What is a rally?
“A gathering, especially one intended to inspire enthusiasm for a cause: e.g. a political rally”.
Yup, that sounds about right!
Anyone who owns a Newmar coach and is a member of the Newmar Kountry Klub. Newmar is the manufacturer of this mechanical marvel. There were 361 Newmar coaches in attendance.
What do you get at a Newmar rally?
- registration and welcome bags
- full hookups (30 amp/50 amp)
- catered breakfasts and dinners
- door prizes
- church service
- excellent local entertainment
- vendor booths for all things RV
- technical seminars
- arts & craft demonstrations and classes
- organized tours of local sights
- 2016 new coach model displays
- social get togethers for regions, states/provincials and chapters
- golf tournament
- the VERY POPULAR ice cream social
- participation in the annual Caring and Sharing Program. This year’s recipient of non-perishable items and cash was the Salvation Army of Lewisburg
- Pet Contest (categories included Best Dressed, Best Tricks and Best in Show)
- live and silent auction of all the gently used items you no longer need/want on your coach (even here someone else’s junk is someone else’s treasure)
- Newmar service technicians fixing stuff on our coaches at a reduced rally labour rate AND
- Newmar senior executives reporting on the “state of the nation”.
Not free of course – but very reasonably priced!
What did we do?
We arrived at the Rally site in Lewisburg Thursday afternoon. Before the rally started on Monday we toured the area, shopped the “coolest small town in America” and did an interior and exterior tour of the beautiful Greenbrier Resort.
Of special significance at the Greenbrier is the once very top secret U.S. government relocation facility for both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives – “Project Greek Island” – the underground Greenbrier Bunker which was an emergency Cold War radiation fallout shelter.
Planned by the Eisenhower administration, the facility was built under The Greenbrier between 1958 and 1961 and was equipped to provide all necessary needs for approximately 1,100 people for up to 40 days. Once completed, it was maintained (and continually updated) for more than 30 years in a state of constant readiness by a small group of government employees. The secrecy of its location was exposed by The Washington Post on May 31, 1992. On June 1st, 1992 the facility began to be phased out, a procedure that was finalized in July 1995 with the termination of the lease between the U.S. government and The Greenbrier.
A well-kept secret for 30 years? That would be impossible today!
Reservations are required for the 90 minute tour and cost $35/person. No photos are allowed and phones and cameras were collected until the end of the tour. They are now trying to figure out what to do with Apple watches…
There is so much history in this gorgeous West Virginia area and this is all we had time to see. Just means we will have to go back!
The main frame of our motorhome is a Freightliner chassis and there is a highly regarded Camp Freightliner course that is normally held at their plant in Gaffney, South Carolina. We had always planned on driving to South Carolina but for the 1st time Freightliner offered the course on site at the Rally. The pre-rally classes on Friday and Saturday were sold out and additional classes were added to Monday and Tuesday. We signed up for the additional classes. This in-depth two day course covered topics including the air brake system, electrical system, maintenance intervals, weight distribution, vehicle storage, and more. I’m glad we had a year of operation under our belts before taking this course. I think, it made for some “smarter” questions!
Chris and Jim Guld, known as the Geeks on Tour, are widely known on the RV Rally circuit for their excellent seminars on smart phones, I-Pads, Mapping, and internet applications – all targeted to “older” users. There were seminars ranging from Smart Phones and Tablets for Travelers, managing and organizing photos with Picasa, Facebook for Travelers, Smart Phone Apps, Mapping and Google Earth and use of Cloud storage. They love all things GOOGLE and I attended both the organizing photos and mapping seminars – which were great. They are a funny couple with great senses of humour and can definitely deliver on their seminars to all skill levels.
Tuesday evening’s entertainment was an excellent Bluegrass group from Kingsport, TN called Blue Highway.
They have been playing together for 20 years and, with ten highly-acclaimed albums, they have garnered two Grammy nominations, a Dove Award, topped the Bluegrass Unlimited radio charts, and won numerous International Bluegrass Music Association awards. A talented bunch of guys with a great sense of humour! Three days after playing this venue they were heading to Bible Hill, Nova Scotia for the 44th Annual Nova Scotia Blue Grass and OldTime Music Festival. They get around!
It was a busy week attending sessions, having some service done, meeting new people and visiting with old friends, volunteering for various activities, biking all around the fairgrounds and generally just doing what everyone does when they rally together to inspire enthusiasm – having fun!
Next year’s rally is in September in Pueblo, Colorado. Now that’s on our wish list!