Winnebago Rally

Over 1,600 Winnebago/Itasca owners descended on the small town of Forest City, Iowa for the 2015 Winnebago Grand National Rally (GNR). They came from all over the U.S. and Canada, and one intrepid couple came from New Zealand.

The event was a fun-filled and informative time. There were a ton of education seminars. We held one for Take Shape for Life to teach people about healthy living.

winnebago-factory-tourOne of the highlights for us was taking a tour of the Winnebago factory. It was huge. In fact, that’s an understatement. Unfortunately they would not allow pictures, although here’s one taken by one of the Winnebago representatives. We watched as different models were being built, from the ground up. Very interesting.

Each night was a different theme, with entertainment and tons of fun.

On Tuesday night, we were treated to a performance by Tonic Sol-fa – one of the most in-demand vocal groups in the Midwest. They have been named one of the top five “must see” groups in America, and their show did not disappoint.

Other groups included Malek’s Fisherman Band, New Odyssey and the #1 Beatles Tribute Band, American English.

Overall, this was a top-notch event and one we will attend again in the future.

Surf Ballroom

Surf Ballroom, Clearlake, ILWhen we left Forest City, we stumbled upon the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. This is “the” place for bands to play – it seems like everyone in music has played here. Big band greats, country legends and rock and roll icons. Very cool place.

Sadly, it is most famous for a tragedy that struck the American music scene. The Surf Ballroom was the last venue played by Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper before their tragic plane crash just a few miles from Clear Lake.

There is a wonderful museum inside with fitting tributes to the artists lost that fateful night.

Some interesting history. Country music legend Waylon Jennings was supposed to be on the flight, but he gave up his seat to the Big Bopper who was sick with the flu.

Riverside, Iowa

james t kirk banner in riverside iowaIn the sleepy town of Riverside, Iowa, tucked away behind a beauty shop, is a little monument marking the future birthplace of none other than James T. Kirk, future Captain of the Starship Enterprise.

Neat little claim to fame for this small town.

Future Birthplace of James T Kirk

It really is fun to find these little gems as we travel around the country.
We spent a bit of time in Council Bluffs, Iowa and Grand Island Nebraska before heading back to South Dakota to take care of some business.

Boy, were we in for a treat…