Heel to Toe Caravan – A Moveable Feast 2010

Heel to Toe, and Away We…..Went.

An October caravan for working people, parents, grandparents and retirees.

Heel to Toe Caravan Pictures

Under cloudless skies and brilliant fall colors, the Central Indiana Unit’s ten-day caravan convened on Friday evening, October 1, and spent three nights in Madison, the “heel” of Indiana’s “boot” on the Ohio River. Monday we moved to Patoka lake, and packed up Thursday for the final three nights in the “toe” of historic New Harmony.

The Fun part was a wide variety of activities: wandering Indiana’s largest 130-block historic district in Madison, a pontoon boat ride on Patoka Lake, touring the Toyota Factory, taking in New Harmony’s architecturally award-winning Visitors Center overlooking the early 1800 Harmonist Village, and hiking in cypress swamps as far north as the confluence of the Wabash and Ohio rivers. Fellowship grew from getting to know our members who were not able to work in a full ten-day caravan. Adventure certainly was not lacking, but fortunately no unplanned “adventures” of the darker kind caught us off guard.

In order to accommodate as many members as possible, we had to do some creative recordkeeping. The caravan organization was more like three connected rallies, with each segment having a different “rally fee” and there was no overall kitty fee. This did cause a bit more paperwork but the extra effort was well worth it because many more members were able to participate. Working couples could leave the caravan after the first weekend and return for the second.
Except for the Madison segment, members had to make their own campsite reservations, allowing for maximum flexibility and less work for the planners. If plans changed participants could alter their reservations as needed.

Our experiment with a “come and go” caravan was apparently a resounding success as working couples and grandparents with family obligations dropped in and out of the mix. Some had planned to leave mid-caravan, but decided to stay until the end. In Patoka we were joined unexpectedly by a non-WBCCI member with a vintage Globetrotter who read about the caravan on the Internet and dropped in to “see what Airstreamers were like.” At first he was hesitant: “I’m already in too many clubs,” but he left with a membership packet and a promise to see us again. Our youngest members with their newly restored and polished (read: gorgeous!) 1963 Trade Wind caught up with us on the final weekend for their first CIU camping experience. Members from three different units joined the group and friends from previous caravans stopped by to touch base and make new friends. The further we traveled the more the circle of friends expanded.

This being our first “come and go” caravan we learned a lot about how to make our events as accessible to ALL our members, not just retirees with unlimited time. Ultimately, we met our goal of more fun, more fellowship and more adventure for MORE members. That is, after all, what the Wally Byam Caravanning Club International is all about.

– Carolyn Beardshear, Central Indiana Unit Secretary

Click Here to view the Heel to Toe Driver’s Manual