Grant County Fair Grounds, Washington

I only have a short time to render a plea for assistance to help us escape from this place. We tried to get away this afternoon, but all we managed to do was get our holding tanks dumped before we were forced back to our designated spot inside the fairground permiter.

Five days ago we began this adventure when we motored to Troutdale and met up with three other vintage Winnebago/Itasca RV’s which range from 1973 to 1990. Ours, as you may recall, is a 1979. The trip began nicely with a mosey across I-84 where Terry led us to a nice secluded location where we ate a scrumptious PB&J lunch. This location had a peek at the windsurfers on the Columbia, but we hesitated to stay long because the wind was blowing so hard we feared for our safety.

After lunch Terry led us on a tortuous journey of about 7 hours to Kennewick, Washington where we holed up in the Elk’s parking lot. The temperature during this grueling drive was around 114 in the shade and we were melting since we do not have dash air in our rig. Once parked, we had a chance to set out in a shaded grassy area for a bit, letting the generator run so the roof A/C could cool down the interior of the RV. In doing this I realized that we could have been running it all day long during the heat of the day while bombing down the highway. While all the others went to the Kennewick Mall, and had dinner, Diane and I walked two blocks to McDonald’s and got chicken sandwiches which were very good. I had bacon on mine. When everyone returned, we visited a bit then retired to our respective vehicles.

The night was OK, and we were up early enough to get a breakfast sandwich and coffee from Mickie D’s, then we were off again for a short trip of about 89 miles to Moses Lake. No one encountered any difficulties and we made it safely, stopping at the first Dollar Tree we saw. Next to it was a DQ which was good for a chocolate malt for me and a caramel something or other for Diane. We parked in the shade, killing time, so we could arrive at the fairgrounds about the same time as Jeff, who was coming from the Seattle area.

As we traversed the last couple of miles through town to the fairgrounds, we found ourselves sandwiched between dozens of really huge Winnebagos, much newer, and far more expensive, than our little group of four. It was pretty intimidating.

Once we made it through security we were directed to our designated spots just inside the gate. As we were parking, Jeff arrived making us a stronger group of five. Still, we were isolated from all the expensive rigs which cost anywhere from $150K – $500K or more so, I believe, we wouldn’t scratch them.

The first day we had our own Mexican pot luck for dinner while the expensive RVers spied on us through their fancy blinds, eating surf & turf supplied from town. They do this because they don’t use their kitchens like we do. Our little group had a wonderful time until it was time for me to get the TV going so Diane could watch Dancing With The Stars, or America’s Got Talent – one of those. It took a while to get the antenna pointed right, and at the right altitude. The final solution was achieved by attaching the antenna to my camera tripod, and attaching that to the ladder on the roof. Tricky. A real redneck setup, but it worked.

We slept well that night. I think it was a Thursday.

Friday, John & Sue showed up with their 1970 unit making us a stronger group of six. We ate the remainder of our Thursday evening potluck for Friday lunch.

It was a hot day, but cooled off nicely when the breeze kicked up to around 87 mph. John was happy because he had a kite to fly and it worked well. Friday night, last night, we were fed more Mexican food, and were entertained by the Winatchee High School Mariachi Band. They, and their teacher, were just awesome. A great group of talented kids. It was a real treat.

Then we slept. Got up, got coffee, ate tacos for lunch, and tacos for dinner. It was brutal. Everywhere you looked it was Mexican food, Mexican food, Mexican food … Somewhere in there our group was forced to serve the food as people passed by with their plates. I was the left line “Meat Guy” … Jeff was the right line “Meat Guy”. We had a lot of fun and provided proper portions, ensuring there was enough for everyone, unlike the “Soup Guys” who ran out about halfway through the line. It was horrible. We thought there would be a terrible mob scene clamoring for their soup, but it didn’t happen. It turns out that by serving old people, those who didn’t get soup apparently weren’t aware that there was soup so it was a non-event.

Yesterday the hoyfaloye Winnebagoers came by to tour our pitiful little rigs and were really interested in how they’ve been fixed up, or not. Most of them used to have rigs like ours but have since moves up to the hugs ones with computers, and TVs. It was interesting to visit with them.

Today it was more of the same for lunch, but for dinner they lured us into the dining hall, conveniently located about 100 feet from where we were forced to park, with a BBQ pulled pork and chicken dinner. It was truly awesome, and we didn’t have to bring our own plates! It was all very delicious.

After dinner we were forced to sit there through various forms of entertainment, raffle drawings, and various give aways, during which our table of six RV’s won four of the door prizes. Getting to the end, the 50-50 drawing, took almost 2 hours. We were dying in there, but had to stick around to see if any of our group won. They didn’t. Finally we were released to go “home”.

After visiting in the cool night air, we retired to our respective units. John & Sue are leaving at 0600,
Jeff at 0800. We don’t know when we’ll be leaving yet because we haven’t received clearance from the organizers.

We plan to make our escape and make it at least to Yakima tomorrow, then head across Highway 12 to I-5. So, if you don’t hear from us for another couple days, send help. We’re probably stopped somewhere along that road where there’s no cell service.

Pray for us …

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