After two-and-a-half weeks in Forest City, we're overdue for a recap. It's been an eventful time here at our first Winnebago-Itasca Travelers Grand National Rally. We spent the first 10 days parked here in the California Row with our Chardonnay Travelers friends. It was great to catch up with old friends and meet new ones in these cozy surroundings.
Among the 1,200 or so Winnies on the rally grounds were a handful of classic Winnies like this pink number. I remember seeing Winnies like this on a cross-country family vacation in the '70s. I thought it was amazing that you could have everything you needed on wheels. Look at how much bigger the new models are behind this one!
The opening ceremony at GNR included a warm welcome from the people of Forest City. That's the Mayor on the right. Every July the population of this little town nearly doubles. And, by the looks of things, the townspeople and businesses love it.
One of the things Forest City does to welcome GNR attendees is postpone its Fourth of July festivities. Puckerbrush Days are held the weekend before GNR. While we're still not quite sure exactly what a "puckerbrush" is, we know that this family celebration includes everything from a classic car show to a kickball tournament. On the Saturday during the festival, everyone becomes a Forest Citian for a day and turns out downtown for the parade. On this sunny, hot and humid day the streets were lined with spectators, and many of them flocked to the water wagon for relief.
Want to know how to get a crowd of visiting RVers out of their seats during a parade? Throw sponges! That's exactly what the crew from 3M did. (Hey! We know some of those people.)
Of course, no Forest City parade would be complete without a few new Winnebagos. That's Winnebago Industries CEO Bob Olson behind the wheel of a brand new Tour. Looks like he had the basement air humming in that beast. (Oh, my mistake. It's roof air now!)
After the parade, the local Lions hosted a barbeque chicken dinner. These guys had one hot job manning the block-long grill. The chicken was mighty tasty!
After Puckerbrush Days we got down to business at GNR. We attended seminars for four days and learned lots about our moose. We did manage to squeeze in some fun. But, we didn't take any pictures!
After GNR wrapped up, we made our way across the street for some warranty work at the factory. One of the "little things" on our list became a big job, after investigation of a tiny, occasional leak in our driver's side slide revealed some serious water damage to the slide ceiling. With part of our roof missing, we were invited to come in and take what we needed for a few days while the ceiling was replaced.
After spending three nights away from our moose, we returned on Friday to find Bullwinkle in one piece and most of the things on our list completed. There's another big job that will require another week in Forest City. But, it's cosmetic, so we're saving that for a return visit later. After nearly three weeks here, we're definitely ready to roll. We spent the weekend here at "Camp Winnebago" and met several fellow Winnie owners. Tomorrow we have just one really little thing to take care of, then we'll stop by the Winnie Visitors Center for a plant tour. Then, we're outta here!
Thanks, Forest City, for making us feel right at home.