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Old 06-27-2005, 05:36 PM   #1
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Have you ever caravanned ?

If you are a contributor to this forum and have ever embarked on a lengthy wbcci caravan, would you be kind enough to provide guidance to the naive and uninformed ? Rumor, gossip, or innuendo, don't let the truth get in the way.

We attended our first rally, Lansing 2004, and were encouraged to enter the lottery for the "golden caravan, 2005", 63 days of fun, friendship & adventure through six provinces of eastern Canada. On a lark, we did so, and our name was selected, i.e., "we won". Now, with the date of departure looming less than a month away, I'm having some trepidation.

Wishing to be thoroughly prepared, I've been warned of caravan regimentation and culture, endless 'committee meetings' and potluck dinners, hostile French Canadiens, errant hockey pucks, road signs in a foreign language. Can this be true ?

Any assistance or advice will be appreciated. If you are also convening in this group(either a, b, or c), we can provide courtesy parking (w/e) for several days prior to sendoff. Our location is inconvenient, but scenic and peaceful, and only an hour from Sault Ste.Marie.

Dr. C.
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Old 06-27-2005, 06:13 PM   #2
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I've never caravanned but I have worked with non-profit Boards and I'd bet it's similar! Lots of really interesting folks, with slightly different expectations. Be flexible.

About the French Canadians - Try speaking their native language - or at least trying; it'll be appreciated.
Hockey puck issues: Arm yourself with plenty of Moosehead - the players may stop (briefly) for a cool drink.
Potluck dinners - have some merlot; it always improves the food.
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Old 06-27-2005, 06:30 PM   #3
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About the French Canadians - Try speaking their native language - or at least trying; it'll be appreciated.
Hmmmm ... all the French Canadian snowbirds I met in AZ last winter never tried to speak English to any of us ... with one nice exception ... and were quite snotty about it.
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:07 PM   #4
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Have you ever caravanned ?

Greetings Dr. C!

Quote:
Originally Posted by drcharles2
If you are a contributor to this forum and have ever embarked on a lengthy wbcci caravan, would you be kind enough to provide guidance to the naive and uninformed ? Rumor, gossip, or innuendo, don't let the truth get in the way.

We attended our first rally, Lansing 2004, and were encouraged to enter the lottery for the "golden caravan, 2005", 63 days of fun, friendship & adventure through six provinces of eastern Canada. On a lark, we did so, and our name was selected, i.e., "we won". Now, with the date of departure looming less than a month away, I'm having some trepidation.

Wishing to be thoroughly prepared, I've been warned of caravan regimentation and culture, endless 'committee meetings' and potluck dinners, hostile French Canadiens, errant hockey pucks, road signs in a foreign language. Can this be true ?

Any assistance or advice will be appreciated. If you are also convening in this group(either a, b, or c), we can provide courtesy parking (w/e) for several days prior to sendoff. Our location is inconvenient, but scenic and peaceful, and only an hour from Sault Ste.Marie.

Dr. C.
While I am sure that you are likely on this Caravan by this date -- several of my traveling companions were anxiously preparing for the Anniversary Caravan during the Wagon Wheels Caravan as well as at the International Rally. Caravanning is a great way to see the sites and often at far less cost than if the same exact trip were attempted solo. In addition, when traveling where there may be a language barrier, the leaders generally make preparations for assisting the participants with the issues.

After learning of the very thorough pre-departure check-list provided to participants in this Caravan, I am sure that you will be well-prepared for the events that have been planned. I suspect that in this caravan as has been the case with most that I have taken, you will soon be assigned or will become part of a traveling flight of from three to five coaches that travel together and share the experience.

While there are typically committees and various "volunteer" activities that participants are asked to help with during a caravan, most leaders are very sensitive to a caravanners interests and abilities and won't ask you to do something that will result in your discomfort. For instance, as a Free Wheeler, I have not been asked to be either a "lead" coach or a "caboose" coach since navigation can be a bit of a challenge for one who is traveling solo -- but I have helped with such things photography, journals, and meals. There will be regular driver meetings -- something not to be missed as there is often new information presented about current road conditions as well as notes about any changes that may have been necessitated due to unexpected road/travel conditions. Every caravan that I have taken has been a truly enjoyable and VERY memorable experience.

Many of us who have job responsibilities that prevent us from considering a caravan that goes beyond the start of the school year will be anxiously awaiting word of your experiences! The Golden Anniversary Caravan was a dream caravan for many of us.

Good luck with your adventure, and ENJOY!!

Kevin
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Old 07-06-2005, 06:30 PM   #5
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Kevin,
Thanks for the encouragement. This "golden caravan", nine weeks in duration, is an excursion certainly beyond the spectrum, either budgetary and/or timeliness, for many A/S vacationers. But we are retired, elected to take a leap of faith, and plan to document the trip, warts and all, for many of you that may some day consider doing likewise. It could become the 'caravan of doom', but Lynn and I remain optimistic.

The next step is to create a web-log so that the activities, events, & probable missteps can be described in lurid detail, at least once or twice weekly, for family, friends, or forum members that wish to live vicariously through Chas., Lynn, and our dogs, ReWind and WrongWay. Stay tuned. I'd like to parallel the entertainment format of "project vintage thunder" provided by Rich L. and Brett G. Those guys could get a smile out of an East German figure skating judge.

As you indicated, volunteerism is essential we are advised. The group requires parkers, de-parkers, caboose, electrician, plumber, sanitation, mail, et.al., and even a sherriff. In an effort to avoid parking and sanitation duty, I've volunteered to be a journalist and first-aid specialist. The reasoning is quite simple; it's easier to put a band-aid on a paragraph than it is to back up a sewage truck. Although we've yet to meet anyone other than one leader and his wife (Rich and Kathy Griffin....young people), I assume that the group (three increments of 35 trailers each) will be beyond "middle-age". Maybe a portable defibrillator and sublingual nitroglycerin to supplement the 3x antibiotic cream and insect repellant.

I just hope to make it interesting, although the forum seems to have a much higher ratio of rallyers vs. caravanners.

Dr. C.
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Old 07-12-2005, 09:42 AM   #6
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Caravanning

Dr. C, I hope you have a good time and look forward to hearing all about your trip. This is something I look forward to when I get to retire! Traveling and meeting new friends sounds like a wonderful way to spend your time!
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by drcharles2
don't let the truth get in the way.





Any assistance or advice will be appreciated.
dr. c,
question: how do you make an old canadian happy?

answer: tell him a joke when he's young.....

you may need to moisten up your dry sense of humor a tad......
norby
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Old 07-17-2005, 01:37 PM   #8
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Let the fun begin

Attention Norby, Twink, Kathy, Kevin, Porky, Jack C, Max&Geo, et al:
The caravan is underway and without misstep after only two days. Imagine, 61 days to go. After consultation with my specialist (occasional editor, part-time cardiologist, and full-time muse, Rich L.), I have started a blog which you may view if you have any interest in bookmarking.

< http://goldencaravan.blogspot.com >

Actual drug therapy, rehab, or banishment may follow, but I've chosen this treatment over the alternative, death by injection. He (Dr.L.) also advised that internet access north of the border is iffy, under even the most favorable circumstances. Contributions, like a pet dalmatian, may be spotty.

To date, the caravanners I've met have really been cordial, inquisitive, and probably understand the concept of the infield fly rule, but ( I have taken a poll yet) I doubt if many or any are visitors to this forum.

Wish us luck.
Dr. C. and Lynn
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Old 07-17-2005, 06:39 PM   #9
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keep the shiny side up my friends....

norby
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