2007 Fort Bragg Mini Rally

April 20-23, 2007

Bill and Carlene Pickering hosted this beautiful and relaxing weekend at the Pomo RV Park, which is tucked into a natural forest near the rugged coastline just south of Fort Bragg, California. Beautiful weather welcomed the Pickerings, but clouds began gathering as Jan & Cecil Romero, John & Louise Throne, Jack & Elaine Willoughby and Jay & Suzie Jacobs arrived Friday afternoon.

After settling in and adjusting their attitudes, they went on to dinner at The Wharf in Fort Bragg. Upon their return to camp, they found Dolores Westfall had arrived and was tripping about in the dark, dodging drizzle. By the time Don & Eileen Gorth arrived in the middle of the night, it was raining. How cozy it was to curl up and sleep that night with the soothing sounds of rain on the roof.

Heavy rain all day Saturday curtailed thoughts of hiking, so everyone went uptown to shop and have lunch. Everyone, that is, except Dolores. Notorious for being a late sleeper, everyone thought she was still in bed when they knocked on her door and got no answer. Turned out she was outside, on the other side of her rig, finally getting around to hooking up. When she got out from under, everyone was gone! Oh, the trials of being a late bird who misses the early worm…

Everyone did their own thing that wet afternoon — relaxing in camp, taking a jaunt to Garberville, visiting with nearby family and taking a long walk in the rain. We made up for all that quiet relaxation by gathering that evening in the Park's rustic club room, where we built a fire in the fireplace, munched on gobs of goodies, played card games, sampled numerous wines and other drinks, and enjoyed high spirits. Perfect for a rainy evening! Spotting an unidentified Bigfoot in the campground, Jan and Louise marched right over to their site and invited them to join us. Even though they were entertaining guests, one of them came to meet us, have a drink, and learn about BOCI and our website.

We awoke Sunday to beautiful weather and enjoyed the sparkling morning in camp. It was a perfect afternoon to hike the impressive Mendocino Botanical Gardens which extends all the way to the coastal cliff top. Looking down on the dramatic shoreline below, we lingered amongst the blooming flowers, spectacular rhododendrons, and colors made even more brilliant by the wet soil. The ice cream treats were pretty good there, too.

At Jack Willoughby's suggestion, we closed the weekend with a dinner at the excellent Little River Inn restaurant. We were graciously greeted by co-owner Mel McKinney, Jack's friend and former schoolmate. We enjoyed the atmosphere of that historic building, and our dining room featured huge picture windows that looked out on dramatically blooming landscaping. Such tulips! The food there is a gift to the taste buds.

What a lovely weekend this was! A big thanks to the Pickerings for hosting, and a special thank you to Bill for the bottle of his own wine which he presented to each of us, complete with a commemorative BOCI label and deluxe corkscrew!

Dolores Westfall and Carlene Pickering

The Mini- Rally ended on the 22nd with the Romeros and Thrones continuing their journey to Mount Shasta, Ca. Jack with his fishing pole in hand headed for the local streams. On Tuesday the Thrones returned to Orangevale and the Romeros headed East to Reno. Ahhhh, parting is such sweet sorrow. We had a fantastic time with memories to last for the rest of our lives.