Alumafandango 2016

When I read that Alumafandango was going to be in California this year I figured we should attend. We last went in 2013 when it was in Oregon. That was a fun trip but it took 2 days each way. This year was Jackson. A fairly easy single day drive from home. It was at the Jackson Rancheria RV park. The entire park was reserved for the 100 Airstreams.

However, as the trip came closer I was becoming unsure if we could attend. I had ordered a new F250 and was unsure of the delivery timeframe. I was also unsure of when I should try to sell the old one. Shortly before the trip, I decided to list the truck for sale (Craigslist, Facebook, etc) and even put signs on the truck as I was driving it around. I figured I could tell the potential buyer that once I was back from this trip it was fair game. I also had a potential buyer in the dealership where I ordered the new truck.

Off to Jackson!

We had a very nice time at the event. We were relatively close to the clubhouse so it wasn’t too far to walk. There was a lot of downtime built into the schedule. We got to meet some new people and catch up with old friends. There were informative seminars, good entertainment, and good food. Some of the highlights:

Caravan to Alaska

A group of WBCCI members talked about their summer trip to Alaska. This is something we are planning to do, with others in the summer of 2018 so it was pertinent. The basic plan is to choose a set of stops to make with specific dates on them. Each couple would take one, or more, stops and research them for the rest. What you did between stops was up to you as long as you made the stop on the right date. Just enough organization.

Swap Meet

Whoever was interested could bring items to sell and buy other’s items. No one bought my old RV antenna. But Roxie did buy some collapsible pots and pans. So we came out negative.

Izzy

Izzy Tooinski was the entertainment one afternoon. He was very entertaining and even involved Ted in his act:


And here is some footage of Ted and his tutu:

 

Antsy

The main entertainment on the last was Antsy McClain. We have seen Antsy before, once with his band and once with Edgar Cruz but this performance would be solo and acoustic only. It also was done in the RV park’s parking lot with illumination provided by Antsy’s rental car. How appropriate, might be a song there sometime.

It was a bit chilly that evening but there was a full crowd and Antsy performed a nice set of songs. He even had some accompaniment by a couple of Airstreamers that we met earlier that were musicians with a tie to an orchestra in Canada. They played percussion:

Near the end of the show, prior to the time of an encore, Brett announced that Antsy would come back for an encore if we would go over and buy some CDs. I was game and bought 2 that I didn’t have. Others did also but by the end of the selling, there were 5 people left! Everyone else took off but to their defense it was pretty cold.

There was one couple that had their mother with them and I am guessing she was a big fan of Antsy’s or really liked him. They asked if Antsy could play a few songs for her. He readily agreed as there wasn’t anyone else there anyway. I was there though.

Antsy pulled up a fold up chair and sat down in front of them. I sat off to the side. For 2-3 songs, he played fully acoustic, as he was, but very soft. It was very refreshing and I felt privileged that I stayed for that.

The end came much too soon and we had to head home but we took our time and continued down CA49 until Sonora. Not much longer until we won’t have to head home because our home will be with us!

Concert week(s)

At the end of July, we headed to Sacramento to see a concert. Since we were only going for two nights, I did some calculations. Based upon the time and distance, it worked out better financially to take the Hybrid and stay in a hotel. That way we were able to stay closer to the venue. We went to see The Police! This was part of their farewell tour. No longer would there be The Police so I thought I had better get some tickets. The concert was at the Sleeptrain Ampitheatre in Wheatland, CA. That is about 20 miles north of Sacramento. This is a fantastic place for a concert. A nice slope with grass along the top edge. We were in the section just up from the close section but the view was still great. The sound was just as good. We were in the first row of the section so there was no one in front of us. Elvis Costello was the opening act and Sting joined him for backup on Alison. I really enjoyed seeing all the old guys, Sting even had a beard.

I have been a fan of The Police for many years and have enjoyed Sting’s work but in a different way. I like the earlier Police sound with a hard edge. As Sting evolved so did his music and the Police’s which probably precipitated the breakups. I think Sting is a very good lyrics writer, his music lags behind. However the next week we went to another concert to see a group that is the other way around.

We went to Paso Robles to go to the Mid-State Fair. They ALWAYS have good acts performing there. This time they had Steely Dan, my favorite group. If they are close, I will go to the concert. We did take the trailer this time since it was a bit closer and we chose to stay at the Wine Country RV park. We have had good luck staying there over the years. However, this one was a bit different. When I made reservations I was not told we were going to get the ‘fair special’. It was special alright, special for the RV park. It was over $60/night due to the fair! That was not even in a ‘premium’ spot. The premiums are pull-through. Ours was a back-in and had a concrete pad. The lesser spots, which were full, have dirt for the pad. We had a difficult time getting the truck to fit into the spot also. When we were leaving we were prepared to turn in front of the clubhouse (to the west of it) and follow a motorhome out. Some employee emphatically motioned us to go around the clubhouse, even though no one was coming and the motorhome was there also. Oh well, I think we will reassess our visits to this RV park in the future. I would rather drive further and stay somewhere else, like Redondo Vista.

Regarding Steely Dan, I feel they are the best that I have heard musically. I love their intracacies in their music and the fun they have. Lyrically they could do a bit better and sometime Donald Fagen doesn’t have the pure voice to carry it. I always thought it would be good to have Boz Scaggs singing lead for them, who, ironically, was at the Mid-State Fair also but we did not see him.

But wait, there is one more concert to discuss in a future entry.