Wow…what a Rally! Evergreen Leisures 2023 Spring Rally at Old Mill RV Resort on the Oregon coast included 101 Leisure Travel Vans with nearly every model imaginable, including a 2023 Wonder Murphy Bed Lounge and a 2023 Unity Rear Lounge, out on their first voyages.
We even had a surprise guest–Dean Corrigal, Territory Sales Manager for Leisure Travel Vans and star of every Leisure Travel Van video ever seen drop in unexpectedly on Thursday evening! Dean, being Dean, immediately began helping the Johnson RV Team in the kitchen as they prepared a Mexican-style dinner for 200. Soon people were asking, “Is that Dean in the kitchen?” Needless to say, it was, and he was a hit!
The Old Mill RV Resort proved to be a fantastic venue for the Rally. Located adjacent to Garibaldi’s historic commercial and recreational fishing port, Old Mill was able to host all 101 of us, plus provide access to their huge lodge/conference facility and commercial kitchen. Shasta, the Resort’s manager, was a gem to work with and critical to the success of our Rally. Thank you, Shasta!
Since the weather on the Oregon coast is always unpredictable, a venue with indoor facilities capable of hosting over 200 people was essential. Despite the warm 60–65-degree sunny weather, 20-35 mile per hour winds in the afternoons made outdoor events impractical. But no worries, the lodge could host potlucks, seminars, dinners, and lots of fun and comradery.
The early risers in the group rose at 5:00 am on Thursday to venture out on a deep-sea fishing trip and returned with freezers full of cod and crabs. Others hopped aboard the Oregon Coast Scenic Railway for a ride to Rockaway Beach or a meal aboard the Dinner Train. Visits to the Tillamook Cheese Factory, Air Museum, and local lighthouse were favorites. The intrepid even dared the winds to bicycle from Garibaldi to the Tillamook Factory—oh, what you’ll do for Tillamook’s famous ice cream!
Food, Glorious Food
As always, food was in abundance. Potluck dinners on Wednesday and Sunday evenings produced an amazing variety of delights and demonstrated the cooks’ versatility and the kitchens’ capabilities in our LTVs. On Thursday, Johnson RV’s Chef Micky Albert prepared a Mexican buffet for 200 plus compliments of Johnson RV (they clearly understand we’re food people) and Tillamook ice cream for dessert with all the toppings. Friday, our group descended on the local eateries for fish and crabs fresh off the boats. Saturday night was back at the lodge for pizza and salad, compliments of Leisure Travel Vans, and let’s not forget the coffee and donuts in the morning to get the day off to a great start (my personal favorite), an absolute necessity before the morning power walks through the fields, marina, and town with our canine friends.
Learning and Sharing
As always, there’s learning and sharing to be done. Seminars were conducted on Friday and Saturday, with Johnson RV’s Ryan Laroche briefing the group about LTV electric systems and answering questions about everything from valve stems to heating systems, followed by hours of hands-on assistance with vans throughout the park. Mitchel and Emily Boyer and Steven and Mercedes Cooper from AM Solar spoke about options for increasing the off-grid endurance, solar, and battery performance of our Vans, and Todd and Anne Padgett of SkyMed International introduced us to the benefits of premier emergency travel services, as well as lunch, on Saturday and Sunday.
LTV owners Janice Burke, Frank Ward, and Randy Blaisdell also conducted seminars. Janice introduced the group to the benefits and opportunities of membership in and opportunities for hosting Boondockers Welcome and Harvest Hosts. Frank, a long-time Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) member, highlighted the benefits of membership and upcoming events in the Pacific Northwest Region. Internet Options and Entertainment Systems was presented by Randy Blaisdell and addressed the pros and cons of accessing the internet while on the road and leveraging the capabilities inherent in our LTVs.
Nights for Celebrating
Thursday and Saturday nights were for celebrating! At great peril, we gave Dean Corigal a microphone, and he graciously spoke to the crowd and took questions for over a half hour. Then with Dean’s help, we honored our very own Dan Taylor for his years of contributions. Dan is a master woodworker who spends untold hours producing ornate wooden sink covers and plaques as gifts for our Rallies. He’s never accepted payment and has successfully dodged photos and appreciation for years—no more. We caught him on stage this year, along with Dean accepting recognition and helping to present his creations. Thank you for everything you do, Dan!
We were also able to recognize Liz Englund this year, another of our behind-the-scenes contributors. Liz crafts customize journals that she contributes as gifts for our Rallies. Each is journal handmade and bound and ideal for documenting our members adventures. Thank you, Liz, we love your work!
Saturday night, we distributed more of Dan Taylor’s magnificent wood works and discovered we had 50+ first-time Rally attendees with us, ranging in age from 39 to 85. Only one had ever received a ticket while driving their LTV, and two first-time attendee vans were less than 60 days old. We finished Saturday evening with a Square Dance. It’s a bit unusual for a Rally, but it only took a few minutes for everyone to get in the spirit and begin having a great time, and we’re happy to report no injury!
While we’re always sad to see a Rally end, we do so knowing our friends are off to more adventures and that we’ll see them again in the Fall at Fidalgo Bay, near Anacortes, Washington, to trade stories of our exploits. Updates on the Fidalgo Bay Rally will be coming soon at LTV’s Evergreen Leisures site and our member’s email boxes.
Our many thanks go out to the Rally’s Wagon Masters, Norm and Elaine Thiesen, Randy and Beth Blaisdell, and the many volunteers who made the Rally a success–they truly appreciate the kind words, compliments, and fun Facebook posts–thank you for your support! Special thanks go out to Bill and Ellen Hull, Fran Bunch, and Richard Sefcovic, who saved us from a kitchen disaster. To Lee Stone for volunteering as our photographer and Gordon Swank and Bill Hull for getting the coffee started at an unseemly hour, even before the donuts arrived. For Johnson RV, AM Solar, SkyMed International, and Leisure Travel Vans, thank you for your sponsorship and for making these Rallies possible. Thank you to Shasta and Joe of Old Mill RV Resort for accommodating a rowdy crowd of over 100 LTV’ers. We hope to see you again next year. Finally, for Dean Corrigal, we loved having you at our Rally–you’re an LTV star and a great addition to any crowd!
View and download photos from this Rally
Written by: Beth and Randy Blaisdell