Friday, January 18, 2013

More Adventures in Quartzsite

Thursday morning dawned sunny and a little warmer than recent days. The SOLOs group was invited to join the Christian BOF (Birds Of a Feather) for breakfast consisting of biscuits and gravy, plus sausage and fresh oranges.


Yummm! Everything was homemade and delicious! We all had our fill and some even had seconds. It was especially nice to be able to sit outside in the sunshine.


Nancy O’bosky, western VP of the Christian BOF, made sure we all knew about a concert to be held on Friday featuring Belinda Gail, a gospel and western musician who performed at the Western Area Rally for Escapees (WARE) which Don and I hosted last April.


Steve O’bosky (Nancy’s hubby) took pictures of the group from a higher elevation.


In the afternoon we again joined almost 300 people at the second day of the Escapees Happy Hour hosted by Susie and Denny Orr.


Announcements were made by Mark Nemeth regarding RVers’ Boot Camp and SmartWeigh.


Susie & Denny introduced speakers and made other announcements.


Bob & Molly Pinner piqued our interest in the 53rd Escapade to be held in Gillette, Wyoming June 30-July 5.


Dennis had his camera out also.


Joe Tenpenny and Chris Yust had to tease each other.


During Happy Hour we asked Dennis & Carol Hill to meet us for dinner at Mountain Quail Café later. They said fine, and they might bring a another couple of two with them.



We figured there might be 6-8 people, so we were about to go in and ask for a table when Bob and Molly drove up. Five people got out. Then Larry & Marilyn drove up and 6 people got out. We ended up with 15 people for dinner!


Luckily, the wait wasn’t too long and we were seated at 3 tables.




A few minutes after we were seated John and Jana Swanson walked in and we had 2 extra seats so we invited them to join us – Total count 17 for dinner!


Carol and I each ordered the half portion of the taco salad, and when they first arrived they looked appetizing and plentiful.


But when we started eating, we realized either the meat was extremely overcooked or was laced with a lot of filler. It just didn’t taste good. We ate around the edges, avoiding the meat, and finally the waitress offered to take the charges off our bills. We could have ordered something else but didn’t want to wait for it to be cooked.

The guys enjoyed their chicken fried steaks, though. So we might give the café a second chance while we’re in town.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Parker to Quartzsite

Yesterday was the final full day of the Escapees Chapter 21 rally in Parker, AZ. The first significant event of the day was the club’s business meeting.

With past experience of struggling to get people to run for offices, the ‘election’ wasn’t held in the usual manner. Don Damkaer, President, accepted volunteers and asked for a vote (which was unanimous by acclamation) for Vice President (Don Del Rosario) and Secretary (Betty Dawson). Newsletter Editor is an appointed position, and Marti Moehlau volunteered to that appointment. The President and Treasurer will continue in their positions for another year.

Below are Don Del Rosario, VP, Don Damkaer, President, Ron Schulz, Treasurer, and Marti Moehlau, Newsletter Editor.


Pat Bunselmeier, right, happily passes the role of Secretary to Betty Dawson.


Frank & Gloria King served as Volunteer Club Representatives (VCRs) for the rally. Frank talked about various things, including the value of volunteering in our club, and how he and Gloria have enjoyed more fun after getting more involved in Escapees.


Frank & Gloria presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Pat Bunselmeier for her service as Secretary.


With the club’s business taken care of, the group reconvened later in the day for the popular Polar Bear Party. Bruce Ratcliff and Tank Lucas blended up some of these yummy adult drinks (made of Kahlua, Vodka, vanilla ice cream and crushed ice).


Goodies started to appear on another table.


Before long the table was full of food, and people were loading up their plates.


Alice Schulz toasted the end of Pat’s stint as Secretary.


Even Gloria, who normally doesn’t drink anything alcoholic because of bad headaches that usually result, enjoyed not one but TWO Polar Bears! And she reported no headaches. Gloria, I think you’ve found your drink of choice!


Frank savored the complexity of the drink.


And Don enjoyed his non-alcoholic root beer float.


Among the many door prizes awarded, this was one of the best.


Today we drove the short 32 miles from La Paz County Park in Parker to mile marker 2.3 on Plomosa Rd in Quartzsite, to join the Escapees SOLOs group, and serve as VCRs for their rally.


Don and I were both officers in this group in the past, we met during one of their rallies, got together during another one a few years later, and made many wonderful friends during the years we were members. So we volunteered to be with them for their week-long rally this year.


We parked near the gathering spot, helping to create a windbreak for the get-togethers in this area during the next several days.


After getting set up, we drove the car to the Escapees Happy Hour a few miles further south.


Almost 300 people attended this gathering in the desert, which has become an annual event. It’s always fun to reconnect with our friends. Fortunately, the weather had turned warmer (about 63 F) and the wind was very slight. We enjoyed reconnecting with many of our friends, and I didn’t take nearly enough pictures of everyone!

Here Susie Orr and Mark Nemeth made announcements to the group.


Molly Pinner was really into the festive mood with her special glasses!


Carol Hill had to look up to Don in the same way I do!


I presented a hand-crocheted hat to Dennis Hill in his favorite color, with a unique ear flap to keep his injured ear warm.


I think he liked it. At least he liked the color. For more info on his accident, check out his blog.


Art & Caroline Fennell were celebrating their 35th anniversary today. Congratulations, Friends!


Dennis had to check out the message on Kellie Gunn’s sweatshirt.


Not exactly a typical RVer’s car, this 2002 Thunderbird caught my eye. It travels in the nice trailer you see behind it, pulled by a motorhome. The owners don’t want to chance getting any rock chips on this beauty!


We returned to the SOLOs area for a happy hour and hot dog roast. We opted not to join in the campfire later as the smoke is really bothering my breathing these days. But we’re looking forward to more fun times with all our friends while we spend the next 12 days in Quartzsite.

P.S. It’s really nice to have a strong 4G cell phone signal for Internet and phone access, after barely getting a weak 3G signal in Parker.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Escapees Chapter 21 Rally

It has been a fun few days at the rally, but our limited Internet connection has prevented me from posting a blog. So here’s a review of the past 3 days, which I hope will upload without too much delay.

We arrived with the Forbes (Larry & Marilyn) and Kings (Frank & Gloria) at La Paz County Park a day early on Thursday, for the rally starting the next day.


The other rigs began rolling in on Friday.


People, dogs and cats began to get acquainted.


We met tiny Sophie, Gloria and Frank’s newest family member.


Becky Hazen was telling a story while her cat Oreo took a sideways glance at the female Shadow (Gloria & Frank’s older pup).


Marilyn and Gloria found it very funny!


Larry came out to find out what was so funny.


Happy hour took place near Don & Kay Damkaer’s motorhome. We have 27 RVs and 54 people in attendance.


The wind blew Larry’s Escapees windsock off the flagpole, so Frank climbed up to retrieve it, under direction from Larry. Oops! The camera slipped.


The windsock was saved!


Dinner was at the Blue Water Casino.


There was no buffet as in the past, but the meal was fairly good. Becky Hazen and Lonnie Hodge are the ones not wearing red. (We’ll have to clue them in to the practice of wearing red on Friday to honor our country’s troops.)


On Saturday we made our annual trek out to the Desert Bar. This unique place in the Buckskin Mountains, about 5 miles from the nearest paved road, was built on the site of an old mining camp, and is only open on Saturdays and Sundays.


The Nellie E Saloon was named after the original mining claim, and was opened as a bar in 1983.


Every year brings new buildings and expansion, including this church with only a front and back, no inside.


Lots of antique cars are scattered around the property.


The entrance is via a bridge from the parking lot, with the bar, outdoor seating, band stand and dance floor on the main level.


Solar power, a huge bank of batteries and well water are the main sources of utilities. The entire complex is totally off the grid. The lower level includes more seating and a caterer offering tri-tip sandwiches, Philly cheesesteaks, beer-battered fries and other goodies.


It was a bit chilly but sunny and we all enjoyed the day. Here are Lonnie & Becky.


Frank & Gloria.


Larry & Marilyn.


Sunday was a less-busy day, with a leisurely drive to the Parker Dam.



We saw several groups of 3-4 wild burros along the way, but I failed to get pictures. Larry did, so check his blog to see if he’s posted some pics.

Dinner was at nearby Black Pearl Restaurant at the Pirates Den Resort, with a nice view of the Colorado River. The ‘girls’ sat near the window and the guys at the other end of the table.


Most of us had an entrée off the Italian section of the menu, which are under $10 on Sunday. My lasagna was wonderful, and a take-home box will supply my lunch tomorrow. Don had the salad bar and his main dish of steamer clams were presented in a beautiful way.


The sunset tonight was as special as the dinner and conversation.