Feb 092009

And then the rains came.

What fun would an RV rally be without rain? Just as there seems to be an unwritten law that says every RV park in the United States must be located within a stone’s throw of a railroad track, that same governing body has apparently decreed that there can be no RV rally without precipitation.

We have been here in Casa Grande for almost a month, and I don’t think we’ve seen more than two or three raindrops in all of that time. But Saturday night it began to rain. And then it rained some more. And some more.

By the time our hardworking parking crew was ready to start work at 8 a.m., the grounds was getting pretty muddy. Bringing in 95 heavy RVs sure didn’t help matters any. The hard rain stopped, but we had several brief showers during the day just to remind us that we were not in the clear yet.

I have to give Don Hankins and our parking crew some well deserved praise here. They slogged around in the mud for hours, getting RVs parked, listening to the occasional cranky RVer who didn’t want to park anyplace wet (I think the closest dry place is San Antonio right now), and they just kept on smiling and working all thorough it. 

The Gourd Festival was still going on Sunday, so our people had to work around what we have come to call the gourdheads. I never knew there were so many kinds of gourds in the world, and so many creative things people could do with them. But I have to be honest, anyone who is so fanatical about gourds that they would have personalized gourd license plates, or have “Gourd Princess” tattooed on their boob (don’t ask my how I know this, but it wasn’t a pretty sight), has to be, well, out of their gourd!

While the parking crew was busy outside, the registration crew was working just as hard inside, getting folks signed in. Because the fairgrounds had double booked the day, the gourd folks still had all of the main buildings, but we got a little quarter size Quonset hut to use for registration. It was amazing to me how many people they were able to move through there in such a short time.

By the end of the day we had 95 RVs here for the rally, and many more scheduled to arrive today. Unfortunately, due to the double booking, there are still a lot of Gourd Festival RVs on the fairgrounds, most of them parked smack in the center of our vendor area. And they have shown no indication of moving anytime soon. This makes it very frustrating for our parking crew and vendors. I will be having yet another visit with the fairgrounds staff this morning to try and get that issue resolved.  

This is our third year here at the Pinal County Fairgrounds, and while the new manager is trying very hard, we have begun to doubt that the ongoing problems will ever be corrected. There just seems to be too many people “in charge” of something but not willing to stand up on their hind legs and take responsibility for actually doing anything. For example, even though we are here and the rally is happening, we still do not have the contract that we were promised when we paid our deposit a year ago.

We have been talking to the manager of the fairgrounds in Yuma, Arizona as a possible location for our next rally, and looking at other options as well. While we’ve been to Yuma many times in the past, we have never actually visited the fairgrounds. We plan to do that once we wrap things up here. If you have been to any RV events at the Yuma fairgrounds, I’d appreciate your input on the facilities there.

Thought For The Day – Every path has a few puddles.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “Welcome To Mud City”

  1. Hey Nick! We are staying here in Yuma now at Suni Sands RV Park and we are attending the Rodeo next weekend at the Yuma fairground. After we attend the Rodeo I will give you details on what I think of the fairground. Keep up the good work on your blog – I love it!

  2. Hi Nick. Don,t let the mud get you down. As for Yuma we have been to the fairgrounds once to see some of the Bus Nuts. As I remember it was nice and all the parking was on the grass. It just across the street from the Airport and Wal-mart is just around to corner on Pacific. Sorry I don’t know more.

  3. Nick,

    It is time to say adios to the Pinal County and its crew of incompetents.

  4. Nick I agree forget Pinal County over the years since 1984 every time I have been to this place with the motorhome it has been a disaster. Several time to Yuma for rallys with out bad feelings. Only problem is the noise from the Marine jets fro a short time some days.

  5. Hey Nick I think I recall you complain about the mud at the same place last year.


  6. Hi Nick,
    We read your blog all the time,and will be going fulltime soon.Do you feel we should get a club membership now or wait? We have Golden Access and AAA and my husband is disabled,he has a pass.Your suggestions would be helpful.Thank you.

    Debbie and Jesse

  7. Patty & attended your rally last year but couldn’t make it this year. Other than possibly lower rental fees (just a guess), and being quiet due to its’ remote location, the Pinal Fairgrounds don’t have much to offer. Add administrative incompetence and you end up with a loser. The Yuma Fairgrounds are very nice and central to shopping, attractions, etc. Have you considered the Tucson Fairgrounds? Also much nicer than Pinal, and lots of RV hookups. We have parked there, and after staying at several RV parks in the Tucson area, have found it to be a good choice & very affordable. I think in this time of economic downturn, any fairgrounds would bend over backwards for the business your rally would bring to the area.

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