Oct 032009

Our Gypsy Gathering rally ended yesterday, and in spite of morning rain and afternoon wind, RVs departed the Mercer County Fairgrounds here in Celina, Ohio headed in every direction. The greatest majority of them are headed south.

That’s right, it’s time for the annual snowbird migration. Over the next few weeks, every highway in the United States will be carrying RVers away from the snow and cold weather that will descend on the northern portion of the country in the months ahead.

Some will be headed to Florida, others the Texas Gulf Coast or the Rio Grande Valley, while others will spend their winter in Arizona, New Mexico, and southern California.

Many RVers have a favorite campground they return to every year to spend the winter among friends, while others (Terry and I included), prefer to wander around from place to place during the winter months, stopping here and there for a few days or weeks at a time.

Our current plans (which are always chiseled in Jell-o) call for us to start the winter in Florida, where we will spend some time in Key West, and the rest just aimlessly exploring. I’m sure we’ll show up at the Escapees Sumter Oaks campground near Bushnell, and the Thousand Trails Peace River preserve in Wauchula. Our pals Jim and Chris Guld say this is one of their favorite kayaking places. We spent three weeks in Crystal River a few years ago, and may go back and see if we can spot a manatee or two.

When we leave Florida, we’d like to stop at the Escapees Plantation RV park in Summerdale, Alabama. We have always enjoyed the Alabama Gulf Coast, and we’re ready for a return visit.

We have to be in Yuma, Arizona for our Arizona Gypsy Gathering rally in March, so we’ll probably start heading west in late January or early February to give us plenty of time to get there without being rushed, and to have some time to spend with our family there before we get too wrapped up in rally activities.

So where do you plan to spend the winter? Are you a snowbird who goes to one place and stays put, or do you flitter about like Terry and I do?

Speaking of our rallies, we have some news to share on that front. We have set the date and location for our 2010 Eastern Gypsy Gathering rally. It will be August 30 to September 2 at Elkhart Campground, in Elkhart, Indiana.

We chose these dates and location for a couple of reasons. One frequent comment on our rally feedback forms is that many attendees want full hookups with either 30 or 50 amp electricity. At Elkhart Campground we will have both partial and full hookup sites, with attendees’ choice of 30 or 50 amp power available.  This will also place rally attendees and vendors in the area in time for the Escapees Escapade rally in Goshen, Indiana two weeks later.

We have also made a change in our vendor policy for future rallies. In the past we have limited vendors to only one vendor per type of product at each rally, but starting with Yuma, we will be allowing competing vendors to register, as long as they are not selling the same name brand products.

For example, if a vendor is selling Brand A dry wash products, we will also admit a vendor selling Brand B dry wash products. This has been a frequent demand by rally attendees to give them more shopping options, and after talking to the vendors at this rally, they say they think it’s a good policy change. We do too.

Thought For The Day – I’m a walking storeroom of facts, I’ve just lost the key to the door!

Nick Russell

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

  4 Responses to “It’s Migration Time”

  1. We had planned on spending five months at a park near Apache Junction, Arizona this winter. Unfortunately I have to have open heart surgery so we will be spending the winter in our old home town in the north. Then we have a grandchild due to be born in the spring. After that we hope to drive to Alaska for the summer.

  2. We’ll probably stay at our site in the Benson, Az SKP Saguaro Park. After all, that’s where we usually hunker down for the winter. After staying there nearly all year this past year, even through the summer, we do feel the need to take some short trips away. After the Yuma gathering, we hope to head up to Carson City, NV to meet and greet our first great grandchild who is due in the middle of the winter season.

  3. We plan to head south to Aransas Pass, TX right after Thanksgiving and will spend time there with friends until about April 1. We will then head east to explore some new territory, ending up at the Beavers Bend reunion the end of April/first of May. After that we will make a stop in the Tahlequa/Muskogee, OK area to visit with friends and family. After that we will head north to Wichita, KS for dr. appointments and a visit with our daughter before ending up back at the farm in Western Kansas. Hopefully, we will be able to get the farm on the market then and begin our “real” RVing life:-)

    As with you, all of this is chisled in jello:-) Health issues and winter weather may cause some changes.

  4. Don’t know. I think we will do what Nick and Terry do and wander around Gulf states, spending a few weeks here and there. Have also heard some good things about the Rio Grande Valley.

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