Past Rally Highlights

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