The 2023 Evergreen Leisures Fall Rally at the Fidalgo Bay RV Resort near Anacortes, Washington, was simply fantastic!
Beautiful fall weather allowed us to enjoy bicycling, kayaking, campfires, and simply relaxing with old and new friends.
Fidalgo Bay RV Resort comfortably accommodated our 58 vans and 123 participants in a beautiful setting, with some of the vans a mere 20 yards from the water. With a convenient boat launch for kayaking and crabbing and a multi-purpose convention center with a professional kitchen, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect location for a rally.
Johnson RV, our Pacific Northwest Leisure Travel Van dealer and service provider, went above and beyond to support the rally. Sales Manager Chris Redd and Sales Rep Micky Albert along with Service Manager Steve Stone and Service Techs Chris and Marco from the Sandy, Oregon store and John from the Fife, Washington location, were on hand the entire weekend to answer questions and conduct onsite repairs. They even donated and prepared dinner on Thursday night and breakfast on Saturday morning!
To top things off, Johnson RV raffled a Ukiah Tailgater Portable Propane Fire Pit, then donated the money collected to Evergreen Leisures to support future rallies! Thank you, Johnson RV!
While the rally didn’t officially kick off until Thursday, almost half of the participants arrived Wednesday night to be ready for a 25-mile bicycle ride Thursday morning guided by Neil and Jules Nesenblatt. The ride began on the scenic Tommy Thompson trail and wound through back roads to the town of La Conner, the Tulip capital of the United States. While the tulips were out of season, the restaurants were not. Hands down some of the best and freshest seafood we could hope to find.
Thursday night was a BBQ compliments of Johnson RV and our Fall “business meeting.” Business included introductions, a discussion of organizing for future rallies, and a lot of fun. Bill Hull served as our master of ceremonies, and let’s just say it: he has a career as a stand-up comic. During the event, we discovered our newest LTV owner, who’d just taken possession of her van 4-days previously in Michigan. The couple who’d traveled the furthest to attend the rally were from Florida, and nearly a quarter of the attendees were attending their first Evergreen Leisures event.
Friday and Sunday mornings started with coffee and donuts, followed by group dog walks.
Johnson RV conducted seminars on Friday and Saturday on everything LTV, from tires to solar panels, the benefits of FMCA membership by Frank Ward, and the best ways to get internet access while enjoying your LTV by Randy Blaisdell. Then, it was off to local adventures, including art fairs, kayaking, farmer’s markets, and crabbing. While the harbor seals and sea otters were shy about having their photos taken, the crabs were much more cooperative.
Saturday night was yet another dinner together with friends, compliments of our LTV sponsorship. The pizza and salad were fantastic, but the camaraderie and opportunity to recognize and reward our members were even better. Once again, our master of ceremonies interspersed his unique humor with the more serious business of distributing treasures.
We celebrated many with the highly sought-after woodwork from master craftsman Dan Taylor, including our Volunteer MVP couple, Todd and Lori Doyle from Eastsound, Washington, who attended their first rally. Todd and Lori jumped in without being asked when they arrived, helping their fellow LTV’ers, setting up, tearing down, cooking, cleaning, and firing up the coffee pot each morning at 6:00 am. Thank you, Todd and Lori!
We capped the night off with a final potluck dinner on the convention center patio, amazed at the smorgasbord we could pull together after five nights out with our vans!
As always, there are people we must thank and some we’ll almost certainly forget; our apologies upfront. For Valerie, Brandy, Chantelly, and Pat at Fidalgo Bay Resort, thank you for accommodating our group and providing a fantastic venue. For volunteers, Bill and Ellen Hull and Todd and Lori Doyle, thank you for making this rally appear seamless despite our sometimes chaotic moments! For Johnson RV—simply WOW! Your support for our rallies, particularly this one, has been spectacular. Thank You! Thank you to Dan Taylor, who continues to grace us with his woodworking masterpieces as rally gifts, and, last but certainly not least, to our core planning team Glynis, Elaine, Beth, Jules, Rob, Norm, Randy, and Neil–thank you for everything you do to keep the wheels on the bus going around.
Written by: Randy Blaisdell