“Tasteful” get-togethers characterize this Western Area chapter.
By Russ Hill, F398692
As hundreds of FMCA members gather at the Western Area Rally in Indio, California, each January, the air near where the Overland Trailblazers West chapter members are parked is filled with the savory scent of barbecued ribs and chicken.
The barbecue is free for all Overland Trailblazers West chapter members and invited guests; the latter have included FMCA national president Charlie Adcock and his wife, Gloria, and national senior vice president Jon Walker and his wife, Sondra. As you may guess, we have seen a dramatic increase in chapter membership, including Charlie and Jon, in the past few years we’ve held this barbecue.
Our chapter has provided volunteers for the Western Area Rally’s FMCA Store booth for many years; this rally is a staple on our chapter calendar.
The Overland Trailblazers West and Overland Trailblazers East chapters were chartered in 1989. At that time, both groups were affiliated with and given assistance by Odessa Industries Inc., the manufacturer of the Overland series of Type A motorhomes. The company closed in 2001, however, and the eastern branch chapter dissolved in 2009. Today, Overland Trailblazers West is not affiliated with a motorhome brand, and we welcome FMCA members from all over. Our motto is, “We go where our members want to go.”
Five years ago, ourchapter celebrated its 20th anniversary with a five-day rally at the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Alberta. The rally was popular and brought a new infusion of members. Since then, we have held rallies in Chino and Morro Bay, California; Boise, Idaho; Moab, Utah; Branson, Missouri; and Lake Mead, Nevada. As you can tell, we get around.
In 2014, 13 chapter members ventured to FMCA’s 90th Family Reunion in Redmond, Oregon; afterward, we traveled north to hold a Columbia River rally, which also was attended by Charlie Adcock and Jon Walker. We concluded the year with rallies in St. Maries, Idaho, and Osoyoos, British Columbia.
Our rallies are typically three or four days long. We enjoy the local sights, entertainment, potlucks, etc. The Calgary Stampede lasts a week. We will return there to celebrate the chapter’s 25th anniversary in July 2015. Since our 25th anniversary actually was in 2014, it will be a little late, but that’s all right. As of December 2014, the rally was already full, and we had a waiting list.