Past Rally Highlights

2021 Rallies

MAY 20-23
Hostless  ‘do nothing rally’
Thompson Causeway
Pmas Loop 4-15, 26-27
Thompson, IL

The 2021 rally season began in May with a relaxing weekend ‘do nothing’ rally at Thomson Causeway Campground.  It was very relaxing camping in a beautiful campsite nestled between the Mississippi River and Mississippi back waters.  We watched wildlife and cooked our meals over the wood fire!  Kabobs, pougie pies, foil dinners and more!

JUNE 24-27
Hosts Kent & Carol Johnson and Ann & Scott Fippinger
Joint Rally with Vintage Trailers
Geneseo Campground
Geneseo, IL

The season continued with a co-rally with the Western Illinois Vintage Trailer Group at Geneseo Campground in Geneseo, IL.  Unfortunately rain thought it needed to drop in but we still had a great time!  We had a great dinner out at Sweat Pea in Geneseo.  Had a great cook out Friday,  The weather cooperated and the Saturday open house brought 50+ people out to see our coaches!

JULY 23-25
Co-rally with GMC Great Lakers!
Hosts Peter Hays & Mary Ann Wilkins.
Fish Lake Campground.
Volo, IL

Our July co-rally with the Great Lakers began at Fish Lake Camping Resort in Volo, IL with a casual pizza party and then stepped back in time as we rolled into the McHenry Outdoor Cinema for a drive in movie!  The coaches made a statement all lined up in the back row!  The following day it was off to feel right at home with our coaches at the Volo Auto…and RV…Museum!  We wound up the day going out to dinner.  A nostalgia rally just might become a favorite we will have to do again!

September 30 – October 6, 2021.
Co-rally with GMCMI convention
Hosts Kim and Dennis Carter
North Wisconsin State Fairgrounds
Chippewa Falls, WI.

The Six Wheelers had ten coaches roll in with one additional member staying in a nearby hotel.  A total of 75 vintage GMC coaches were in attendance at the convention!  Our club members participated in the Chili Cookoff, placed in theme costumes contests, presented in non tech sessions, helped with convention set up crew, and enjoyed a ‘build your sub’ dinner!  We also had our own evening entertainment with a coach side projection of STRIPES under the stars!

Oct 14-17

Mike and Billie Kelley hosted the final rally of the year at Galesburg East Campground in Knoxville, IL

10 coaches and two more members via car made the largest Six Wheelers gathering in a while.  Highlights included bean bag baseball with the Spooners challenging the Cutting Edge teams!  The team names were a clever spin on how the teams were chosen…by each player drawing either a plastic knife or spoon!  Dinner out was enjoyed at the Landmark Cafe and Crepery in Galesburg.  A campfire cookout with hamburgers, hot dogs and Fred’s Famous Chili was another favorite.

Our fall business meeting included election of officers for 2022 and a celebration of the club’s 45 year history!

2020 Rallies

This was a difficult year for rallies due to COVID 19 restrictions.  We did manage smaller rallies in Kewanee and Galesburg.  We ended the season with a wonderful, layed back Co rally with the Vintage Trailer group at the Geneseo Campground in Geneseo, IL.  We were well represented with 10 GMC Motorhomes along side about 30 vintage trailers from the 40s through the 70s!

A highlight was the morning golf cart Canal Cruise.  The scenery and history was great but the 40° weather with a sprinkle of rain coupled with the wind chill from the golf carts moving at top speed was memorable!

The evening PEEP SHOW was a perfect way to look into each other’s rigs but maintain physical distancing to keep everyone safe!  Just turn on your interior lights then stroll through the campground ‘peeping’ into all the vintage rigs!

2019 Rallies

May 2-6, 2019
Galesburg East Campground
150 Galesburg Rd
Knoxville IL 61448
Phone: (309) 289-2267

Our 1st 2019 Rally was held May 2-5, 2019 at the Galesburg E. Campground in Knoxville, IL. We usually meet the 3rd weekend of every month May through October, but the campground was already spoken for that weekend when we made arrangements last year! The new owners, Bill & Mindy, have been there for 3 years, & we have been fortunate to be with them each of those years.

Our attendees were Dennis & Kim Carter, Dave Marchiando, Scott Fippinger, Mike & I. Ann Fippinger had to work, but was able to join us for dinner at the Grandview Diner Friday night. We were also blessed to have Dennis & Kim’s daughter (Leslie), & almost 2 year old grandson (Jackson) from England spend Friday with us. They went back to the house after dinner that night. I guess you can only take old people for so long when you’re that age. ?

It was cold, windy & rainy most of the weekend. The campground had 6 1/2” of rain from the Sunday to Wednesday when Mike & I got there, & the area was under a flood watch!

Don & Jean Cook joined us for the day & evening Saturday. It was great being with everyone again.

It was too cold & wet outside, so we didn’t have any “traditional campfires”. Besides, Ron wasn’t there to stoke the fires. ?

Everyone enjoyed working on the Camping Puzzle we brought, & finished it Saturday night. We also played one round of Bra Pong. (I think the puzzle was more interesting). However, Bill & Mindy thought the game was a hoot, so they took pictures & want to use it at their campground. They also took pics of the puzzle to order some to sell in their store. They’re hoping we come back next year.

All in all, we had a great time, even in spite of the bad weather, & having to cancel the Railroad Museum Tour for the 2nd year in a row.

June 27-30, 2019

Valley View Campground
17837 E US 24 Hwy
Lewistown, IL 61542
Phone: 309-547-3183

Our June 2019 ‘no frills’ rally, hosted by, yours truly, Dennis and Kim Carter, at Valley View Campground just east of Lewistown, IL is now in the books!  We had a total of 12 people and 6 furkids…aka dogs…attend in 3 26’ GMCs,  1 23’ GMC, 1 GMC ‘bi-stretch’, 1 class A SOB, and 1 towed camper SOB (7 total)!  Dave Marchiando took the prize for early arrival, pulling in with his fur co-pilot, Maggie, on Tuesday!  We joined Dave Wednesday with our fur sidekicks, Gwin and Augie.  Thursday we welcomed Don and Jean Cook plus our returning member, John Simmons, who brought along his furkid, Molly.  John’s daughter, Becky, rode along to christen her dad’s new Winnebago on its first official road trip!  Thursday nightwe shared a light meal in the pavilion and all got acquainted.
Friday we started the day with coffee, milk, juice and Spudnuts donuts for breakfast.  John Reddington and Chris Moss pulled in, then a little later the mystery GMC ‘Bi-Stretch’ with Fred Schleich at the helm, accompanied by Kathy and their recently added family member, furkid Maize came in.  They were soon followed by Chuck Schleich, Fred’s brother, and his furkid, Mia, for his initial rally in his 23’ project coach, to round out our group!  We headed into Lewistown for dinner at Two Cousins on Main then back to the pavilion for more visiting.  We did have a brief shower in the afternoon with a bit of wind but luckily nothing requiring the small tornado shelter at the campground!
Saturday began with coffee, milk, juice, waffles, and choice of homemade peach or apple cider syrup, or maple syrup.  Fresh strawberries, peanut butter and whipped topping were available too.  After breakfast Jean, John R, Chris, Dave, and Kim went in town for a private tour of the Rasmussen Blacksmiths Shop and adjacent museum.  Our tour guide, Mr Phil Baldwin, did a fabulous job bringing to life many of the items and how they were used!  John R picked out a questionable looking era early 1800’s full length fur coat he thought he should have but luckily we were able to leave without it!  From there we headed outside of town to the Big Horse Vineyards and were joined by Don and Dennis plus our guests, Jeff and Gena Sinclair, for a wine tasting and a fabulous lunch in the welcoming ac as we had had enough of the 90 degree heat and abundant humidity!   Our waitress couldn’t entice us to eat on the patio even though it had a spectacular view of the vineyard!  Everyone now knows what a horseshoe sandwich is and the servings from the Bistro were as big as their draft horses in the pasture!
As we waddled out to our cars with our big boxes of left overs, we took the lesser traveled path across the dike between the picturesque ponds, up along the pasture by the barn, as recommended by the proprietor, to see the draft horse mare and her new foal which was the size of a pony!  He didn’t mention the ‘road’ was less obvious after crossing the dike but if our Prius made it Dave’s 4WD truck had it easy.  Needless to say it would not have been suitable for our coaches!
We returned to the campground to have another look at Fred’s 36’, nearly 12’ high diesel pusher he claimed was the union of two GMC motorhomes.  Although it says GMC on the front, we remained a bit confused just what it was but we hope everyone has a chance to see it at future rallies!  Our evening meal was beef brisket Dennis had been smoking in the pavilion all day with great side dishes of corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, baked beans, turnip greens, chips and cheese sauce, fresh fruit, and key lime or turtle pie, all brought by those in attendance to share!  No one left hungry but bet you are just hearing about it!  More sharing of GMC memories and other conversations followed into the evening.
Sunday morning there were homemade, freshly baked biscuits and sausage gravy along with coffee and juice to fortify everyone for the trip home.  As the coaches pulled out one by one John S struggled getting his driver’s side slide to go in.  Even with Fred and Dave’s help and the Winnebago help desk contacted it would not go in so we waited for a service truck to arrive from Jacksonville, with what I suspect was a bigger hammer, to get the coach slimmed and on the road!  All was ship shape before 3PM, letting John S get headed back to Wisconsin, followed by us on our long, tiring 2 mile journey home!  Secretly I was proud of our 40 plus year old coaches for all getting on their way without any problems and showing that brand new one how it is done….but I better not get carried away bragging or we may be the ones in need of help next

Thanks to all for enduring our maiden hosting experience!  If you had half the good times as us, we had twice as much fun as you!


October 17-20, 2019
Geneseo Campground
Geneseo, IL

It’s that time of year again when we had our final Rally of the Season. We had a FABULOUS time, thanks to our Rally Hosts, Kent & Carol Johnson! 

Traveling from far & wide, (including Wisconsin), we had 4 GMCs & 1 “other brand” that stayed at the Geneseo Campground in Geneseo, IL. Plus 4 other cars brought 7 additional people tour festivities! Those in attendance for the entire weekend were:

Kent & Carol Johnson, Dennis & Kim Carter, Dave Marchiando, John Simmons & his daughter, Rebecca Douglas, & Mike & Billie Kelley. The weather was perfect, with sunny, mild temps by day, & cool nights in the mid 30’s to low 40’s. 

Thursday night, we had a delicious pot luck supper, with lots of fun & fellowship. Kent & Carol took sandwich orders for our Riverboat Cruise & lunch scheduled for Saturday morning. Headed back to coaches at 9:30.

Friday was a full, amazing day! After a delicious breakfast of ham & egg casserole, fresh fruit & dip, homemade cinnamon rolls & juices, we set out for 3 amazing tours & lunch. Note: We all decided our “coffee drinkers” would bring their own coffee each morning. That way, there won’t be any waste for the Club. 

1. We toured an airport near the Quad Cities where Kent used to work, & were privileged to see them in action in the Tower & Radar Room. It brought back fond memories for  me, & “almost” made me want to come out of retirement. Almost!
2. To renew our strength & energy from climbing stairs, we had a delicious lunch at Lagomarcino’s, with yummy sandwiches, soups, salad, & shakes from their antique   Soda Fountain. A piece of local history since 1908. (We practiced self control concerning their $24.95 a lb. candy).
3. After passing through Security, we were thrilled to tour the Rock Island Arsenal, with  TONS of history, artifacts, rifles & guns… plus an entire room dedicated to Rosie the  Riveter! They even had the photos like we enjoyed at our Ladies Luncheon at the GMCMI Convention in Mansfield, OH earlier this month.
4. We were excited to actually see the OLD swinging bridge, as a boat (Capt. York) came  through one of the Locks on the Mississippi River (Locks & Dam #15). The pelicans   were  entertaining also.

Time to catch a few winks back at camp before eating again! LOL!!  Don & Jean Cook got settled in their hotel room & joined us for a 6:00 dinner at The Cellar. Don & Diane Nelson also joined us there, making 13 of us to fill the place with fun & laughter. The food was delicious (as always). Tummies full, & to-go boxes for everyone, we headed back to camp, & enjoyed more quality time with the Nelsons. Expecting high 40’s tonight.   

Saturday gave us a sunny 48*, heading to 63* for our Riverboat Cruise. After breakfast, we left for our adventure on the 3 story, steam driven “Riverboat Twilight”. What a grand lady! Scott & Jennifer Johnson (Kent’s brother & wife) joined us for the Cruise & box lunch. The sights along the Mississippi River were beautiful – with Illinois on one side, & Iowa on the other. The Narrator was very informative, as heavy laden barges passed by, & Fall colors could be enjoyed. Our lunches were delicious (& we got more than expected for $5) –  with tea, coffee & lemonade provided on the boat. They also had a cash bar on the 3rd level.

Don & Jean Cook met us back at camp as did Ann Fippinger for a short visit.

2017 Rallies

October 19-22, 2017

Geneseo Campground,  22978  Illinois Highway 82,  Geneseo, IL   61866

 September 2017

No host rally in conjunction with GMCMI Fall Convention held in Elkhart, IN


August 17-20, 2017

Mackinaw IL, Kentuckiana Campgound; Hosts Don and Jean Cook

June 2017 Rally Report

We had ten coaches at Galesburg. Our new hosts did a fantastic job. We had lots of good food, several cool cars, and some new faces.  And even a rainbow Saturday after dinner.

All in all, a grand time.



May 2016


What a wonderful “Kick Off’ weekend we all enjoyed!!  A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to our hosts, Mike and Billie Kelley!  Our rally was held on May 19-22, 2016 at The Livingston County 4-H Park in Pontiac, Illinois.  The campground hosts were very accommodating and made every effort to insure we all had a good time.  To say the very least we had a WONDERFUL time!  The weather was absolutely perfect, with the exception of one “cooler” day, but even that was only a light jacket or sweater day.  It was just thrilling to see everyone and know we were truly “On the Road Again”.

Wednesday, May 18th found 4 coaches arriving.  Tom and Carolyn Bessler,  Mike and Billie Kelley, Dave and Kay Marchiando and Floyd McDonald were all the early birds.  The weather was outstanding.  We took that time to go over our “goodie bags” provided by Billie and Mike and also peruse the information we were given by the campground host pertaining to the Pontiac area. That evening Mike and Billie and Tom and Carolyn ate in their coaches, while Dave, Kay, Maggie and Floyd tried the local Monical’s restaurant.

Thursday, May 19th brought in Herb and Roni Kuhns, Lee Frisch and Leroy, Tom and Connie Fierek.  Once again we were blessed with another beautiful day.  That evening we all enjoyed fried chicken provided by the club…Yummy!! All the club members contributed a dish or two and there was PLENTY….and….it was DELICIOUS!  After the carry in, we played a really fun game!  We found out what Billie had up her sleeve having us bring the 4 quarters!!  Sorry, I can’t remember the name, but I sure hope Billie brings her dice next time and we play again!! Relaxing, fun and monetarily beneficial to Tom and Billie!! I know someone else won as well, and I honestly can’t remember who the lucky soul was!!

Friday, May 20th was a cooler day, with just a very light mist on and off.   Our Hosts started the morning off right with a breakfast of fruit along with sausage and egg muffins hand made by Billie.  After our great breakfast,  Billie, Carolyn, Kay and Roni drove into Pontiac to go on a chase for charms.   A really fun adventure.  We received a brochure in our welcome packet with information and we went from store to store collecting various charms, pertinent to the city of Pontiac and put on our charm bracelet.  So cute…and….so much fun!!  (the guys didn’t go!!..go figure!!).  When we arrived back at the campground, we all fixed our lunches and attended the tech session hosted by Mike.  Everyone mentioned improvements they enjoyed most about their coaches.  Very interesting and everyone really enjoyed sharing ideas and chatting.  That evening we headed into town and had a nice supper at Baby Bull’s Family Restaurant.  After we returned to the campground, Herb treated us all to Dilly Bars from DQ….talk about enjoyment!  Thank you Herb.  Lee’s friend, Marilyn attempted to teach us all a new card game, Chase the Ace.  So very nice of her.  We had a really nice time trying to learn this new game……I am not sure my brain was able to absorb the info….but…we all had a great time and that probably made it even more fun, especially since she worked at a retirement community and was surely used to brains on overload! At any rate…we all are very grateful to this nice lady for a fun evening.

Saturday May 21st was such a special day.  Although all meals were to be on our own, Billie once again “fed the flock” with her muffins, fruit and donuts!  After breakfast, we had our Spring Business meeting.   I am so sorry more were not able to attend, but, Ron and Judy Severson and Wayne VanAlstine was able to join us and we were so happy to see them. Wayne has a new puppy to keep him company. Ron and Judy are still waiting PATIENTLY for word from Jim Bounds on when his engine will be shipped.  The sooner the better for alllllll concerned.   Many items were discussed and I will forward the minutes to you all for your review.  It is very important for you all to read them carefully as there have been some major changes within the club.  After the meeting and lunch we visited until about 3:30 when we all lined up to take our coaches into town for The Pontiac Cruise In.  What a fantastic site to see our coaches all lined up and being viewed by folks who were attending the show.  Much interest was shown in our coaches and several opened their coaches for a tour by interested people.  What a great way to encourage the growth of not only the club but our beloved GMC motorhomes as well.  Thank you Mike for setting this up.  A big thank you to all The Six Wheelers for the 100% participation!! We all got home around 9pm, and didn’t stay up late that evening….it was a long day…but….so worthwhile!

Sunday May 22, was our last (boo-ho) day. After a breakfast of donuts and fruit, Billie gave an inspirational and helpful devotional on healing through forgiveness.  How appropriate and needed for our club family.  A special Thank you Billie for doing this for us, such an important and pertinent message.  After our hugs and good byes, we all headed back home, just plain anxious for “Next Time”.

Well Dear Friends, that about sums up our fantastic week-end!! To those who could not attend for you very own reasons…we missed you!  If I have omitted any important info, I apologize…I am rusty after a few years.  I just have to say God Bless and Stay Well until we all meet again.

Respectfully submitted,

Carolyn Bessler—–“Part Time Secretary”!

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