For those of us afflicted with Vascular Avgaseritis, AirVenture is a near spiritual experience. The collective aura of tens of thousands of our own kind is deeply enriching and rewarding. However those that say that there is never any aspect of Oshkosh that is less than enjoyable, have likely never experienced the singular experience of using the RV black water dump facilities at Camp Scholler.
You never have to wonder if you’re getting close to ground zero… you’ll know, and the long lines of sun ripening rigs in line to excrete aren’t the primary clue. At the southern (hopefully downwind) end of the campground, a single exit lane from Stitts road widens into a couple of lanes that split again into multiple dump station lanes. Pro Tip: If quick passage is preferred, it’s best to avoid any lane selection that will mean following a rig advertising cruiseamerica.com or similar on the back.
Each dump receptacle point is surrounded by a fetid puddle of Smurf Koolaid usually adorned with kibbles and bits of organic flotsam. Each puddle and its underlaying muck are deceptively deep. Seasoned pro dumpers have their mukluks and hazmat gloves on and hoses ready while they’re still number two for number two. (Pun intended). Rookies, renters and other amateurs pull into position either leafing through the manual or jumping out in flip-flops only to discover that tippie-toes in the soft muck only worsens the experience.
All in all, it is a multi-sensorial experience that, depending upon one’s last meal, just wafts and lingers long after one says goodbye.
Speaking of saying goodbye, one of the benefits of media work at Oshkosh is getting to meet so many interesting people and hearing their stories. When I heard that a group of builder/pilots from Argentina had flown their RV-10 from Buenos Aires to Oshkosh, I just knew that I had to meet them and highlight their story. For some added background, as a young man I lived in Argentina for a couple of years doing volunteer service work and was truly rewarded by the experience.
I so enjoyed meeting and chatting with Jorge, Silvia and their companions that I went out on a social limb and invited them to come to our campsite one night for dinner. The people of Argentina were always warm, friendly and fed me well, so I wanted to pay it forward. My traveling companion, Kevin McDonald, spent time living in Navajo communities so in the spirit of sharing new experiences, he put together a delicious meal of authentic Navajo Tacos, which our new Argentine friends either really enjoyed or were convincing liars. We also successfully expanded the international fan base of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream. It was such an enjoyable experience that we could have continued for hours comparing notes on our respective aero-worlds, but there was a night show to get to. In my opinion, simple social experiences like this are what make our avocation in general and Oshkosh in particular so rewarding. It’s always been about the people. The aero machines, enticing as they are, just give us an excuse to gather together. ¡Hasta luego, amigos!