The Des Moines Register recently reported that Iowa has experienced the wettest 12-month period since official records began in 1895. Not the news you want to hear when you have booked your 2019 Spring Rally near an Army Corp of Engineers body of water that has flooded in recent years. The month of May 2019 was a wild ride for residents of Iowa. The weeks leading up to the rally were filled with rain, storms, high winds, hail, and even a couple of tornados nearby. Storm sirens blew the night before the rally started (startling one couple who had arrived in town early). But for the four days of our rally it was sunny and dry – a true miracle!
The Heartland LTVers held our third rally from May 30th through June 2nd at Sugar Bottom Camp on the Coralville Reservoir near Iowa City, Iowa. We had twelve LTVs and 23 members in attendance. Unfortunately, there were a couple of cancellations in the week before the rally. We were also joined by a couple from Geneseo, IL, who would like to join the LTV family.
One unique thing about this group campground is that 10 sites form a circle in front of the shelter and bathhouse. There was a fire pit in the center. Friday and Saturday nights we pulled our chairs into the circle and enjoyed a nice fire.
Thursday night LTV provided chicken and beef tacos for the group with pound cake, strawberries, and whipped cream for dessert. Each morning we gathered for coffee and pastries, again provided by LTV. Friday night’s main course was pulled pork sandwiches with potluck items provided by half the group. Saturday morning, Rick and Chrissy Schneider treated us to a cast iron breakfast with monkey bread provided by Regina and John Yuill. They really know how to use their cast iron cookware. Saturday night’s dinner featured smoked bratwurst from the nearby Amana Colonies and more delicious potluck items from the group. Friday and Saturday nights’ main dishes were again provided by LTV. As we sat by the fire, a few shared their s’more techniques. Finally, Sunday morning we shared some Hurt’s donuts with the group for morning coffee. They were a hit!
We didn’t have any planned activities but enjoyed spending the day chatting and sharing information about travels and LTVs. Rob and Kelly Westphal taught some of us how to play Pegs and Jokers, a game they had purchased while traveling in Arizona. After a couple of games, and much coaching, we started to catch on! To burn off the calories, there were bike rides and walks to check out the park and parts of the campground that were flooded. Fortunately, the group camp sits high and dry!
Participants in this rally included members of our Heartland LTVers (from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri), as well as some Midwest LTVers, and even one couple from Manitoba! I felt a little guilty that the campground was only 15 miles from our home in University Heights. Being close did have its benefits – we brought fans, lawn games, and other items that wouldn’t be possible to squeeze into our UMB for longer distances.
I want to thank everyone who attended our rally. We have the best group! Fun folks who really enjoy each other’s company! If you haven’t been to a Heartland rally, we really hope you will consider joining us in the future. Now to get busy planning rallies for 2020! I already have a few ideas – stay tuned!