This is my tale of an annual event that I attend every year in late April, known as the T@B Blue Ridge Rally that is a 4 night gathering of T@B and T@DA owners usually somewhere very close to the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.
In addition, after the large rally, a few of the folks get together to caravan for a week afterwards to enjoy a few campgrounds and fellowship to another great destination. This year the caravan traveled from North Carolina to the Mammoth Cave area. I was able to also attend the caravan this year cause it went in a direction that allowed me to easily get home on Sunday afternoon, and due to a heavy work schedule over the last few months, I have LOTS of annual leave on the books.
This year the rally was held at Rutledge Lake RV Park near Asheville, NC. http://www.rutledgelake.com/
April 26, 2011
However, my story begins before that. I usually LOVE to leave on vacations right after work and get a few miles of road behind me to my destination, and plus it gives me an extra night of camping!!!!
So on Tuesday at 5pm, I hop in the truck from work with my little trailer in tow and head for Chatanooga, TN
I pulled into Holiday Travl Park near Chattanooga, TN on Tuesday evening, plug in the electric and wander the campground just a bit before the rains came through.
I was assigned to site 96, a pull through site near the front of the park and pretty close to the bath house. The site had water, electric, sewer, and cable, although I only used the electric.
http://www.chattacamp.com/ Although the campground is billed as being in Chattanooga, TN, it is physically located just over the Georgia line.
As you can see things were pretty soggy!!
Shortly after arriving, the rains came through and I snuggled up nice and dry inside the camper with a good book and had a good night sleep.
I was watching the rain the next morning and decided to wait it out and didn't leave till after 10 am. I was able to drive all the way to the Rutledge Lake Campground without any rain
Wednesday, April 27th
I left Chattanooga after the rain rolled through, and puttered my way over to Asheville, NC. I arrived somewhere in the neighborhood of 3pm. Got my site set up and spent the rest of the evening running my mouth with friends. I also made a Wal-Mart run for provisions.
I was in Site 68, water, electric, sewer, cable. They had WiFi, but my 4G Hotspot Signal on my phone was better than their wifi, so I used that. There was also a problem with the 30 Amp power, but the 50 Amp worked just fine, so I plugged into a 50/30 converter and was just fine.
After running to Wal-Mart that evening, I put things away and go to bed. I also learn that my family is completely without power throughout the entire city and probably won't have power for several days. I live in North Alabama which got some pretty bad tornado damage. Fortunately, we ourselves had no damage, but the main lines from TVA (Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant) and our area were destroyed. I look online and manage to find a hotel in the next town over from home and help Rick find a place so that he has electricity.
Thursday, April 28th, 2011
The next morning, everyone is saying "where were you??" I'm like huh?? I then hear this tale of sirens going off and everyone heading for the bath house about 2am.
I didn't hear a thing, didn't feel a thing, and nobody knocked on my door either!! I look at it this way. I got a good nights sleep :-)
The morning is spent on the phone and internet helping my family all get to places with electricity. My oldest headed to Tennessee, my youngest headed to Gulf Shores with some friends, and Rick managed to secure 3 more nights in the hotel in Athens.
I kept telling him to pack up and come spend the rest of the time with me, but he said he needed to stick close to home. It probably worked out cause then other family that didn't have the resources came to Rick's hotel room to take showers, charge phones and computers, and other stuff like that.
The afternoon is spent wandering around all the other campers. It was TRAILER DAY!! Checking out modifications they have done and helping new folks answer any questions or problems they may have about the their campers. I also spent some time showing some of the changes I had made to my camper. Somebody had an electrical problem that got fixed by the collective group and somebody else had a water problem that got fixed by the group.
Here are some pictures of most of the campers in attendance :-)
As you can see, they are all unique in their own way.
This one has a full factory screen room
This one is an older "base" T2 model that was their attempt at a very basic T@B. This guy feels an umbrella is all the shelter he needs.
This is T@B #100. These folks have completely gutted and remodeled the inside to suit their needs and have set up this outdoor living space using a Coleman Event 15 shelter.
T@Bs came in many colors
This is another shelter that was once available made by Paha Que
This is another trailer made by Dutchmen for a couple of years based on the T@B model, but bigger, known as a T@DA.
These folks managed to find a standard trailer awning and bolted it to their T@DA and have made some extensive interior modifications.
They came in the same array of colors that T@Bs do.
ThermaRest also made an awning for the T@DA, but never developed a screen room
We also had some more folks that didn't have T@Bs join in. We had a couple of folks that had R-Pods and one that had a Volkswagon Camper Van.
The R-Pod owners used to own T@Bs and decided they wanted something bigger. The Volkswagon folks are looking for a T@B and came to the rally to see which model would work the best for them.
Oh and a special Nod to Sharon and Becky. These are the ladies that organized this entire event.
Later that evening, we had a catered Barbecue dinner in the club house, then a wacky gift exchange.
The evening ended with all of us around the campfire for stories and cocktails, then off to bed.
Friday, April 29th, The Royal Wedding!!!!!
I woke up about 8am and found the royal wedding on TLC. I came in on it about the 2nd half. Then I went and fixed me some breakfast, then tuned in for awhile and caught the first half.
Then I did something really different, (for me that is), I went to the Casino!! There is a Harrah's in nearby Cherokee, NC, so I spent the day there. I got there about noon, left about 7pm. I left about $50 ahead of the game and also had a free buffet, so I was happy.
That evening, once again a lot of us ended up around the campfire, and this evening we toasted the Royal Couple with some bubbly, then off to bed.
Saturday, April 30th, the Big Potluck and Farewells
Today was the last full day with the big group, so I spent the day trying to make sure I chatted with everyone, and got pictures of everybody's campers and any modifications I was interested in making. We all then gathered for the big potluck dinner.
As usual, there was LOTS of REALLY good food and deserts and waay too much.
We then all gathered by the lake for our group picture.
Hear are the rest of the T@Bs of the Blue Ridge Rally
Thanks for reading!!
Coming next, Part II of this incredible trip and my Birthday!!!!