As we continued north, our next planned stop was the Winnebago Grand National Rally held on the property of the Winnebago factory in Forest City, Iowa. This was to be our fourth time at the rally in the last ten years. As we traveled north, we decided to find a spot to spend one night to break the drive into two days. We continue to try and travel without making reservations for most of our stops. We like this method, as it gives of lots of flexibility. Sometimes this means working hard at the end of the drive to find a place to stay.
As we headed north, we were thinking about staying one night in the Hannibal, MO area, where we have spent time before. With the wonders of the cell phone, Anneke found a city park north of Hannibal in the town of Canton, MO. It was right on the Mississippi River. She called and was told that there would be no problem finding a spot on a weekday. Indeed when we arrived, there was only one other RV on site. Full hookups for $20 and a great view of the river next to an ACOE lock and dam. Depending on your point of view, there were two possible drawbacks. First, there is a railroad track right behind the camping area. I mean right behind! Next, it seems that entertainment in town was limited. So we had a fair amount of townies driving by to see the river and who was camped there. In our case, neither bothered us and we enjoyed our time there. A nice overnight spot near the interstate.
We arrived in Forest City during the pre-rally period to enjoy the local celebration called Puckerbrush. There is food and entertainment downtown and the heritage park next to the rally grounds is open with exhibits of Iowa farming equipment and history of the area. The finale of the celebration is the parade down main street with most of the town in the parade or watching.
The rally has seminars on all facets of RVing and displays of the latest in Winnebago products. If you have a problem with any of your equipment, many of the manufacturers are on hand to answer questions and provide service on their products. There was entertainment all day everyday plus nighttime entertainment on the big stage for three nights. We have been to many rallies and Winnebago does a great job with the entertainment.
One of the favorite events is the annual car parade. Everyone turns out for this.
The best part for us is getting to visit with people that we have met over the years at rallies, caravans and along the road. When you mingle with over a thousand Winnebago owners, it is amazing how many people you meet here that you have crossed paths with . We parked in the View/Navion row and had a great time meeting with fellow owners of our style rig.