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Old 01-02-2005, 11:44 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Rose Parade Rally Report..

We returned last night from Pasadena and Rose Parade Rally hosted by San Fernando Valley Unit of WBCCI, and had a great time! While Rally was advertised as Dry-camping/Boondocking, it was neither, as the 37 trailers and motorhomes endured over 8" of rain during the 4 days, and we were camped in the School Distrcit office parking lot within 100 yards of Macy's and the Shops on Lake Ave in downtown Pasadena.

Dozens of Unit members worked really really hard as hosts, cooks and tourguides, as the Rally involves a large tent, portable catering kitchens, breakfasts and dinners, door prizes, outings to local attractions including the Reagan Library and Museum, the Getty Museum of Art, plus special opportunities to actually work building a float (The Cal Poly University featuring Elephants having fun..) and touring Christmas Lights in Pasadena and San Marino. Throw in some extra excitement like a dental emergency (Dianne lost a cap on a tooth needing replacement on day when most Dentists were not in town..) and a Generator emergency (broken valve stem on new Honda eu2000 attributed to either bad gas or bad steel (separate post later..) and it was an interesting week. Happily all were resloved by noon Friday, and it was back to real food and hair dryers and TV....

The highlight was the actual Parade, which we were able to enjoy from our own folding chairs on the curb, four blocks from the "campground", and close enough to see the young band members shivering (temps at 9:15 as Parade reached us were still hovering in high 40's...) and to smell the flowers as the floats went by. I'll try to attach or post a couple pictures later, but photo's or TV just don't do justice to the incredible color and details of the 50 floats, or capture the sound of the horns on the Honda steam engine or the band music...

WBCCI members (approx 100 total including guests) included some full-timers, some locals, and some from as far away as South Carolina, Illinois, Ohio and Texas. Trailers ranged from new to 1970's, and from Bambi's to 34' Limiteds.. One participant was even riding in the Cavalry Wagon Parade entry commemorating the US Army Cavalry, as he's an officer in the Cavalry Association... Ages ranged from 8 to 87, though mature was the norm, and many headed out to Colorado Blvd Friday eve for traditional New Year's Eve party featuring roughly 300,000 people hanging out along 2+ mile stretch of boulevard, tossing marshmallows and shooting Silly String at cars and each other, waiting for midnight... Probably 50,000 people spend the night in chairs, sleeping bags and whatever else works, though it dipped below 40 degrees, so fires and propane heaters were very popular after midnight...

All in all, a great 4 days (despite floods, landlsides and snow over Grapevine and Siskayou mountains, making drives more exciting than usual... Well worth the price, considering a single night parking permit for RV on a street near Colorado Blvd sells for several hundred dollars...

John McG
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Old 01-03-2005, 01:24 AM   #2
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Thumbs up Happy New Year!

Sounds like fun...growing up in So Cal we would go up to the Rose Parade every couple of years either with family or friends. I had several oportunities in H.S. to be a petal pusher...a lot of hard work, fun and a big sticky mess!

The last time I attended the Rose Parade was the first time Rob & I went together. We slept in sleeping bags on the curb New Year's Eve of '80/81, It was quite the experience, that's for sure! We were fine until a building fire broke out up the street and the water run-off soaked our sleeping bags! In the morning we realized the car had been towed aboyut 5 miles away because a prankster had taken down all the 'no parking' signs on the block where we thought we had found 'a great place to park' right before we arrived.

Oh well, we were young and adventurous then...next time it'll be in the AS!

You're right...it's absolutely beautiful in person, much better than on TV.

Shari
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Old 01-03-2005, 02:37 AM   #3
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Thumbs up Sounds Like A Great Time!

This is one rally that I would love to attend. Hopefully, within the next few years I will have the chance.
Three decades ago I was one of those young folks marching up Colorado Blvd., and what an experience it was!
Although I had been to California several times prior, this was the 1st time I was there in the winter time ('left the midwest at 19 degrees and snow flurries, arrived in L.A. sunshine and 71 degrees). Also, it was a totally different experience to spend a week in the L.A. area with a couple hundred of my high school mates. A total gas!
Thanks, JBMcG, for the report. It makes me more determined to make the New Year scene there.
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:18 AM   #4
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Nice Report, John!

What a great time you had. I will put that rally on my list. Maybe next year. Wasn't that weather crazy? Grapevine closed due to snow? LA gets most rain in 24 hours since 1923? I was in Vegas when the storm hit. Rained for two days straight in the desert. Then rained on me all the home. Something like five days of hard rain. Luckily Tehachapi was snow free. Feels like we live in Seattle. Hope to hear more about your time at Casini in April!
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Old 01-03-2005, 12:13 PM   #5
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John, Sounds like you had a good time even with all that rain, We are planning on going next year. Can't wait. Marvin
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Old 01-03-2005, 06:23 PM   #6
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Pictures are done..

Attached, hopefully, are appropriately resized images of the Rally in Pasadena.... First shows partial line-up in rainy parking lot, in front of school where TV show "Boston Public" was filmed..

Others show US Bank's Family Business/Vegetable truck and Honda's massive locomotive, pulling longest float in Rose Parade history, at over 200 feet! Pictures taken from seats along curb, with only WBCCI-ers in front of us...

John McG
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:39 PM   #7
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John> Thanks for posting the pictures. I work for USB and missed seeing our company float. Thanks. Nice picture of the AS in a row too.
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Old 01-04-2005, 05:00 PM   #8
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What about the Honda?

It sounded like a great time.... too bad I'm up north now! However, sounds like our rain made it down south for the game!

I'm curious about what happened to your generator - how did "bad gas" make the valve stem crack - I'd fine that really hard to believe. Sounds more like a defect - especially if it were close to new. Any problems with repair, or did they swap a new one?
Marc
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Old 01-05-2005, 01:18 AM   #9
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Great report and pics, sounds like a great time despite the crazy So Cal weather! This is such an awesome rally that I've been dying to attend...Dan said he'd take me next year and can't wait as I've always wanted to see this parade in person.
As long as we can bring our little Jack Russell Ernie along we're planning on bieng there

Barb
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Old 01-10-2005, 05:38 PM   #10
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Generators and Dogs...

Marc-

Generator failure occurred within first 4 hours, with high quality oil up to capacity, but gas that was over 1 year old with some preservative in it, but still discolored... Failure mode was loss of compression and failure to even threaten to start, and since neighbor's new eu1000 exhibited similar symptom, and both had unfortunately spent night outdoors in torrential rains, assumption was wet ignition module. I removed and dried plug, dried ignition area, dried areas around plug receptacles, and stored indoors. Neighbor took his to Honda dealer who apparently blew out water within 5 minutes and got his running, though that dealer closed early on 30th for holiday.

I got mine to shop on 31st, and discovered broken retainer/valve stem, which shop mechanic said was "probably bad gas" but might have been defective part. When I couldn't wait to have him order parts, he said he'd re-assemble and I could work out warranty claim with my dealer. Since I'd bought from dealer 1500 miles away from home (Big Sky in Montana) that would make local dealer discussion interesting...

I then commenced "negotiation" to let him keep mine, work out warranty issues directly with Honda (he was franchised generator/lawnmower dealer, not motorcycle dealer..) and sell mine later as "refurbished" and he'd give me brand new one and I'd give him some cash ( still less than difference in purchase price between Montana and San Jose area..), and he'd dump old gas and give me back container, which local folks in SF Bay Area wouldn't do.. Seemed like win/win all around.. I've decided bad gas is bad thing, and will try to run more often, or siphon out and drain carb of old stuff more frequently...

And as for California Streamin and Jack Russell Terrier... There were several dogs who joined Rose Parade Rally, though they probably didn't enjoy it as much as we did, and spent days inside trailers or MH's while owners worked on floats or took drives to Reagan Library or Getty Museum...

John McG
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Old 01-10-2005, 07:17 PM   #11
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Hey John,

What did you think of the Getty Museum? I was absolutely stunned last year, knocked my shoes off! I went the day after a big storm blew through taking with it all the smog. Visibility was absolutely incredible. Like a hundred miles in every direction. Spent more time outside then in. I tell everyone that it is a "must" when visiting LA.
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Old 01-10-2005, 07:33 PM   #12
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Been there, done that..

We actually skipped this year, as we spent almost entire day there last year, with same reaction.. View extended to Catalina Island and south to Pacific Palisades beyond Long Beach, and building is worth entire price of admission... Rally Host Jim Elmlinger is very specialized structural engineer, and he actually designed structural under-pinnings for most of the stairs at Getty, for which he is rightly very proud...

We had debate over dinner about relative value of the "Art" on exhibit v. Building itself, and more than half felt art was of little or no importance.. ("Eye of the Beholder" kinda thing...) We could just wander through admiring building and grounds and setting for hours... Fascinating to wonder what attendance would be if they just mounted some "Paint-by-Numbers" works and blow-up prints of family vacation photos... Probably not much difference, and visitors might be fooled into thinking they were seeing very avant' garde art...

Final note was that several of visitors from faraway states unfamiliar with LA Freeway markings and etiquette (Drive at least 70mph in right lane watching mirrors closely to avoid being rear-ended, and always watch for weaving and swerving drivers annoyed at inability to maintain 85+mph..) ended up spending an extra hour getting home, after driving 30 miles in wrong direction... Made for good cocktail-hour humor, though they were glad to be off the freeways, and out of the rain...

John McG
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