September 11, 2011

Dear BMW Friends;

There have been some stories circulating in the BMW touring community about the destruction of the Return to Shiloh Rally site and the subsequent loss of this rally to the BMW world.

I am here to tell you that, like the reports of Mark Twain‘«÷s death, these reports have been greatly exaggerated.

In fact, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is upgrading all of their recreational areas in order to improve access and comply with the Americans with Disability (ADA) Accessibility Standards. This spring, construction began at the Pickwick TVA Campground, upgrading the primary primitive section with electricity/water, installing five ADA-compliant campsites, and upgrading/enlarging that section‘«÷s bathhouse.

As part of the new construction, many of the pine trees that were the hallmark of this campground had to be removed. During this planned removal, it was discovered that many other trees were infected with pine borers and these were also removed, resulting in a loss of about 60% of the pine trees in the former primitive area. It does really open the area up, but reduces the deep woods feel a lot.

The construction area, known to TVA as Loop 3, will be closed until March, 2012. This required the RAMS and TVA to come up with an alternative solution for our camping needs this year. Like most large corporations, TVA has moved decision-making away from the local level to the regional offices, and this process works very slowly. What appeared to us to be a simple solution took about three months to percolate through their system to reach consensus. As Mr. Subjective says ‘«£Potius sero quam nunquam.‘«ō - or, better late than never.

This solution is to allow us to use the area directly east of the old area. This area, known to TVA as Loop 2, is already set up for RV use (water and electricity) but will also prove adequate for our use this year. The grassy primitive camping sites south of the main campground, between Wharf Road and the river, have remained untouched and will also be available.

Since the bathhouse in Loop 3 is unavailable, we have added additional porta-potties and have made arrangements to utilize shower facilities at The Botel and at the Hardin County High School. Please check with Rally Registration for details on accessing these locations.

Rally Central (registration, seminars, band, food, etc.) will be in the same location as last year. Look for the big tent with the welcome signs. This year we are asking that everyone stop by registration prior to setting up camp as we can answer any questions that you or your group may have.

This year The Historic Botel has reopened under new management and has a small but nice convenience store that will have ice, beer, sodas, and some limited camping supplies. They will also have sausage and biscuits for sale for early risers.

As part of their renovation, The Botel will be offering Dinner on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and will be serving lunch beginning at 1100 on Friday and Saturday. As part of their welcome to the Return to Shiloh Rally attendees The Botel will be offering $2.00 draft beer (with rally wrist band) at their deck bar on Friday and Saturday.

We will have a large community fire pit in the field immediately behind Rally Central and you are also welcome to camp in this area if you desire. We will be doing a fire on Friday after the Bar-B-Q and on Saturday night. All of the usual Return to Shiloh activities and amenities will continue this year. Also, the BMWMOA Safety Simulator will be present to play with between the seminars.

Please help us get out the word to your club members. We look forward to seeing you again September 30 ‘«Ű October 2 at the 37th Return to Shiloh Rally, ‘«£The Best Rally by a Dam Site‘«ō.

Spencer Bennett
RTS 2011 Rally Chair