2014 San Luis Obispo/El Chorro Regional Park Rally Recap

Memories of past rallies and caravans
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2014 San Luis Obispo/El Chorro Regional Park Rally Recap

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May 14 - Twelve Born Free coaches arrived at El Chorro Park in San Luis Obispo to attend a gathering sponsored by Bob Newby and his gracious wife Carol. The group welcomed first timers Vern & Anne Beeson, Marsha Nichols and Cayo & Rosia Valencia. An unseasonable heat wave met arrivals with temperatures in the high 90's. At 5:30 we were treated to "Posting of the Colors" under the expert guidance of Boy Scouts of America Troop 308 from the local area, followed by a clam chowder and salad dinner at 6:00 PM. After a delicious repast, Bob Newby introduced the guru of generators, Russ Kimmell. Russ has been the local "go-to" guy for maintenance and expertise for generator upkeep and trouble-shooting in the San Luis area for over 30 years and really knows his stuff. He answered lots of questions and went into great detail about "shellacking" (causes, effects and how to overcome the onset.). He was very informative. The camp fire for this evening was cancelled due to the beastly hot weather.

May 15 - The men from our group were scheduled to attend the RAMS (Retired Active Men) group morning meeting at the Madonna Inn where they were treated to a presentation about Lewis and Clark and some history of the indigenous Native American tribes of that era. Jim Hofmann was called upon to describe his experience as a young man of being hired by J. Paul Getty to help manage his oil interests in Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile the women were treated to a very elegant "Morning Tea" at the Newby family "Quail Creek Ranch" compound. Daughters Jeanine and Jan made us all feel welcome, served us a lovely tea and we had a great time catching up with each other and getting to know the new members. At noon we all reconvened at Madonna Inn for lunch, where Bob introduced Ed Newman from the Born Free factory in Humboldt, Iowa. Ed gave us a rundown on changes and upgrades to the forthcoming 2015 line of Born Free coaches. New innovations are numerous. Following the lunch and Ed's presentation, a representative from the Madonna Inn staff gave our group a tour of the Inn, grounds, pool and spa areas. Over the top amenities in the men's and women's restrooms were a highlight of the tour. As the evening finally cooled, we enjoyed camaraderie around a campfire, watching a full moon rise and a distant satellite pass overhead.

May 16 - A 10:00 AM tour of the unique Botanical Gardens was on tap for the group today. Located next to El Chorro Park, these gardens are in a climate area unique to only five other areas of the world. Plants in this garden are representative of all similar climate areas. Also on the grounds is a "straw constructed house" whose walls negate the need for additional heating or cooling. The entire project is overseen by local volunteers and community leaders who continue to raise funds for the improvements and on-going needs of the project. In the afternoon, many of the group attended the famous "Farmers Market" at Avila Beach. Others stayed at the park and took this time to catch up with old friends. At 6:00 PM we gathered for pizza courtesy of Born Free. It's time to "pass the torch." Bret Dattke was presented with a plaque recognizing all his efforts as the Southwest Regional Vice-President for the past few years. Everyone thanked Bret for a job well done. Stepping up to the post is Phyllis Howard. Phyllis and her husband Jim have been active in the group for the past several years and Phyllis has already handed out information regarding suggested rallies for the next year and a half. Phyllis and Jim will be hosting our next rally in Santa Barbara in October. Bob Newby built a campfire and we all took in the nice evening.

May 17 - This is a free day. Many things to see and do in this area so some ventured up the coast to Paso Robles to visit the very well presented Estrella War Birds Museum. Several people went to Ragged Point for lunch. Others relaxed, drove to the beach or stayed close to the park and readied for the BBQ where an excellent dinner was enjoyed by all. Another cozy campfire, lots of laughter and wonderful friendship.

May 18 - Time to ready for the exodus. Tent came down, tables folded, chairs stowed and good-byes were underway. Thanks to Bob Newby and his lovely wife Carol, everyone had such a great time. We'll see you in Santa Barbara!!!

Written by Bev Bedard

NOTE! This recap was posted for the author by the Website Administrator (bfadmin-2)
Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club Website Forum Administrators
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