After Dragoncon we spent a week and a half in Augusta Georgia. It wasn’t on our list of places to visit, but it was a good halfway point (give or take) on our way to Myrtle Beach, which we were headed to for our first RV Rally.
I’m both embarrassed and pleased to report that we did very little of interest while in Augusta! As introverts, we decided to have some “downtime” for ourselves after the non-stop swarm of crowds at Dragoncon. Most of our time was spent reading, movie-watching, stitching (Kathie), and coding (Mike), in addition of course to the usual necessities like house cleaning, grocery shopping, and entertaining the dogs. We finally made it out to see Guardians of the Galaxy, which we both thoroughly enjoyed.
We did manage to escape our cocoon of comfort twice, both times to visit the Augusta Canal. The canal runs alongside the Savannah River, and the tow path between the two is great for walking and biking, so we tried both. During our bike ride we made it into downtown Augusta, but pretty quickly gave up and headed back down the river since the traffic and roads in Augusta did not seem particularly bike friendly. We also took Opie for a nice long walk along the tow path, with a couple stops for him to get wet and cool off in the Savannah River. During our dog walk we were lucky to spot an otter swimming around in the canal posing for photos! Here’s a short video of him:
After Augusta we spent six days at Myrtle Beach for the iRV2.com Rally. We made our reservations way back in March before we’d even picked up Rover. An RV Rally is a get-together of RVers with something in common—in this case, members of an internet RV discussion forum. Over 150 RVs (over 300 people) showed up for the rally, and there were group dinners, educational seminars, contests, and more. We got to meet quite a few other RVers, including the couple who sent us photos of Rover right after he was painted at the factory in March!
The rally was held at one of the largest RV Resorts in the U.S., right along the beach. Since it was a dog-friendly beach, Opie and Max got to experience the ocean for the first time. The first few days, Max would walk in a bit, then briefly try to drink the water before realizing it was salt water. By the time we were leaving, he had finally figured it out and stopped trying to drink it. Opie loves water in general, and definitely loved the ocean! Every day during his walks he’d practically drag us towards the beach to go swimming. He got to swim almost every day, and I think he’s going to miss it now that we’re gone:
We did use the rally to finally get our 5 star Tuning engine computer reprogramming done. This should give us improved engine power and shifting, which should result in a quieter ride and better fuel economy. We’re anxious to feel the difference in driving and in MPG. We also finally surrendered and declared a defeat with our RV mattress. We’ve been unhappy with the mattress that came with Rover almost from the beginning—it was way too soft and we could feel the springs in the mattress when we moved around. We did some research and decided on a Sleep Number RV bed. Camping World had one in stock just a few miles from Ocean Lakes, so we picked it up and installed it ourselves. We hope this will mark a vast improvement in our sleeping moving forward. We also took advantage of a group discount at the Rally to get Rover professionally washed and waxed, so he’s looking shiny and like-new again.
While the Rally was interesting and the beach resort was very nice, we’re not really sure if we fit in well with the rest of the folks at the Rally. Much of the group was retired military and retired truckers. Those we met were extremely friendly and fun but we just didn’t have a lot in common to keep us talking. It was a nice diversion from our usual isolation, and we learned some interesting information. It’s not something I think we would do regularly but it was fun to experience it at least once.