How 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.
Aboard 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.
We 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