2023 Western Regional Rally Recap


The 2023 Western Regional Rally is now in the archives. Sally and I had a blast and we sincerely hope the other attendees did as well. Before recapping this rally, I feel compelled to tell a little story about how we got to this point. The very first SOITC rally that Sally and I attended, right after we purchased our Houston, was the Moab Western Regional Rally in 2019. It was organized and hosted by then Western Regional Director, Bill Schripsema. We were hooked! We made so many new friends and had such a great time that we knew we wanted to continue to be a part of this family of DRV owners. As far as we are concerned, that rally set the gold standard, and we just want to keep working to get to that level.

A year and a half ago, at the Fort Collins International Rally, Bill approached me and Sally about taking on the Western Regional role. His term was coming to an end. We were not initially inclined to take this on as I had just joined Sally in retirement and it sounded like a lot of responsibility and work that we were hoping to be leaving behind in our “golden years”. But lots of folks stepped forward and offered to provide support, memory, guidance and direction. The rest is history.

I don’t want to compare our first rally as the Western Regional Director team to that one of Bill’s that got us hooked, but from the comments and reactions of the attendees, I think we did ok.

We know lots of DRV owners, and particularly SOITC members, have spent time with their rigs in Utah. Visiting the “Magnificent Five” national parks is on almost everyone’s bucket list and with good reason. But there is another Utah, not composed of barren, eroded red rocks and canyons and striking ancient geologic features. Much like our home state of Colorado, Utah has much more to see and many of our RV friends never really get to see it. That is part of what brought us to Heber City, Utah and the Mountain Valley RV Resort. Northeastern Utah is spectacular in totally different ways and our rally attendees, most of whom had not visited this area before, just kept saying that over and over. Another reason was that we wanted to give our rally goers a first class venue, and our park was voted the #1 Best Luxury RV Resort in the country by USA Today subscribers two years earlier.

With the Wasatch Mountain Range and the Heber Valley all around us and Park City nearby, there was almost too much to see and do in a week. But we all tried. From check-in and registration on Sunday afternoon through the rest of the week, everyone kept busy, but with appropriate downtime to relax and recharge.

The week started with the need to “play Tetris” with our itinerary, as the weather gods were not cooperating at the beginning. Happily, they more than made up for it with spectacular, blue-sky weather for most of the week. We began with a meet-and-greet, followed by progressive cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at various rigs. Each morning began with a group breakfast in the clubhouse and an opportunity for all to discuss, plan and share plans for the day.

In addition to plenty of free time for all to explore the area, a number of scheduled activities were included. These included an artisan cheese tasting at a local dairy farm turned gourmet cheese producer. Based on how much cheese our group purchased after the tasting, I would say this was a big hit, and we all learned a lot about cheese making/tasting in the process.

One afternoon included an absolutely wonderful ATV trail ride in Wasatch State Park with vistas and views we just can’t describe. (Look at the photos.) Another day we divided up for a horseback trail ride, or for the less adventurous, a Clydesdale pulled wagon ride. Both groups came away with big smiles and stories to tell. Another group decided on a whisky tasting and distillery tour and also came away with smiles.

One of the highlights of the week was a group train ride on the historic Heber Valley Railway. It allowed us to see a lot of the countryside and provided a great opportunity for the group to get together for an outing.

And boy, did we eat well! In addition to a combination of hot and continental breakfasts every morning, we all went to dinner at a fabulous local restaurant, the Back 40 Ranch House Grill, one evening. We did the always fun potluck another evening and we enjoyed a great catered dinner, compliments of the local DRV dealer, Parris RV, one evening. And then, of course, it wouldn’t be an SOITC rally, without Hank’s Franks on our last evening together.

In between all these activities, we found time for a very fun silent auction and drawings for free door prizes. Almost every night was capped off with a group around one of the park supplied fire rings or ones we set up at our host site.

Sally and I are already well into planning for our next Western regional rally and we cannot wait to get this group, as well as plenty of new friends, together again.

Steve Stoffel

Western Regional Director