This rally was a mixture of old and new – the TAC (The Airstream Club) Rally is our (old) traditional spring gathering in Amish country, and this year we were in our new trailer. Our hostess, Loren, has the planning and execution of this rally down to a science, and the only thing she was not in charge of . . . was the weather! Out of about 20 camping units planning to attend, 10 braved the weather . . . and lived to tell the tale!
We left Thursday morning at 8:45 and 45 degrees. ETA, according to the Garmen, was 11:45, but we knew there would be stops so we adjusted that time to 1:00. Rain didn't dampen our spirits as we headed east to join our Silver Friends at Kandel's Campground in Walnut Creek, Ohio, in the middle of Holmes County Amish country. Off the main roads, Highway 60 took us through Loudonville to our favorite lunch-stop at the Mohican Tavern. Ample burgers were half price – and there was a cute sign in the bathroom!
When we arrived at Kandle's Campground at 1:00 Loren and her entourage were settled in the (heated) club house to greet and give us our goody bag/tour guide of the area. As we set up the Silvermine more arrived. We hung around for an hour and then headed with our TAB friend Alan for the closest little Amish towns of Berlin and Walnut Creek -- craft mall, antique store, bakery, and Heini's Cheese shop. A good deal of Amish produce followed us back to the campground: hard cheese, soft cheese, sharp cheese, cheese dips, cheese spreads, baked goods and . . . Ice cream for Tom and Alan!
The club house was the central gathering place for an evening pitch-in meal of chili, cornbread and lots of other go-with foods, and casual after-dinner conversation. Outside at 8:30, the temperature was falling into the 30's, and it was misting rain and windy. I walked the dogs and came to the Silvermine to get ready for bed -- Tom hung with the boys in the club house until 10 O'clock.
Tom was up at 6:00 to make sure coffee was perking. At the club house plans were kicking off for the first part of the day: Terry, Sue, Alan and Tom & I went to Keim Lumber store in nearby Charm. Family owned since 1911 this is always a favorite stop with exotic lumber and all the hardware needed to fashion it into something for your home.
Sue and I left the boys to do a thorough search of Keim's and snuck out in the truck for a visit of two side by side quilt/fabric stores a mile away.
Rejoining with the guys at noonish we piled in the truck and drove back towards the Campground -- stopping for lunch at well-known favorite Der Dutchman restaurant, which specializes in comfort food -- real mashed potatoes, noodles, broasted chicken, and a wonderful salad bar.
Most had been out and about the countryside during the day, but by mid afternoon they trickled back to the campsite, gathering in the club house to share excursion stories. A beans and hot dog supper turned into a feast complete with a good variety of sides and salads. All eyes kept checking the weather where contradictory reports teased us with reports of several inches of snow overnight.
7:00 in the morning told the story, as Tom took the dogs for their first walk: several inches of snow and wind gusts blowing up drifts, and periods of sideways snow squalls. The walk to the club house for coffee was under blizzard conditions, and as people arrived they stomped their feet and peeled off gloves, hats, and several layers of outerwear! I pointed Tom right back outdoors to get pictures!
The weather didn't change our plans very much -- Tom and Terry headed off to fill a propane tank, I waded to the bathhouse for a shower. Rich and and Georgia took off for bird observation, and many of us were planning a trip to our favorite Amish store - Lehmans. The roads were wet with some slushy ice on the berms, but everyone was out and about on the Saturday morning -- even the Amish!
Lehmans is a mixture of old-time general store, Amish supply house, and all-around good junk store. Our group of Terry, Sue, Alan, Tom and I wandered around for almost two hours, splitting ways and meeting up again, as we slowly strolled the aisles. I resisted buying and still walked out with some must-have items. My favorite -- a little stainless steel stack of nesting, fitted, containers that all clamp together for carrying food!
Finished at Lehman's we drove down to Gerber Chicken and got carry out to take back to our club house -- Gerber only has an outdoor dining spot, and temps in the 30's didn't motivate us to try it. Out rally schedule had indicated a trip to Gerbers on either Friday or Saturday. The word didn't reach Georgia and Rick that it would be on Saturday, and they showed up on Friday, got their chicken, wondered where everyone was -- and sat in the outdoor picnic area in 30 degrees and ate their chicken. Alone! Georgia recorded their “picnic” with a few pointed comments!
We took our chicken back to the warmth of the club house and spent the afternoon preparing for our last evening of the rally with the pot-luck dinner, the raffle, and the gift exchange. Here are a slew of pictures from the evening!
The fun ended by 9:30 as people trickled off to their trailers to get packed up to leave in the morning.
That's it for the TAC rally. Really . . . unless someone steps forward to host it for next year! If you are interested in taking over this rally contact Loren -- she has a wealth of information she will share with you and most of the work is already done!
Our next outing is with our Van Wert camping peeps at Harrison Lake State Park!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown