Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Spring Rally at Camp Hatteras

The Dogwood Spring Rally will be held the week end of April 13, 14 & 15 at Camp Hatteras RV Resort, 24798 Highway 12, Rodanthe, NC.  Hosts for the rally are Nancy & Paul Cummings and Susan & Jim Buelow.   Click here to view Paul's rally video. 

Campground Reservations: Call the campground at (252) 987-2777 to make your own reservations. Be sure to tell them you are with the Dogwoods. They honor Good Sam, FMCA, KOA and active or retired military. Plus you will be getting a special rate. Check-in time is 1:00 PM.  Click here to link to the campground's web site.

Directions: Camp Hatteras is located on Hatteras Island ½ mile south of mile marker 40. Driving east on US-64 follow the signs for Cape Hatteras National Sea Shore and take a right onto NC-12. Traveling south on NC-158 at mile marker 17 follow signs to Cape Hatteras National Sea Shore and take a left onto NC-12.

Rally Schedule:
Friday Night – Dinner will be provided. Bring your favorite snack for Happy Hour at 5:00 PM and dinner will be at 6:00 PM.
Saturday AM – Breakfast provided at 9:00 AM with business meeting shortly after. Coffee and Juice will also be included.
Saturday Night – Bring your favorite snack for Happy Hour at 5:00 PM. Then we will travel a short distance to a great seafood restaurant, The Good Winds, for dinner at 6:30 PM. You may choose anything from the menu and they have a full service bar  (Note:  you are responsible for paying for your own food & beverage).  Click here to link to the restaurant's web site, however, your hosts were told the menu will change and more selections by April.   The view of the sound is beautiful and we will also be able to view wind and kite surfing, as well as, the awesome sunset while dining. Then after dinner we will travel back to the recreation center for dessert.
Sunday AM - Pastries and left overs will be available at 9:00 AM before departure.

The rally cost per person is $15.00 and does not include Saturday night dinner at the restaurant. Please bring your own eating utensils, plates and beverages.

Deadline for reservations at camp ground and rally fees is March 17, 2012. We will need to know if you plan to go to dinner at the restaurant so we can make reservations ahead of time.

Attendees (as of April 2):  Reid, Vreeland, Schoolar, Duff, Buelow, Cummings, Luxton, Sohles, Gruel, Greenfield, Vern Davis, Anderson.  

Reservation Form
Names _____________________________________________
Amount Enclosed ($15/person) ___________________________
Restaurant Reservations for how many people: _______________ 
Send check (payable to Nancy Cummings) and form to: Nancy Cummings, #4 Pitman Circle, Newport News, VA 23602

President's Message

Greetings Dogwooders,

Best wishes for good times in your 2012 travels.  It's that time of the year when many of us hit the road looking for better weather than we typically have at home during the winter months.  Carolyn and I are in Florida.  The sun is shining, temperatures are in the mid 70's, I'm sitting outside enjoying the fresh air.   I considered reading but instead, I have my computer on my lap, my head phones on and iTunes open listening to music.  It doesn't get much better than this.  I have a rather extensive iTunes library of nearly 20K songs and often find it fun to choose a theme for listening.  Today I'm thinking about travels so decided to search for music to match.  A search for travel in my music library turns up 53 songs, many of which conjure up memories of the past.  For example, the lyrics of "As We Travel Along On The Jericho Road" by Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded Dec 4, 1956   leads me to question whether I should have carried a heavier load through life.  Have I made the contribution that I could have?  It also brings back memories of my favorite song from the 1950's, Jerry Lee Lewis' "You Win Again".  I tortured my poor mother with this song by playing it over and over and over again on my 45 record player.  I wonder if anyone else did things like this?  To see if anyone reads this, I'm offering a special prize to the first Dogwood member to identify the song on the flip side of the Jarry Lee Lewis record. Hint:  The record was a huge hit and the prize is guaranteed to be something that will be cherished.  Back to the songs, another one that caught my eye was "traveling without Deodorant" but I think I won't go there!

Again, best wishes for the new year and Travel Safe.  We'll see you on the outer banks in the spring if not before.

Highlights from the Christmas Rally

21 coaches gathered at the Outdoor World Campground in Williamsburg the weekend of December 2 for the Christmas rally.  Special thanks to the hosts:  Donna & Carl Gruel, Pat & Clint Allen, Joyce & Dennis Reid and Sue & Steve Sohles.  Click here to view photos from the weekend.

It was good to have new members, Marna Seal and Mike & Suzanne Greenfield, join us for their first Dogwood rally as well as guests Michael & Mary Beth Meyer who joined Dogwood later in the weekend.  It was also good to have former members Tom & Marilyn Nolte join us for dinner Saturday night.

Our hosts really out did them selves.  Home cooked food, custom made cake platters adorned with cookies (which were later given away as door prizes) and white linen tablecloths.  The rally officially kicked off Friday with happy hour followed by a chili / beef stew dinner.  Santa and his elf (aka Donald Warthan and Sue Sohles) made a visit and delivered a goodie bag to each attendee.  Afterwards we enjoyed music provided by Donald Warthan and new member Marna Seal.

Saturday the group gathered for a hot breakfast including eggs, pancakes and home made sweet breads.  In the afternoon the men gathered for a GPS discussion (see Paul's article) while the women went outlet shopping.

Saturday evening we enjoyed a turkey and ham holiday dinner which was followed by our traditional Yankee gift swap.  Thanks to Donna Gruel, our entertaining emcee.  This year's event had a different twist as everyone brought "regifts".  There were a lot of chuckles and some stealing of gifts, but when the Greenwoods, with lucky #1, were given the option to choose any gift, they opted to keep the one they originally selected as there were not any others that they thought were any better!

We decided that the Williamsburg location definitely attracts a larger group and we will look into coming back next year.

Highlights from Virginia International Raceway

Some of Dogwood's  car lovers gathered at the Virginia International Raceway for the  historic races and the car show for historic road driven cars. This 31 Ford and 50's era Jaguar were among the many cars at the show.  Click here to view other photo section of eNews.

Dinner at the Oak Tree Tavern on Friday night was a special treat where we enjoyed great food, drink and camaraderie.  Saturday morning was cool and sunny.  A hot outdoor breakfast was a great way to start a full day of racing that started early and ended late.  Happy hour provided the opportunity to kick back and relax to prepare for the BBQ dinner and all the fixings.  Special thanks to the Misty Mountain hosts who provided the pork that became our BBQ dinner.  

This Camero was the class winner

Racing started again early on Sunday and continued until late afternoon.  One of the really neat things about this event and others at VIR is the open paddock where there's an opportunity to meet and talk with car owners, crew and drivers who ar all passionate about the sport of auto racing.  There are many photos included in the photo section.

As a side note,  Bobby Dyke has now purchased a 1970's era Corvette that's prepared for drag racing with a built engine, roll cage, powerglide etc.  We are all anxious to see him on the track turning the quarter in the 10's. 

Highlights from the Urbanna Rally

While the car lovers were at VIR, the oyster lovers gathered at Ed Fisher's garage for the Urbanna Oyster Festival.  Host Berkley Alexander stated that Richard Bonewitz summed up the weekend as “the quality of the oyster dishes was only exceeded by the camaraderie of our Dogwood friends”. 

Spring Rally at Hatteras Island Campground

by Paul Cummings

Plans for the Dogwood Spring Rally 2012 have been set for April 13, 14 and 15, 2012 at Camp Hatteras Campground.  

Snow Bird travel plans seem to coincide with the Tax deadline.  We will be on the Sound side with coaches parked looking out over the Sound (limited number). See Sunset photo. A special rate has been extended for $48 per night over the $65 normal rate. Dogwood members can extend up to six days at that rate.   

Phone reservations must be made by March 15, 2012 by calling (252)987-2777.  Make sure you tell them you are with Dogwood to get the reduces rate. Nature Preserve Pee Island and Hatteras Lighthouse are among the sightseeing sights. See photos. The hosts, Paul and Nancy Cummings and Jim and Susan Buelow will provide more information in the next newsletter, including the rally fee and itinerary for the fun filled Spring Rally 2012. Mark your calendar and call Camp Hatteras Campground.  

2012 Rally Schedule

Click here to link to the 2012 Rally Schedule.

Member Updates

Welcome new Dogwood members:  Michael & Mary Beth Meyer and Ron & Donna Foore.  Dogwood currently has 55 members.

Don & Audrey King, charter Dogwood members, sent a note that their RV days are very reluctantly coming to an end.  They said they have many enjoyable memories of Dogwood even though they were not able to fully participate in recent years.  

Former members Tom & Marilyn Nolte had a fire which destroyed their motor home.  It appears that the refrigerator caught fire.  Fortunately the motor home was in storage at the time of the fire and no one was injured.  


If you would like to incorporate some folk music into your travels, check out this web site for the Shenandoah Music Trail.  Marna Seal's nephew, Dr. Don Depoy is heading up the project.  

Now that winter has arrived, many members will be traveling to warmer climates.  You never know who you will run into.  Last year Mann and I were shopping at Camping World in Tampa when we ran into Kenneth Wyatt.  This year we ran into new member Mary Beth Meyer at the Thousand Trails in Orlando.  It is always fun to meet up with fellow members, so send in your travel plans and we will post them here.  

Business Reports

A business meeting was held December 3.  Click here to view the secretary's and treasurer's reports.

The updated standing rules and expense report are now available in the reference section of the web site.  

Nominating Committee Update

by Paul Cummings

Dogwood members interested in taking on a leadership role in the Dogwood Chapter are invited to submit their name to the Nominating Committee by email to pcummings6@verizon.net, Barbara Greenwood, or Pat Allen. During the next two months we want ALL members to consider serving in one of the open positions, President, VP for Membership, Treasurer or Secretary. The only requirements are to serve the chapter for two years and attend as many of the chapter rallies as possible.

The nominating committee will submit a slate for the offices and publish it in the newsletter by October 1, 2012. Elections will be done by email vote which requires at least 25% of the members voting. More information will be printed in the newsletter.

GPS Seminar

by Paul Cummings

Saturday afternoon at the December Dogwood Rally nine members shared their GPS stories and products each used on the road. Two members are just starting to use GPS for navigation and one is looking to purchase a GPS. The level and variety of GPS’s was interesting. Members had different goals for using GPS including routing to avoid tolls, low bridges and of course not getting lost. Stories of dead end roads and gravel roads on a Louisiana Delta helped the new users to understand there are more reasons for using a GPS.

Carl uses a plug in GPS to his laptop and the software from Trailer Life, Richard uses similar a GPS and Co Pilot software (trucker type). Others use a stick-on mounted GPS (all in one) without a Laptop. David just purchased his first GPS and was wise enough not to follow all the directions included. Streets and Trips, Magellan, ON Star, Garmin, Tom Tom and DeLorme rounded out the list. All seemed happy with their product and features. Dennis and I will continue our interest in finding a Stick-on GPS we can down load routes created by mapping software. Running both a GPS and a Lap top may cause conflict in the cockpit of the RV. Some members have the advantage of a co- pilot who navigates while the driver makes the turn.

Recommendations for others:

  • Purchase lifetime maps with the device.
  • Research both mapping software and GPS models that accepts route files, mps or .gpx
  • Update your stick-on GPS device with the latest software version. They have made improvements to navigation and what’s coming up at the next exit.

Richard gave us a tour of his high tech system. GPS aside, how about your web site that shows your location and a view of the coach and road. We had lots of fun learning from one another and plan to do the same next year at Dogwood’s Christmas rally.

Alaska 2013

by Richard Bonewitz

2013 It’s “ North to Alaska” The plan is to leave in early June and return in late Aug. So far we have six Dogwooders who are interested. We will spend the next 18 plus months researching and planning the trip. I already have my 2011 “ Milepost” publication [purchased on Amazon] that is loaded with great info and maps for the trip. We will be sharing our plans at future Dogwood outings and will be looking for inputs and ideas to help make this a fantastic trip. Elle and I have been thinking about this trip ever since we purchased our RV in 2007. Well at least I have been thinking about it. After looking at the cost of joining a caravan we figured that with all the talent in Dogwood we could put together a very safe professional trip. We certainly have plenty of time to plan and save for the trip. The distance to Anchorage is about 4000 miles, so at approximately $4.00/gal, well you get an idea of what we’ll need to save. I know it’s early, but if you have any input please contact me www.rwitz@aol.com 


Submitted by:  Donna Gruel;  From: Channing Huhn

4 oz. cooked chicken
1 cup mayo
2 cloves garlic
1 up pecans
1 cup walnuts
2 T minced (fresh) ginger
1 T soy sauce
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t Wine Vinegar
½ cup minced green onions

In food processor chop nuts and remove.

Process garlic, chicken, then the rest of ingredient. Adding green onions and nuts last.

There are many ways to cook chicken but the following are two of my favorites when you want to use the chicken for salad, pate, or “whatever”

  1. On a bed of quartered onions, carrot pieces and chunks of celery, bake chicken breasts, with the skin on until the juices not longer run pink….usually 45 minutes. To 1 hour. Cool and remove skin. (I make this chicken for dinner the night before, making sure I have enough extra for my recipe. This gives you the most juicy and tender chicken of the two recipes.)
  2. Poach boneless, skinless breasts in apple juice….delicious

Either way will work for the pate! ENJOY!

submitted by Donna Guel:

1 can Artichoke Hearts ¾ cup Mayo
1 cup Parmesan Cheese 1/8 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper

Mash Artichoke hearts ((I use the Cuisinart), add remaining ingredients and mix. You can garnish with paprika and parsley sprigs (or not).

Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes or until bubbly,

Best Cornbread Ever  (Very low fat)
submitted by Donna Gruel:

Mix together:
1 cup enriched flour
3 t baking powder
½ t salt
½ cup sugar (I use ¼ cup Splenda, or less)

Stir in:
½ cup yellow corn meal
1 egg beaten
1 cup milk
1 T melted shortening

Bake in shallow greased 8-inch pan at 400ยบ for about 20 minutes.

Best-Ever Chili
submitted by Dennis Reid; By popular demand, I am forwarding the recipe for the chili that we served at the Christmas Rally.  The recipe was from a 1977 cookbook that was compiled by the great cooks of Warwick Memorial Methodist Church in Newport News, VA.  This is the same church that Joyce and I attended, and were married in 1969.  Ironically, Paul and Nancy Cummings attend this same church today.  It is a small world after all.

2  lbs. ground chuck (I prefer 80/20)
1  cup chopped onion
1  cup chopped green pepper
1  15 oz. can of kidney beans (2 cups)
1  15 oz. can of black beans (2 cups)
2 16 oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes (4 cups)
1  6 oz. can of tomato paste
2  tablespoons chili powder (depending on taste)
2  tablespoons salt (depending on taste)

In an iron skillet (I just use a pot), cook the ground chuck, onions and green pepper until the meat is brown and the vegetables are tender.  Add beans and remaining ingredients, and cook approximately 1 1/2 hours on range top.  Shredded cheese, hot sauce and sour cream are optional if desired.  Serves 8 people.

For larger quantities, just make the ingredients proportional.  The chili that we served had 5 lbs. of ground chuck for example.  I think soups and chili's are always better after they have set overnight and been re-heated.