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Old 12-08-2022, 12:22 PM   #1
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Pink Elephant Rally in Iowa

The 2023 Pink Elephant*Rally*will be having a make-over this year! In addition to moving back to the Pike's Peak State Park near McGregor, Iowa from its home the last two years at the Volga Recreation Area, the dates for the*rally*have also changed to June 23 - 25, 2023.

Why the site change? Pike's Peak State Park campground has been undergoing renovations the last year or so and should be re-opening this coming Spring 2023. We have been monitoring their progress and it looks like the opening will probably be announced soon.

Why the date change? Mother's Day weekend has always been a bit of a problem for some people to attend in the past and it can still be pretty chilly in northeast Iowa. Also, the neat stores and shops in McGregor, Iowa, aren't open until Memorial Day, so this will provide more opportunities for having fun in the area. Finally, since renovations on the campground have run into the winter, waiting until late June will allow for the grass to grow in around the camping sites!

Reservations for the campground are taken 3 months ahead of planned dates. So, if you want to arrive on June 23, the reservation window will open on March 23. Since the campground has been closed to reservations for 2 years, it will probably be pretty heavily used this summer. Therefore, be sure to plan ahead to reserve your site and maybe even plan to arrive earlier in that week to get the site you want. I can't urge you strongly enough to get online when your date window opens so that you can find a site!

More details will be coming later this winter when we get the official news that they are accepting reservations again. Stay tuned!

Kevin and Cindy Anderson,*Rally*Organizers
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Old 12-08-2022, 12:39 PM   #2
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Northeast Iowa is very pretty country.
Rolling hills, exposed limestone cliffs, clear trout streams with stocked rainbows and natural reproduction browns and Brookies, hardwood oak/hickory climax forest and quaint riverfront and farm towns with a friendly vibe, reasonable prices and clerks with a three digit I.Q.
I’ve been visiting Pikes Peak since the 50’s. And go back several times each year. My list of personal do not miss attractions is long and varied. Good food, good beer and good friends are always my goals. Getting the tractor/loader and the snowblower ready for service this afternoon. More attractions later.

If you buy auto parts at a NAPA store, stop in and pick up a couple holiday specials and ask for a tractor or car calendar. Some of this years selections just about made me cry. I got some Grease Monkey gloves for my “boys” who are all about 40 or better but still boys to me.
Peace Out
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Old 02-28-2023, 05:38 PM   #3
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I took a few minutes today to speak with the Park Manager at Pikes Peak State park near McGregor iowa. As some may know the camping area underwent a significant upgrade in the past year.

Current news is;
1. Camping will open sometime down the road this year . No solid estimate available.
2. Job is basically finished but for a few “punch list “ items, some frost heave damage, and some spot seeding.
3. Other improvements not under the general renovation contract ( like tree planting) are all under contract as planned. Just waiting for good weather.
4. Hydroseeding was done in the late fall and upcoming good weather should see germination and eventual “grassing in”.

Conclusion: Ranger Andy said it is possible to visit the DNR website and locate the Pikes Peak renovation camping announcement list. You can submit your email address and when they make the announcement, there will be a general email blast that notifies those on the list that camping is opening up and that reservations are open for that park again.

As an aside, when in operation 75% of the campground sites in the parks are reservable and 25% are “walk in” sites. Hope you can use this information.
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Old 02-28-2023, 06:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the update. Kevin is signed on to get campground update information, but word of mouth is much better. We will try to keep people in the loop if it seems like we can go forward. SO FRUSTRATING! They have dilly-dallied with this campground for more than 2 years.



We have another issue ourselves. Our tow vehicle is hurting. We need parts for the brakes. We got a diagnosis that spelled out the issue. They said to go to a dealer, since they could get the parts quicker. So Kevin scheduled a dealer diagnosis and at least one part to be installed fairly near us starting Thursday, but the other part will be available who knows when. We are victims of the chip shortage issue, we think. We already canceled our cat sitters for the Gunter Hill rally next week, and will be canceling the rally reservations tomorrow. We await the chip gods for word on the rest of our planned spring rallies.


It kinda sucks. We had to cancel our FL trip and the Suwanee rally due to the triple C's here. We decided to stay home due to our front and back porch construction, and our presence here allowed for small changes in the porch design. Kevin was able to move cars and open the garage and basement for the construction guys each day (They stored things in our garage and used our basement bathroom.), since we were home. Staying home was best too, because, as it turns out, both of us got Covid just before Christmas when we visited the assisted living facility Mom is in in Anamosa, traveling with our daughter and grandson. It was a family get-together with selected family members. Afterwards, my sister, my uncle, Kevin and I caught Covid. I don't know why the rest avoided Covid. I was sick (and still am coughing), but Kevin had no symptoms and not even a positive antigen test, only the PCR test was positive. Anyway, I would have been sick the entire trip had we gone to FL. In addition, we had to euthanize one of the cats that we leave behind with sitters due to his cancer (We would have hated to have the sitters deal with this; likely they would not have noticed Archer's suddenly weird body shape, and he would have died a nasty death due to the cancer preventing him from breathing, had we not been home.)


Anyway, thanks for the update. I have not blasted out this rally with reminders, as we await the final conclusion(s): will Pike's Peak be open for reservation, and will our pickup be able to get us there to host?


We will keep people in the loop, as we know what is going on. We do know that they advertised for campground hosts at Pike's Peak, so fingers crossed. And a little prayer to the chip gods to get our truck fixed.



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Old 03-01-2023, 12:12 PM   #5
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Gee, As I reread this now. I can maybe at least time my new E19 pick up drive(6/28) to stop in on the way out! Who knows, maybe more move ups. Was planning on stopping in at my Brother's place in Prairie.
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Old 03-20-2023, 09:58 AM   #6
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Important Update Information from Kevin Anderson

Important Pink Elephant Rally UPDATE!

We are now at the normal opening of the window for reservations (3 months out) for state campgrounds in Iowa regarding early attendees for the Pink Elephant Rally (if you wanted to come early - June 20 - for the June 23-25 dates). However, the Pikes Peak State Park campground is NOT yet open for business or reservations. The renovation of the campground has taken far longer than anticipated, but the State is still posting on the DNR site that they are planning to open later this season. It is all very vague as to when they plan to open things up.

Therefore, do not plan to make any reservations for the rally until we let you know that the campground is again open. We are even considering whether to make it just a more informal gathering since we will probably lose attendees the longer this takes since people will move on to other camping plans. Cindy and I will alert you when we know more and provide more detailed information about the type of gathering. We may also decide to cancel for this season if the campground renovations drag on.

Just to add one more wrinkle to this mess, the town of McGregor, IA, has announced the closing of Main Street for work this summer beginning in a week or so. That means access to the town and state park will only be from Highway 18 west of McGregor. And the fun goes on!

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Old 03-20-2023, 09:59 AM   #7
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And now from Cindy Anderson

I am frankly pissed. They have dilly-dallied with this campground for 3 years. This spring, they hired camp hosts, or at least advertised for them. Then they opened up reservations with the old map, then closed them. Then they posted a new map with the full service spaces they are working on (for big rigs. Ours? LOL) but no reservations yet. I fear that they might do what they did 2 years ago when they were suggesting a renovation and then did nothing - take people first come, first served, and we can't run a rally on that.

You can tell Kevin is the diplomat in our marriage.

So, we will do our best to keep people apprised of the situation.


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Old 03-20-2023, 07:47 PM   #8
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We would love to attend so we will keep watching for updates.
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Old 03-24-2023, 05:11 AM   #9
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A step forward.* The reservation map now shows the revised campground, but no ability to reserve.

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Old 03-24-2023, 09:37 AM   #10
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Perhaps moving this event to a different campground would produce less heartburn and anxiety? Plans could be "off and running" in minutes with a new location. Iowa has many nice state parks, correct? It's just a thought.

Personally I'd like to attend, but I have reservations (and my wife has family plans) in Michigan at that time. So, I'll watch for next year's gathering.
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Old 03-24-2023, 10:26 AM   #11
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We have it in the back of our minds to go back to Volga Recreation area if this does not open up for another week. We don't want to schedule it somewhere we have not checked out, and since we have been at Volga, it is an alternative. Thanks.


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Old 04-05-2023, 01:13 PM   #12
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Rally Location change

From Kevin

Due to the fact that Pikes Peak State Park has given no indication when they may open the campground for use this season, Cindy and I are making the decision to take the Pink Elephant Rally to the Volga River Recreation Area campground for another year, June 23-25 (date change from 2022).

We have reserved site 23 again for this year. As of today, there are about 25 sites open for reservation for our dates. Please note: They have changed some of the site numbering, so check carefully if you have attended here before. Your site number may have changed. TO BE SURE OF GETTING A SITE, PLEASE ACT SOON BECAUSE SITES WILL FILL UP AS THE WEATHER GETS NICER!

The Volga River campground is located about 4 miles north of Fayette, Iowa. We will be utilizing the Lakeview Modern Campground, which has over 20 full hookup sites and a few W/E sites. Since people are getting somewhat late notice about this change, we anticipate having fewer folks able to attend, and we will scale back our rally to more of a trailer gathering. Cindy and I will provide morning coffee on Friday and Saturday mornings, we will have an optional propane-burner campfire Th-Sat evenings, and we will host an evening meal eat-n-greet Saturday evening, weather permitting, at our site. We will not be reserving the park picnic shelter this year.

If you plan to attend, please reserve SOON and post your site # in this thread.

https://iowastateparks.reserveameric...&parkId=610134
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Old 04-05-2023, 02:38 PM   #13
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One, The link doesn't seem to work....for me. I will most likely just be cruising in just with TV, on the way out to pick up new E19(6/28). NC to Sumas. I was planning on stopping in at my Brother's in Prairie du Chien on the way out. Plus on the way back. As he is going to be helping to put the Houghton AC unit that gets shipped to his house on the new E19. We have driven up to Pikes Peak State Park, just to walk around, & take in the view off the bluff.The last time was the High water year, where "They" never let the river go down. What a mess, when all the dead trees start falling down & floating down river to the Locks......


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Old 04-05-2023, 05:47 PM   #14
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https://iowastateparks.reserveameric...&parkId=610134

I think that the forum truncated the link. Try the above. Works for me.

And we did not consider a WI park like Wyalussing, because we heard that you have to pay WI state park fees plus the campground fee. We heard people complain about this in year 1.



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Old 04-05-2023, 06:12 PM   #15
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That one works.
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Old 04-05-2023, 07:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasing Trials View Post
That one works.
. Yay! Volga is not that far from other places in NE IA and a nice place to camp. We lived 15 years in Elkader, with Volga in our school district. And we shopped and ate out in Prairie Du Chien.


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Old 04-30-2023, 03:26 PM   #17
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Hoping to attend

We just booked Site 27 at Volga. It's optimistic that we will be able to make it, as we might still be a bit north at that time. We will be on a big round trip, so it's hard to know at this time exactly where we will be. Hoping to make it.
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Old 04-30-2023, 05:38 PM   #18
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We just brooked site 16, arriving on Thur
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Old 04-30-2023, 07:01 PM   #19
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Welcome to everyone! Now we just need to hope for the weather to actually become summer-like by later June. More details will follow as we get closer to the date.
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Old 05-20-2023, 09:11 PM   #20
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If someone is keeping track of sites...just wanted you to know we had to cancel site 27. Turns out our summer trip won't put us near there at rally time. Dang. Y'all have fun!
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