We love rallies…we love folks who appreciate “vintage”…but what we really love (now and then) is NOT having to travel through four states and over two days to get to an event. So you can imagine our utter glee when Beth Holcomb, a brand new TCT (Tin Can Tourist Club) member took on the mantle of responsibility to create and host a brand new vintage trailer rally only 35 minutes from our home! Yeah!!!
The event was supported by the national TCT club which also provides its members who are hosting events ideas on hosting a successful rally as well as some required guidelines to ensure that their TCT members get what they expect from great TCT events. Beth and her husband and events helpers did not let us down! It was a super rally.
The event was held from August 1-4th at the Whispering Pines Campground in Greenfield Center, NY. This location was only 8 miles north of Saratoga Springs which of course was humming at full steam in the middle of its annual Saratoga Race Track Season–but our campground was quietly nestled off the beaten track, tucked into a woodland setting complete with a couple nice ponds (bullfrogs were even respectfully quiet to my surprise!)
Since it was so close to home, Kevin was able to get Thursday off and arrived to set camp already on Thursday afternoon. I arrived after work on Thursday and commuted back to work on Friday. It was really nice for me even though it meant I went from my normal 1 mile commute to a 40 minute drive!
All total for this first rally there were 12 vintage trailers!! WOW! That is terrific for a first time rally and we all congratulated Beth for her efforts. She had done a terrific job of providing a lovely goodie bag for each site as we checked in…complete with Saratoga sparkling water, signature chocolate and bag of Saratoga Potato Chips-all yummy!
Thursday evening there was a welcoming pizza party. Most units were in by then, with a couple still arriving on Friday. We were thrilled to meet up with several attendees we knew already from the TCT Sampson State Park rally we have attended now for the past two years. Ellie and Gail were both their with their rigs. Ellie has a 1973 Airstream that she has renovated, and Gail set up an adorable outdoor display on her rig and has a terrific set of flags on display. Gail also was a hit when she wore a poodle skirt during open house on Saturday! (below is Gail winning a trophy too)
Friday was a free day where gallivanting around the area, heading to the track or shopping on Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs was encouraged. Several intrepid hikers also took a hike up to a local historic fire tower. (one attendee’s dog decided to go AWOL and take a hike all by itself causing Ellie and several others to go hiking just for him for over an hour!) I missed all the excitement since I was at work. Kevin enjoyed camp, relaxing, taking Reddy for walks- oh how she loves camping and meeting other dogs, people and sniffing every blade of grass and tree!
Saturday morning we had a very nice Continental Breakfast with fresh homemade baked goods made by the campground owner. The husband and wife team here did a lot to make us all feel very welcomed and comfortable. Whispering Pines is an older campground but they do have a nice looking pool and although we did not see any, they have a cool fire truck that gives rides around the campground on select days. As with many campgrounds today there are a fair amount of seasonal sites, but where our rally was “down below” in the flat area adjacent to the small pond and near the main camp store and registration area. Site sizes were decent, some back in sites were short but just fine for the shorter vintage trailers. We took site 25 since it was a pull through as we were definitely the longest rig set up with 50′ overall between our trailer and tow vehicle. Their Tamarack Room was a perfect location to have group meals, meetings, etc. and very comfortable and worked perfectly for our rally size. Their camp store is minimal but in a pinch I am sure you can find most “forgot to bring that” items. Kevin and I did not use their bath facilities, but I understand that showers are $.
Saturday during the day we did host a “open house” from 12-4 where folks who were in modern campers as well as our rally attendees were invited to tour any of the vintage trailers/campers who were open. We loved having JP & Sue Barber visit us for the afternoon since they live minutes away. The Barber’s are fellow living history reenactors (but we tried hard to convince them that vintage camping is where its at- and far more comfortable in dog days of summer!) Open House time is always fun and we love chatting about and showing off our Pewter Palace, but as usually happens, we get so busy we end up not getting to tour other rigs ourselves! Not to fear most rally go-ers will gladly open their door to other attendees anytime. We are all extremely proud of our rigs and love to show them off.
We were so thrilled that there was LIVE MUSIC during the open house time. This was a first for us to have and it really added a festive atmosphere to the day! You wil see a bit of the music going on in the video down below.
Here is a slide show of some of the other rigs that were present at the rally:
There was a judging component to the rally and taking away first place was Chad Sherman (we are still checking to see if the other Sherman family there are relatives…probably!) Here is a video of Chad. We were blown away by the fact that his parents, his other brother and he EACH have their own vintage rig. So cool!
Saturday evening we were treated to a yummy Pork BBQ dinner complete with all the fixin’s and a “Historic Saratoga” presentation by the director of the Saratoga Historical Association. The awards presentations were fun and everyone joined in.
Sunday, for a change since we did not have a long drive we enjoyed the morning. There is nothing better than enjoying breakfast, fresh brewed coffee outside under our awning in a bathrobe. I love camping in our Avion!
We look forward to even more events hopefully happening in our area or into VT or even MA in the future. Not sure Whispering Pines will be able to handle this rally as it gets bigger since the area we camped in has only water/electric and their bathroom and shower facilities were up the hill a ways for those who are not self-contained. Having the campground’s Honey Wagon pump us out Sunday morning was a big help and saved us having to weave up into the back end of the campground just to pump before heading out. But there are plenty of campgrounds in our area and we are sure with the great turn out of this inaugural event that there is pent up demand for more rallies in eastern upstate NY!
Great job to all involved!