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Old 06-22-2016, 05:17 PM   #121
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Be there tomorrow.
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:20 AM   #122
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How is the wifi at International? I just looked at Verizon's coverage map and Lewisburg is in a big white spot - as is most of West Virginia.

We should be arriving Saturday afternoon!!!

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Old 06-23-2016, 09:54 AM   #123
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wifi at international

I just received a text message from my unit president stating verizon has good coverage - 5 bars LTE. woo-hoo this means I can work an hour or two while on vacation...err...wait a minute...is this good news?

Thanks for the info Rich who also informed me it's pouring rain with flood warning for today. Good thing Airstreams float.
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:00 AM   #124
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How is the wifi at International? I just looked at Verizon's coverage map and Lewisburg is in a big white spot - as is most of West Virginia.
Fine for email. Slow for downloading or uploading big files (photos). It's secured so you need a password— which hasn't been made available to everyone yet— but one of the courteous and helpful State Fair employees gave me the password during Tuesday's tornado warning.

Before I had the State Fair's password, I was using my own Verizon service. My Verizon MiFi has excellent reception using an external antenna but without the cradle booster, 4 bars of 4G. Reception inside the Airstream without the external antenna was only about 2 bars.

However, I've had problems talking on the phone with AT&T service. The phone would ring, but when I'd answer, I couldn't hear anyone and apparently they couldn't hear me either. That has happened twice so far since I've been here (a week as of today), both times when I was inside my Airstream, different callers each time.
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:32 AM   #125
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I don't know if I can provide any "answers", but maybe I can provide some historical perspective.

I guess the short answer to the question, "why do they do this" is the ever-popular "because we've always done it this way".

Years ago they used to get thousands of trailers at Internationals and the rallies were generally held in unprepared fields. WBCCI owns (or did own) several semitrailers full of surface wiring and plumbing hardware to provide temporary daisy-chained water and "3 Amp" electric service to all those trailers. Needless to say that took a lot of labor over an extended period of time so there were lots of "early workers". Since these folks were volunteers (and mighty hard workers, I can tell you!), WBCCI scheduled entertainment, tours, etc. for the weeks before the rally as perks for them.

In recent years the attendance has shrunk to the point that the rally can be accommodated in venues that have enough existing hookups that not nearly so many early workers are needed, but the tradition continues to some extent. Also, as pointed out earlier, several meetings are scheduled before the official start of the rally.

The reason that attendees not involved in any of these activities are invited to park early is just to spread out parking over a longer period of time. Not a good idea for thousands (or even several hundred) trailers to all show up on the same day.

This does lead to some strange maneuvers. Since attendees are invited to park long before the VAC parade, VAC members who wish to participate in the parade may end up parking, then hitching up and pulling out a few days later just to parade in with the VAC. Conversely, to participate in the Wagon Wheels Caravan (or whatever they call it nowadays), VAC members may have to miss some of the early activities.

For what it's worth, this seems to be a standard "industry" practice. We attended a Good Sam state rally just to see what they were like, and when we arrived on the official starting day we discovered the rally was already half over.
You are right. Since the VAC pre-rally was cancelled, we will be arriving early and will have to re-hitching to parade in with VAC on the 27th. I look forward to meeting some of you in the VAC tent
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Old 06-24-2016, 05:41 AM   #126
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How about some news! What's happening? Hope all are having a good time.
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:26 AM   #127
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The Rally has been hit with the major storms that are all over the news. It looks like most of the Airstreams are currently without power and many roads are closed.

No one has reported injury or damage.

IBT meeting is scheduled for today.
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:43 AM   #128
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Sorry, not in the news down here. Hope all is well! Be safe.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:47 AM   #129
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Wow, hang in there. Stay calm, help each other, please be safe.
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:30 PM   #130
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2016 International WV

No electric or water at the fairgrounds and other areas of the state. At least 7 dead and many missing. West Virginia is experiencing a tragedy of horrible proportions. Our caravan is on hold for arrival date. Currently camping about 2 hours drive away. We spent last night at a Lowes after being flooded out of our campground. It is now under about 10 ft of water. Prayers and thoughts for all effected.
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:24 PM   #131
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Parked yesterday. Torrential rain. Water over ankles in campsite. Water and power went off last night. This am power aS off in whole town and surrounding town. We left the trailer there while we are making a overnight trip. All in all the accomdations look good and very well planned. Come with full fresh water and empty waste tanks just in case though. Full fuel tank. We saw one gas station open in 30 or so miles and the had a 1/8 mile waiting line.
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Old 06-24-2016, 03:35 PM   #132
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The rally and the fairgrounds are actually in pretty good shape. High ground. Grass. No mud. I do not think the rally will be much affected. The surrounding areas that flooded are very hard hit though. I know 219 going south from the fairgrounds was open. We went that way down to I81 with no problems.
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:23 PM   #133
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Thanks for the updates on the weather. Most reports we are hearing here (Oregon) are 20 dead and lots of disruption, but not much detail as to where. Our unit has several either there or in transit but no word from them yet.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:01 PM   #134
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The rally and the fairgrounds are actually in pretty good shape. High ground. Grass. No mud. I do not think the rally will be much affected. The surrounding areas that flooded are very hard hit though. I know 219 going south from the fairgrounds was open. We went that way down to I81 with no problems.
No mud? Come out and take a look in the west section.
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:04 AM   #135
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How is everyone handling access to the sites. My tow rig can be difficult on wet grass alone. Do they have a tractor or truck for assistance? Are you attendees cooperating and helping each other? AS comradery at its best. Best to look at tnis as an adventure. Best wishes and good luck.
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:09 AM   #136
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What we experienced in and around the Fairgrounds over the last couple of days was no worse than a typical New Orleans summer thunderstorm— several inches of rain, power outages, street flooding, nearby rivers at or above flood stage— except with less heat in the afternoon. We dodged a bullet compared to other places in the affected area.

That's not to make light of the tragedies that occurred— losing your home or the life of a loved one is horrific— but for those wondering whether to come to the International or cancel, remember that national news reports covered the worst incidents, and what we experienced was far from the worst.
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:57 AM   #137
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How is everyone handling access to the sites. My tow rig can be difficult on wet grass alone. Do they have a tractor or truck for assistance? Are you attendees cooperating and helping each other? AS comradery at its best. Best to look at tnis as an adventure. Best wishes and good luck.
The mood is positive and upbeat. People are taking the inconveniences in stride. I see the normal Airstreamer cooperation and helpfulness.

Wet grass is a problem in some areas since the terrain is uneven in some of the camping area. I've had to engage 4 wheel drive a few times getting in and out of my site given it is very steep front to back. There is no tractor or truck for assistance.

The entertainment last night was well attended. A stand up local comic dubbed a "professional liar" told a few tall tales. The crowd seemed to enjoy the presentation and most stayed for the entire show.

At announcements last night they said over 400 trailers are on site.

Attendees can sign up for text messaging advisories from rally HQ. This morning there is no water pressure. So far no official information as to what the problem may be.

All of the businesses in and around town were closed yesterday with the exception of a very few who had generators or opened without electricity. I saw several gasoline powered water pumps downtown on the sidewalk pumping water out of basements onto the street. Hopefully they will be able to reopen today now that there is electricity. I'm sure the local businesses won't want to miss the revenue from the rally.

A few people I've talked to are worried about eating in local restaurants the next few days, or buying refrigerated or frozen foods from local grocery stores. The length of the power outage might have resulted in food spoilage.

The 710 room Greenbriar luxury hotel and resort in nearby White Sulphur Springs was hard hit and is now closed indefinitely. News reports say the golf course was completely under water and other damage was sustained. The hotel is owned by a billionaire Democrat politician running for governor, Jim Justice, whose signs are plastered everywhere. A number of rally attendees have signed up to go on tours of the underground facility at the Greenbriar built in the 1950's to house Congress and senior federal bureaucrats in event of national emergency.

The death toll in the state this morning is 23. Yesterday we drove 50 miles to Beckley, West Virginia to see the Tamarack Arts Center. On the drive up I64 we saw many rivers and creeks overflowing their banks and running in a torrent of water.

The Tamarack Arts Center is located along I77 and I64 at the top of a hill above a large travel center for trucks and cars. It is filled with crafts and art works by West Virginia's finest artists. Most days there are artists working or conducting demonstrations on site. The facility was very crowded with tourists. The food service is managed by the Greenbriar hotel so is higher quality than at most tourist locations. Well worth the visit if you are in the area. You can stay over night in the RV section of the Tamarack Center parking lot (no facilities but very safe) when traveling north and south on I77. We've stayed there a number of times.

Yesterday there was an IBT meeting, most of which was conducted in the dark. Today there is a cookware vendor demo scheduled. The concession stand is open this morning. There is an Airstream open house at 2:00. Registration from 2:00 to 4:00. Open social hour at 4:00 pm with cash bar. Bluegrass band at 7:00 pm.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:19 AM   #138
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Good to see everyone is taking things in stride. Thanks for the updates.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:40 AM   #139
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My wife Susan is recovering from a broken foot. Our site at the International slopes steeply from front to back, resulting in the bottom step of our 27FB trailer being 15" off the ground. Thanks to the wood shop and Barry Bell (3rd VP) for constructing a platform so she can step out of the trailer safely.
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Old 06-25-2016, 09:52 AM   #140
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Friends helping friends.
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