Vintage Fiberglass Rally
This was a wonderful rally with an unexpected side. The rally was located in Cornwall in a marvelously situated campground just outside the provincial capital city of Charlottetown. Charlottetown though it only has a population of 30,000 or so is a charming city. As the capital it is a center of shopping, culture, finance, ….. As a result it has much more than you would attribute to a small city.
For those that haven't been here, Prince Edward Island bills itself as the gentle island, and that it is. It's about half the size of Connecticut, 2500 square miles with a population of 142,000. Definitely a province of farms, fisherman and happily visited by tourists. Shockingly the ocean water, particularly on the south side of the island is a lot warmer than anything found in New England. Just driving about offers a level of relaxation, your eyes stretching over the long green views of farms, mostly potato and almost continuous water views. No one in PEI lives more than 10 miles from the water.
The Rally was held in the town of Cornwall situated just outside Charlottetown. Interestingly the town was only incorporated in 1995. The campground is situated on an enormous plot of ground, laid out almost like 3 separate campgrounds, with all our sites near the marvelous bay that stretches at the base of the campground.
The rally was well attended, particularly considering the population of the area. There were 42 rigs, dominated by classic Bolars manufactured in the 70's, most in outstanding condition, most customized to the taste of the owner. Color abounds, next to us was a lime green Trillium
, beside him a bright yellow Trillium
, fully accessorized in yellow. Across from them a brilliant blue and gray Bolar and across from us a two tone green and gray Bolar with a matching green and gray 1951 Monarch (Mercury in the states). Interestingly the Monarch produces 112 horsepower and weighs 3400 pounds; the same weight
as our Honda dry with about 50 less horsepower. The older rig's colorful paint
jobs made the white, newer Scamp
, Escapes and Eggcamper
look nearly naked.
Certainly the rally is a testimony to the longevity of fiberglass rigs. Though Bolars dominated there was a wide variety of campers including our Scamp
, a Casita
, an Eggcamper
, 3 Escapes, a number of Trillims and a host of other units. Three families traveled from the States to attend.
As is a tradition at these rallies, a fantastic Open 'Shine and Show' was held, providing opportunity for witnessing clever use of small space, generating a new list of projects for our Scamp
and an opportunity to get a broader view the fiberglass world. On Saturday night we held the traditional huge potluck followed by musical entertainment.
The host and all the attendees were as warm and friendly, truly an embracing environment.
We arrived early on the island, the Sunday before the rally, giving us 5 days to tour about. We managed to cover a good part of the central and western sections of the island, though definitely not long enough to see it all. A good month would be required to feel one had seen PEI.
For the women on the site, we happened by an operating woolen mill where they processed raw wool into yarn and from there to blankets. Marvelously they let you walk, unguided, among the machines. Watching raw wool being carded and turned into yarn and from there woven into blankets. Now where does this happen? Though we're not knitters, or felters or rug hookers, the vst array of colors, the many beautiful (fairly priced items made by the mill and many locals) were beautiful. The prices were very fair with woolen skeins of yarn selling for as little as $2.50 and trailer bed size woolen blankets for $30. Places like the woolen mill that you simply bump into make Rving so very special.
Most interesting Chantelle(sp), the wife of Parris, the rally leader, had four beautiful purses for sale
, titled Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall
at the Wollen mill. The smallness of the world is wonderful.. Before the Rally we met an RV couple from Hawaii while we were camped in a Linkletter Provincial Park near Summerside PEI. Today we were food shopping in Calais, ME and we see them shopping on their way to Acadia National Park.
Next years rally is going to be held a little closer to the states in St. Martins, New Brunswick, an opportunity for more FRV members to share our common Fiberglass Heritage, not to mention the great seafood in the Maritime provinces of Canada, or the chance to visit New Brunswick's Hopewell Rocks and observe the amazing tides.
Unfortunately I don't have access to my pictures but will post a few in the next day or two. The rally master plans to put a series out on Facebook as well.
Safe Travels from Northern Maine,
Norm and Ginny