I want to say "THANK YOU" to all those that attended. Everyone was an absolute pleasure to be around. The group dynamic was like no other I have encountered. After last years Bash, I thought it would all be down hill but instead, I feel we are on a smooth road, climbing uphill. It is my hope that everyone who attended this year will be with us for Bash III in 2012. The hosts have learned a lot and feel next years event can and will be even better that this years.
I also need to say "THANK YOU" to the Coopers. Their campground is just like it should be. I have often used the term "20 years out of date." That is a compliment not a put down. Coopers Lake Campground is out of date in the right way. They do not shoe horn you into a space where your awning is touching your neighbor. There are no concrete pads you must park on. They give you grass and trees instead. You can park where you want and this gives each rig their own version of an ideal site. The facilities are not fancy, but very functional. I kind of wish I had taken pictures inside their store. Slurpies, ice cream, and lots of candy for the kids. Sodas, lunchmeat, and even bread. Tools, hardware, and supplies to make repairs to your rig. Hammocks, lawn chairs, and folding chairs. If they do not have it in the store, you most likely can do without.
Their staff must be complimented also. They helped with anything we asked. They were always present without really being seen. If an issue came up, they took care of it instantly. They treated us very well and charged each of us very little to do it.
The Coopers were also very complimentary toward our entire group. We were told how polite our entire group was. They told us that our kids were all very respectful at the store. The Coopers also liked that we left our area so clean. The weekend before 2500 bikers had used the area we were in. They left behind a great deal of trash. Many in our group spent considerable effort to clean this stuff up. All of these small actions paid off in spades because the Coopers have made us an offer for next year we cannot pass on.
BASH III will be July 3-8 2012 next year at Coopers Lake Campground. Put it on your calendar.
What a beautiful sight it was every morning, to roll out of my trailer and see this across the lake. There is nothing like the early morning light for a photo. I often love to roam about snapping photos before the sun gets too high in the sky. Why get up so early? To cook breakfast for everyone. Coffee service began at 6 am.
A full breakfast was served at 8 am officially. Our volunteer staff was so efficient this year we were able to start serving earlier most mornings.
Doug and his Brother in law made a heck of a pancake team. Doug purchased that fancy pancake maker from a Club whose unit folded. I bet we served 600 pancakes over the four days time.
There was home fried potatoes, bacon, sausage links, and eggs to order. We even had corned beef hash one day. There is talk of sausage gravy or chipped creamed beef for next years menu.
But the key to the breakfast was third shift. The clean up crew made it all sparkle for the next morning.
Don made a tremendous contribution to our Saturday dinner. He began trimming six pork butts of all the fat and skin on Friday morning. He then applied a secret dry rub and let them rest in the refrigerator until mid night. For the next 18 hours they slowly cooked in his smoker. The pulled pork was unreal. Don drove a home run, touch down, and a bulls eye all at once.
Tom and Juliet know how much I like bacon. When they saw these at the Rustic Bakery they brought me back two. Maple glaze with smoked bacon. It was actually very yummy. I didn't eat them both. I cut them into pieces and passed them around.
Rose and Diana are two of the Scotty Camper Enthusiasts that joined us. They also came to last years Bash. These ladies make the best kettle corn. It is a perfect blend of sweet and salty.
The show that is part of making it is something to behold.
It gets very exciting to see all the kernels trying to jump out of the pot. With in moment their entire batch was in the hands of the masses. Everyone wanted a bag.
We had some fun activities for young and old. Model rocket workshop took place. I had kits of different skill levels. Hank was a tremendous help, having worked for Estees.
Even Antsy's posse got into the building of rockets.
Here is the group of rockets I helped the kids with. This kit is the Zippy. They were real nice flying rockets.
Sig had three of his kids building rockets. I think all three built different kits. He said he was about 10 the last time he did this. I suspect Sig will be building rockets and launching them in the near future at home.
I know Bill will be. He had a great time building them and launching. His daughter Gabby launched hers four times I think.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...
Lisa put together a tye dye party. It is so fun to tye dye. Young and old were dying shirts.
Groovy Bash wear.
Some very creative shirts were produced.
There was face painting. Hanna gave her sister Rebeca an awesome face painting in honor of the Fourth of July and Wally's birthday.
Obie the Clown also did face painting. He showed us how a clown paints his face.
I never knew there were so many steps to doing it. The whole show he did was to demonstrate that clowns are not scary as some kids think. What a great performance and lesson. Obie is awesome and a damn good clown too.
Every treasure map has a giant "X" marking where the the treasure is hidden. Last week the "X" was over Coopers Lake Campground. Under that "X" marking the spot was a huge treasure just waiting to be found. It was mostly silver.
A good number of others also saw the spot marked by the "X". No matter how many times I see trailers rolling in, I get very excited by each and every one of them. Obie stopped everyone on the road and took them around in his golf cart. We wanted to make sure each and every attendee got the perfect site. What makes a perfect site? Each attendee had different parameters of what constitutes a perfect site. Do you want full sun? Water front? Deep shade? Morning sun? Right next to the bath house? We could accommodate just about any situation.
It took very little time for everyone to begin socializing. Many of the attendees have known each other from the past. Some have never met before. In the end, everyone got to know each other very well.
There was great deal of sitting out in the front yard talking with the neighbors.
Even the pets socialized. We let Tim our of his cage to stretch his wings. He was beside himself. The parrot enjoyed getting out too. That parrot liked me, she kept whispering dirty words in my ear. I did not know say when she said "ahhh, hey big boy, want a kiss?"
Some practiced their Tai Chi lakeside. I actually think Rick was worried the IBT would see him having fun instead of slogging through another meeting at the International. We gave Rick 5 amps of power even though he did not ask for it. Sorry Rick, your back in the 5 amp section again.
Thoung(brother if I spelled that wrong forgive me) was smiles from ear to ear. He was always smiling. Thoung brought his family to Bash I last year. It was their first rally. So nice to see so many repeat offenders.
Even the dogs were in bliss with the Bash. No yappers or snappers in the mix. Thank you dog owners for cleaning up behind them. If we could get the Bikers group from the week before to do the same we would have a real good thing.
Only a few boats were put in the lake. I hope to see that number increase next year. Hopefully some of them will be RC boats. I know I will not be forgetting my RC boat next year.
"YO!, DONAL! How much fun ya havin?"
We even had a handful of SOB's in the crowd. This is "Scotty Grove." There were a few Scotty enthusiasts that came. Anyone is welcome at the Bash. One of those Scotties is now for sale because the owners went out during the Bash and bought a 2011 Flying Cloud. They told Ace "If this is what Airstreaming is, we want in. That is how you recruit new members. " My 1960 Fan can be seen to the right. It was Antsy' guest quarters.
Everyone was coming together. I was so proud I cried (literally).
After many years of searching he has been located. Bounder Buddy was a frequent caller to the Vintage Airstream Podcast. He suddenly dropped off the map. I found him full timing at Coopers Lake Campground. Even though I knocked, he would not let me in.
Everyone has a significant mile marker, roadside attraction, or point of interest that mentally registers that the journey has begun. Heading west, I cross under this bridge on I-70. The Appalachian Trail crosses over right here. I always get excited going under this bridge. For a full year, the anticipation of hosting the Birthday Bash has weighted heavily on me. The day had finally arrived and it was time to put plans into action. I was westbound. I was Bash II-bound.
Sideling Hill is also one of these significant landmarks. Sideling Hill is where the Piedmont ends and where Western Maryland begins. Now, this technically may not be totally correct, but once you go through the Hill, you have entered a totally different part of Maryland.
This cut through the Alleghenies is very impressive, slicing through 340 feet of solid rock. I generally stop here to take care of business. The view from up here is spectacular on a clear day. When heading East, I always know that in two hours I will be home. I was heading west, and I knew that in two and a half hours I would be at Ace's house. Westbound it was, Ace-bound it was also. It was a beautiful sunset as I got back on the road.
The next day, Ace and I headed out very first thing in the morning for Coopers Lake Campground, the site of this year's Birthday Bash. We headed North from Bethel Park and across the Ohio River. Why is the "Ohio" River in Pennsylvania? Nice bridge, smooth tow. Anna seems to be towing very smoothly these days. It must be the new jalousie windows.
We pulled into the campground and began getting things set up. This was the view from my front door. It would soon be obscured by a bunch of silver trailers.
Our Parking Czar, Obie, showed up soon after we did, followed by the third Bash host, Steve. Things were quickly falling into place.
Just a little foreshadowing; The view from my front door on Day Two.