Tin Can Tourists’ 2014 Chautauqua Rally in DeFuniak Springs FL

Tin Can Tourists’ 2014 Chautauqua Rally

January 24th 2014

DeFuniak Springs, FL

Up bright and early this morning before my alarm went off thanks to the 5:00 am Train passing right behind my trailer! But I needed to get up early anyway to get the coffee started for everyone as it is very cold this morning, a mere 27 degrees with all the fountains outside frozen solid! Seems like it may be a very cold day which was expected as the weather forecast always had this Friday as the coldest day, but the exact temperature forecast has been changing every hour. This morning is states we should get up to about 45 degrees but with it so cold this morning we can only hope it does.

By about 7:00 am we all walked down the block to the Historical Episcopal Church where they were cooking breakfast for a $5 donation. The Church is an awesome building built not long after the civil war in the 1870’s. Breakfast was great not to mention being inside a heated building for a meal! Sitting around with all the other members (new and old) was a great time as well.

After Breakfast we all made our way back to our trailers to see if there would be any visitors to take tours of our trailers. It was still quite cold and did not seem to be warming up like the forecast said it would. By 11:00 am it was still 35 degrees and a wind chill factor of 24 degrees.  Thankfully we had our trailers we could step into and warm up a bit, but all the Indians, Civil War reenactor and the cowboys were all stuck out in the open with nowhere to get out of the cold except their small historical tents, which the Civil War reenactor are sleeping in every night!!!!

Throughout the day it was very slow, but that can be expected since today is a work day and the weather is so cold and miserable. There still were quite a few people passing through that were very interested in the trailers and would even knock on the door if we were inside warming up wanting to come in a see the insides of the trailers. It also gave us plenty of time to walk around the see all the other members’ trailers too.

Later on things really slowed down and many of the other exhibits closed down early as the weather was just not getting better. Our high today only reached 38 degrees and even lower for the wind chill. We started up our camp fire and sat around that to try and stay warm. Wasn’t long before we started to hear from others and from weather warnings on our phones that it was snowing about 60 miles to our west and sleeting about just a few miles to our north, south, and west.  About an hour later we finally started to get freezing rain and sleet mixture. Just what we needed to top off this miserable day, however I think we broke a TCT Rally for the Coldest Rally in FL and the only Rally to have Sleet and Freezing Rain.

At 6pm everyone gathered around my trailer for a pizza dinner. Finally the wind had stopped blowing and it did feel a little bit warmer without the wind chill factor.  We all huddled around the camp fire for warmth and had a great time talking and eating our pizza. For Deseret we had Birthday and Anniversary Cupcakes.  Larry’s Friend Angie had a Birthday today and it was Forrest and Jerri’s 51st   Wedding anniversary. After eating we all sat around for a short time before heading back to our warm trailers to warm up and get ready for bed, it is just too cold to be sitting outside but hopefully tonight will be the last of our really cold nights. Tomorrow is supposed to bring low 60’s for our temperatures….we can only hope it is true!

I think I am going to follow everyone else and call it an early night. Too cold to stay up, and the light sound of sleet on the roof of my trailer is about to put me to sleep, if the trains will stop their drive-bys!

Tim Heintz

Tin Can Tourists Southeastern Representative

1950 Spartanette Tandem

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