2020 has turned out to be a year of unexpected events. Whoever could have conceived of COVID-19 and the havoc it would cause – to the world, our country, our families… our lives! And that includes travel in our LTVs and meeting up for our regular rallies. How many rallies had to be cancelled because of the pandemic? The Southwestern Roadrunners had two events that were cancelled, or at least postponed, until next year.
But as summer waned, things began to open up. We had planned a four-day gathering in Mammoth Lakes, California, for the week before Labor Day. Could we run a safe rally in the time of COVID, following established protocol? We were willing to try.
24 coaches (17 Unity, 3 Serenity, 2 Free Spirit, and 1 Libero – I wonder where the Wonders were?) came to the rally at Mammoth Mountain RV Park. We also had several visits from LTVers who were just passing through but couldn’t stay (that would have been our token Wonder), and from potential (probably?) future owners. We managed to have most of our usual activities – meet-and-greet, Tech Talks, cocktail hours – but with minor modifications. First, everything was outdoors (we had originally booked the clubhouse, but it was closed), and socially distanced while wearing masks. We met on the first evening after check-in to hear about the activities that were available.
The one challenge was how to get to the activities. The use of 15-passenger vans was not possible, so everyone had to provide their own transportation. We managed just fine! Activities included hikes (one to an old gold mine and another around the local lakes), a boat ride on Convict Lake, golf, bike rides around the Mammoth Lakes, an excursion to the Devil’s Postpile and Rainbow Falls, taking the gondola up Mammoth Peak, and walks into town. Everyone managed to keep themselves very busy in smaller groups.
Meetings, including the Tech Talk and a discussion of what the Club will be doing and where it will be going in the next months, were all held under a giant pine tree. Both sessions were well attended. The evening cocktail happy hours were divided among 4 hosting coaches each evening, rather than being held in a single place. The hosts changed each night, and the hosting coach was identified with a banner that read, “Gathering Place”. People enjoyed the smaller groups; they felt they were able to meet with more individuals in the smaller groups and were able to go to different groups each evening. The last night that we all got together in one place was for our farewell pizza evening (socially distanced, of course, with masks, and the pizza was served by servers wearing gloves). The changes from previous rallies were minor and didn’t affect the activities or the fun at all.
The Southwest Roadrunners will be meeting again in October at Pismo Beach, but this time with more than twice the number of coaches, but following the same model and protocol. We should again have a memorable LTV Roadrunning good time.