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SATURDAY - Bright and early this morning we packed up THE POD in order to move out of our Terrapod Campsite (where we have been staying for the last week) and move over to the Early Arrival Field for the Alumapalooza Rally. We were the first ones in line today at 9:00AM and ended up near the end of the third row of trailers. There are flags marking out 12 rows in the field.

Everyone who arrived on Friday afternoon were placed in the first two rows. They are rewarded for their effort by having the shortest distance to walk when visiting the big tent area where all the activities will take place next week. For us the activities start on Tuesday afternoon with an hour long "First Timers Seminar" for people who have never been to Alumapalooza before.

TUESDAY - First thing this morning the Airstream trailers starting lining up at the back gate of the Airstream property. We can see it from the front bedroom windows of our campsite.

During the 3-day holiday weekend they were still bringing trailers in through the front gate, like we did, but now that all the workers are back everyone must enter through the back gate.

At 3:00PM we attended the First Timers Seminar with about 50-75 other people. We learned what to expect this week and how to get the most out of our experience at the event.

Immediately following the seminar it was time for our first Happy Hour Event where beer, wine and cheese was provided by Mark Walberg RV, yes THE Mark Walberg of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (from the early 1990s) to the acclaimed actor in movies such as The Perfect Storm, The Departed and The Fighter.

Recently in 2011, Mark and his two brothers, Donnie and Paul, open a chain of restaurants called Wahlburgers. There currently are 49 Wahlburger locations in the United States.

Apparently Mark is expanding his exposure by purchasing car dealerships and now an RV dealership in the Columbus, Ohio area.

Towards the end of the Happy Hour the COO of Airstream, Justin Humphreys, gave a presentation of what's new and exciting at the new, four times larger, Airstream trailer factory just a short distance down the road from here. The old factory, where we are staying, is now exclusively building the Airstream Vans and small Basecamp model trailers.

WEDNESDAY - This morning we found ourselves attending a workshop to learn all about TPMS (tire pressure monitoring systems) which we felt we already had a pretty firm grasp on because we've been using ours for the last three years.

After lunch Tricia attended a workshop on learning new ways to use our Instant Pot to prepare a wider variety of meals. After which we attended the ever important Happy Hour to see if we could be drawn for a door prize. The prizes include coffee mugs, T-shirts, hats, hoodies, water hoses, cast iron cookware and gift certificates to redeem at the vendor booths.

Around dinner time the volunteers fired up all the charcoal grills and invited attendees to cook their own meals and share a table under the big tent. We had a good time and believe it or not we ran into 1 of my 145 followers of this blog during dinner. It was nice to put a face to the person I have chatted with a couple of times.

After dinner we made our way back to THE POD where several people came by to ask questions about our rear hatch (which we had open) and our solar panels and equipment. This was expected due to a planned activity called Twilight Open House where most everyone strolls around checking out everyone elses setup.

THURSDAY - Tricia walked over to the activities tent this morning to attend a knitting workshop and I followed over later when the Zip Dee Awning Company put on a workshop about care and maintenance of our awnings.

After that it was time for the WBCCI (Wally Byam Caravan Club International) aka AIC (Airstream Club International) Pizza Party. They handed out a slice of pizza and chips along with a bottle of water, then about an hour later they announced that anyone could get back in line for a second helping. You bet I was up and running after that annoucement.

Next before the Happy Hour started we attended a workshop for finding and observing wildlife. It was put on by a high end binocular and spotting scope company. We picked up a few tips but most of it was just common sense stuff. What I did learn was there has been some great advancements when it comes to today's binoculars compared to the ones I bought 15 years ago. It got me to thinking maybe before we go to Alaska I might need a new pair to share with Tricia in addition to the old pair I still use today.

They usually give out ten or twelve door prizes during each Happy Hour and each prize gets better as the drawing of names continue. Today my name was drawn, but before they got to the good stuff. I won a plastic Mark Walberg RV coffee thermos and a nice little 4x6 inch hand painted picture of an Airstream and a pink flamingo, which was donated by one of the attendees we happened to be sitting across the table from.

After Happy Hour was finished they held a Gong Show where people performed on stage and as long as the audience continued to come forward and place money in a five gallon bucket they would let the act continue. Of course only one of the five acts actually was gonged, but that didn't stop the money coming in. All money collected during the event was matched by the event promoter and donated to the local food bank here in the small community of Jackson Center, OH.

After the Gong Show we once again received hamburgers and hot dogs, along with chips and a water prepared by the volunteer staff. After dinner was over there was an Open Mic Night where anyone could sign up to showcase there musical, and sometimes poetic talents, in front of the late night crowd. We stayed for several acts and then retreated to THE POD for a good nights sleep.

FRIDAY - This morning we went to a seminar explaining all about the front end separation we experienced with our trailer. It was hosted by a well known Airstream trailer restorer from western New York.

He explained how this condition eventually occurs on all Airstream trailers manufactured after 1981 and even though you have it repaired once, it is not uncommon for some to experience it again. Great, now we have that to look forward to if we travel as many miles as we have planned.

Several of today's workshops have been cancelled because they were scheduled to be hosted by some Canadian members. They are still not permitted to leave Canada due to their country's COVID restrictions, so we had a very relaxed and enjoyable time visiting the trailers of some new friends we've made this week.

At 4:00PM we went to the daily Happy Hour and once again did not win another door prize.

SATURDAY - This morning I sold the old 15" wheels and tires we removed from THE POD when we upgraded to the 16" light truck tires. I didn't get as much as I was asking for, but at the end of the day at least they ended up in the hands of someone who would put them to good use. They will have a new life somewhere in New Hampshire.

Speaking of selling some of our unused items, this morning's schedule of events includes a Swap Meet for people to put their items up for sale.

We were able to sell our original back up camera and monitor, our original charge controller for our solar setup, an unused water pressure regulator, my original weather station and a few other treasures.

Items we ended up giving away at the end of the event were six books, some about Alaska and some about State and National Parks. Some longer metal valve stems we didn't need for our new trailer tires, a large heavy piece of Pyrex cookware we never use and a few other smaller items I already can't remember.

In the end Tricia was happy, we made a couple of bucks and at the same time lightened our load, both good things! Come to think of it, I guess I was happy too!

The final Happy Hour and Grand Prize door prizes were handed out at 4:00PM and wouldn't you know it, the one follower of the TWO PEAS and THE POD blog that I met earlier this week won the Grand Prize, a $500 MAGMA Stainless Steel Tabletop BBQ Grill. I was quick to go over and congratulate him on his good fortune.

At 6:00PM everyone was treated to a catered meal of tossed salad, lasagna or chicken, rice pilaf, green beans and carrot or chocolate cake. Everything tasted homemade and very delicious, unusual for such a large event.

Our final sunset here at the Alumapalooza Rally Site.

SUNDAY - Before sunrise this morning we sit here in THE POD watching all the shiny silver trailers leaving one at a time. Our turn will come later today around noon because we only have a little over 100 miles to get to our next destination and check in is not until 5:00PM.

It gives us a chance to walk around and say one final see ya later to all our new friends. We received several invitations to visit them back at their homesites. Guess there could be some more moochdocking in our future!

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