We joined a gathering of 40 truck campers for a pirate themed jamboree celebrating the arrival of the Tall Ships in Newport, RI. Ocean StatesTall Ships Wagon master Geraldine Roy secured berthing for the hearty crew at Oak Embers Campground in West Greenwich, RI. Event tents were set up, fire rings secured and pirate campers arrived from as far away as Quebec and Maryland. At registration, Geraldine gifted each rig with a bag filled with chocolate doubloons, eye patches, and various booty.
Around an overflowing appetizer and drink table, instructions were given on how the van shuttle would work on Friday to get everyone into Newport. Even though truck campers are not large, Newport is very small with narrow, winding roads and huge crowds for the ships. On Friday, Geraldine and Dave "sailed" the 15 passenger van back and forth the 30 miles many times during the day. No campers were lost in the shuffle and all enjoyed the ships, old Newport and a perfect, though hot, weather day.
Mike Tassinari provided hamburgers for dinner and the cooking was done by a hot crew who needed to stay well hydrated with adult beverages.
On Saturday morning, Mike T gave a demonstration of installing an hour meter in a Honda generator. This was followed by Geraldine’s talk on the life of a pirate in RI. Who would have thought that pirates were very welcome as they brought both income and employment to the area? 24 lucky ladies got to take an afternoon craft class on dying a silk scarf with plants, fruit, spices and vegetables. The hard pounding noise was from rocks smashing the juicy pulp inside layers of silk.
One of the most popular events at the North East rallies is Bingo. Cathie Tassinari always comes up with awesome cards and "chips". Often participants munched away on their chips - Necco wavers, Goldfish, etc in the past. This year the chips were pennies! No munching but lots of fun and great prizes.
Saturday night pot luck always brings out fabulous food and drinks and this feast was no exception. It is amazing what the small ovens, stoves and grills contained in truck campers can produce. The tables looked like a hungry hoard of pirates had pillaged by the time the meal was over.
The raffle draw was called by Nik Rende who lent a lot of humor to the event. The final raffle was drawing small bags out of a treasure chest. The bags could then be cashed in or traded with another bag holder. Surprise inside? Susan B Anthony gold looking dollar coins, the pirate treasure for real.
Each evening Mike showed a movie and fired up a pop corn machine for those watching. Mike also got "arrested" by the Gendarms but didn't have to walk the plank.
Tom and Pam came up to visit. They are temporarily TCless but won't be for long. Pam looked quite dashing in a pirate hat.
Joe Z won the pirate costume!
Sunday is always sad at a rally as camper friends are once again scattering. The men cook breakfast on Sunday and the ladies do no work, just enjoy a feast. Mike Olesnevich of Xtreme Campers sponsored the breakfast and it was enjoyed by all. Tent take down goes fast with a lot of helping hands and the area was policed so it was cleaner than when we all arrived.
In between all the planned events, there was time to sit and visit with old friends and meet new ones. There were many brand new truck campers and/or trucks to tour and discuss. As usual, trips were retold and new places to see discovered. There were many shared photos of sites seen and "gotta go theres" found. Truck campers might be a small market, small footprint but mighty in spirit and adventure.