To Kelley’s Island and Altoistes Rally

IMG_4554How crazy is it that this was one of the best days I can remember? How bizarre to feel so instantly connected to a group of people I have never met in person before. When I started the Altoistes Facebook group, I was, to be honest, primarily in it to find a resource for all the questions I had about the Alto. There wasn’t much information online, nor were there support groups established in English. So after just a little poking around, I figured out how to start a group. From there to today a community has slowly grown.

We left Lake Chautauqua this morning a little before 10. The caretaker at the KOA was extremely helpful in offering to take our propane tank to have it filled and bring it back in his little campground golf cart. That spared us some logistical figuring and no doubt lots of time.

The drive to Ohio took us through Cleveland and that was the most highway intensive driving I’ve done so far. Lots of interchanges to keep track of and there was a section with quick merging and sharp bends that certainly kept me on my toes. People like to cut you off when you’re towing a trailer and some will go to great lengths not to get stuck behind you. So I was fully awake by the time we got through that.

Right before we pulled up to the ferry station, we checked Facebook and saw that another member had just crossed. We pulled up to the ticket booth and the woman inside asked, “Do you rent these or something? Or do you own this?” We said we owned it. She said, “I’ve seen a lot of these things lately.” Yes, we explained, this was a rally. “Oooohhh.” Another person coming off the ferry from the island called out of his car window, “There are a bunch of you over there!”

We were excited.

IMG_4557Aboard the ferry, Richard and I got out of the car and I heard someone calling my name. I turned and saw one of the couples in the group and I screamed and hugged them as though we’ve been friends for years. And I felt the hug right back.

When we pulled into the campground, I counted four other Altos on our row. Hugs all around. Long time online “friends” now friends in person. We were all excited to see a yellow Alto pull in because those are not being made anymore. Turns out, this is Alto #6! This is celebrity status in Alto World. Also met Jim and Dale from RouteAlto80 blog fame. I’m like a kid at a rock concert, I’ll tell ya.

IMG_4582We had a nice socializing time where everyone gathered and enjoyed appetizers and beverages. We shared travel stories and laughs. Safari Condo provided nice little backpacks for all rally folks and one of the members made the most adorable thing I think I have ever seen: little homemade wooden Altos, complete with tiny hitches.

Oh my lord this was a fun evening! It was like a slumber party, but for adults. In camper trailers.

Total miles: 226.0, Engine time: 5 hours, 9 min, 17.6 mpg

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10 thoughts on “To Kelley’s Island and Altoistes Rally

  1. Reblogged this on peregrinations and commented:
    Wish we could be there with all the other new and longer-term Alto owners to match faces with the names we’ve learned, and the folks we’ve learned so much from via the Internet. Next year, we’ll try to come and count our Roomba amongst the gang! Thanks, Alissa for being the record-keeper.

  2. How do I join your group? My friend is a member and owns a R-1723 Alto Safari Condo. We are interested in traveling and looking for any suggestions that would be helpful to make our traveling more enjoyable by having necessary supplies, etc. Camping is new for me and I’m excited to get started. Future plans include a trip to Alaska. Any suggestions? Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Penny! If you are on Facebook, do a search for Altoistes. Click the button to Join the group and I will approve you. Your friend can also add you but I have to approve it. Since I know your name, I can be on the lookout for you. There is a ton of information, not just about Altos, but helpful camping advice as well. Hope to see you there!

  3. Hi Alissa,
    I sent a friend request to the Altoistes FB page about 1 week ago and have not gotten a response. My husband and I are very interested in getting an Altos trailer but would really like to see one in person first. I was hoping there would be a rally somewhere this summer

    1. Hi Nancy! I sent you some Private messages on Facebook, but I probably got filtered. Check your “Filtered” message requests. But I see you and I approved you. Good job tracking me down! Welcome to Altoistes!

  4. Hello. My husband and I are very interested in the Altos. We live in Colorado and I’ve been exchanging emails with the manufacturer and may hopefully get to see on in person soon. I sent a request to join your group about a week ago and haven’t gotten a response. Are you still adding members? thanks!

    1. I see you found my messages. Facebook probably believes my Alto inquiry messages are spam, so quite often my messages get sent to the “Filtered” inbox. Very common. Welcome to the group!

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