts to find a similar bed at a reasonable price in Oklahoma have been in vain. While in Canton, we stumbled upon Triple M Trailers of Texas. It so happens that they carry the identical model owned by the Tidballs and have it reasonably priced. So, we custom ordered a new bed to match our truck and will revisit the market while the bed is being installed.

Downtown Canton also revealed several interesting sites, where the women enjoyed an afternoon of shopping while the three old men (Larry, Jerry, and Gary) patiently waited on a park bench.

I couldn't help but memorialize the image of the Canton lawyer in the following photo as he struggled down the courthouse steps with his files. It reminded me of myself not so many years ago, and truly made me appreciate my retirement that much more.

Canton has a good selection of restaurants. Susan is particularly fond of Jaunita's Mexican Restaurant, located on the south I-20 service road just west of Highway 19, while I prefer a good steak at Easley Cattle Company, 619 Hwy 243.

A local RV dealership, "Explore USA," invited the participants of the rally to a fish fry and door prize giveaway. The dealership sells Heartland products and had several new models on display for our viewing.

The final night of the rally included a "pot luck" dinner, where all participants were invited and asked to bring a covered dish of their choosing. The food was wonderful. RVers can cook!

We made several new friends on this trip, including the Texas Chapter Leader and his wife, Jay and Stella Coffman. We also were successful in organizing an Oklahoma chapter consisting of five founding couples.

Watch for future segments of "The Adventure" reporting the progress of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Heartland Owners Club.