Olema (5) – Altogather 2022

Olema Altogather 2022

Almost exactly one year ago, we camped in this campground and I commented on the blog that it would be a fun place for an Altogather. An Altoiste responded back with a “Well? How bout it?” This weekend it came to be, and it was so much fun!!

When you have an Alto in California, it is exciting to see any other Alto in a campground. For this rally, we drew 22. Every model was represented with the exception of the newer 24′ model. As is always the case, every Alto owner has customized their space uniquely and we came away very impressed, and inspired with a few new ideas. Altoistes really are cooler than your average camper.

My co-coordinator, Leo, did all of the financial footwork and was the liaison with the campground. He is amazing and I would not have attempted organizing this without him. All I had to do was put together a schedule of activities and manage the event page in our facebook group. I think it ended up being a good balance of structured group activities vs free time to enjoy the area. Another Altoiste, Janel, put together a handout with area attractions, and boy, you could sell that! She did an incredible job! I didn’t know about a whole bunch of things, and we have come here a lot.

Wonderful, as always, to see our camping bff, Linda with dogs

Most people arrived Thursday and stayed three nights. Some came a day early and left a day later. In retrospect, that would have been nice, since I was wiped out after an action packed weekend. Richard and I both really wanted to rest and chill for one more day. Note to self for next year…

We even had an A2124 aerodynamic model represented! That was fun to see in person. There are not as many of these out there.

It was impossible to capture the look of a campground strewn with Altos, but it’s pretty cool. Looking out an Alto window to see multiple Altos always makes me giddy. We got to see long time friends, and make new ones, which is the best part of these events.

Look at all the Altos out there!

An expectation at these rallies is to dedicate some time for people to peek at other people’s Altos, either for inspiration, because they have yet to get their own Alto and are weighing decisions, or because they are looking to solve something. There were experts in all areas present here, with a wealth of information on everything from electrical systems, to aesthetics, to astronomy equipment, to mods and upgrades they have done. The Tesla tow cars even represented, complete with a demonstration of a Tesla “dance.” That was amazing. If you have never seen a Tesla rock out to music, you should make that an item on your To Do list immediately.

Great to see you, Bruce. We missed Donna!

We got in a longer than expected hike on Friday. We had intended to do a five mile loop with views of Drakes Bay. I made the fatal error of not really looking over the trail information myself and we ended up going about six and a half miles, with 1200 feet of climbing. That was actually ok (look at me being all climby!), but we really had to huff it in order to make it back to the campground in time for the planned group meal. Good thing all we were bringing was a pre-made cheese platter with crackers.

There was quite the spread at our shared meals!

Dinner Saturday was a shared pot luck and that went over very well. I grilled some shrimp in butter and garlic, while others brought spaghetti, pasta salads, fresh mozzaralla and home grown tomato salad, chicken or veggies skewers…. The list goes on and on and it was all outstanding. My new trick for calorie counting in these situations is to a) try to be reasonable about filling a plate, and b) take a picture. I can then go back later and try to approximate the damage. It also really helps to have accidentally hiked six and a half miles because that gets added into my weekly allowance.

The “Clubhouse” at Olema RV Campground was a convenient reservable meeting location, with indoor and outdoor spaces. Perfect for a “give away/for sale” table to be set up and an indoor location to put food.

We did some fun activities together, like share fun facts and do a white elephant gift exchange. In the evening, Leo and his wife Brenda put out their Solo stove so people could gather by the fire. Those are really nice times to get to know people. Funny thing though, while I learned to match everyone’s fun fact with their face, the same cannot be said for remembering their names. When I run into them in the future, I am probably more likely to call out, “Hey! It’s spent a year as a French exchange student!” than recall their actual first name. “Aren’t you climbed Mt. Whitney in a day because you didn’t get a permit? How ya doin!” “Oh look! It’s proposed on the Pt. Reyes trail! Great to see you!”

Loved the breakfast offerings. Yum!

By the time Sunday rolled around, I had a whole bunch of new Altoiste friends. I was so happy to see the already established friends, and sad to miss the friends who couldn’t make it this time. These things are super fun and I would be happy to commit to doing it again next year. Same time, same place. As long as Leo deals with the money part.

That worked pretty well. Except the dropped chocolate chip and mini marshmallow that caught fire on the stove. Good thing we had taken out the “cooking timer” (ie smoke detector) before baking.

On Sunday we wrapped up with a shared final breakfast. I tried out a S’mores Monkey Bread recipe in the Omnia that turned out pretty well. For next time: try baking for 30 minutes, then sprinkle with chocolate chips and marshmallows, and bake for another 10. The Omnia made a nice showing this weekend, with egg frittata dishes, and even meatloaf. It was all really delicious. And I learned that you can bake in a glass dish on a griddle inside your grill. Who knew?? We headed home tired and happy, with another Alto in our rear view mirror. That is a fun weekend.

Total miles: 66.5, 16.7 mpg, 2 hours 38 min (with stop for a work call). Site 124. Really nice. Hookups, pretty good cell, plus campground wifi. Richard declares the dump is good, but it was a long wait. Also, Richard went on a bike ride and says riding Sir Francis Drake is not that bad. Perfect campground for an Altogather.

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