Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Hour Day 2, A Birthday and A Move

The second day of Escapees Happy Hour was again held under beautiful blue skies, but there were fewer people attending.


The big event that was celebrated was Charlie Goss’s big 7-0 birthday. Jim Kimmins was our entertainer for the day, and he led all of us singing the birthday song to Charlie. Lookin’ good there, Charlie! And I like your revision of the definition of “old” – it’s definitely at least 80!


Dennis has been getting his RZR out in the desert. You can tell by the layer of dust on it.


Don had a chat with long-time friend Dave Neal next to Carol and Dennis Hill’s new motorhome.


After the event ended, Don and I went into town for a little shopping. You can find almost anything at The Gambler’s.


There are a lot fewer people here this year. We got a parking place right in front of the store. And Don was happy that they carry the motion-detection light he wanted, but they were out of stock. To guarantee that he gets one when the new stock arrives, he paid for it in advance.


We’ll be visiting some of these other shops in a few days.


We enjoyed one more happy hour with the joint Chapters 6 and 21 folks.


The next morning (today), we moved the motorhome a few miles southeast to Boomerville. We parked away from the fire ring where gatherings are held, so our generator shouldn’t bother anyone. Unfortunately, the ground isn’t very level here, so we had to drive the front wheels up on blocks and add blocks under the front jacks. And we have to use an extra portable step to climb up into the motorhome. But we’re only staying until Monday, so it’s not a big problem.


The number of people here is down this year, too. We are RV number 59 to arrive, and there have been upwards of 200 in the past. The views are just as good as I remember, though. And it’s great to re-connect with good friends Gloria & Frank King, Judy & Luke Rinehimer, and others.


A couple of ultralight aircraft flew over our group.



There was a chili cookoff this afternoon. Frank King (left) served as one of 5 judges.


We got to sample all the various entries, identified only by a number, along with some side dishes. First, second and third place winners were announced. Sorry I didn’t get a picture.

Later, Don and I drove into town to see if the light he ordered came in; no, not today, maybe tomorrow. Quartzsite is like that sometimes. So we did a little more shopping for solar lights, a new dish drainer, plasticware, etc. and came back to Boomerville for a quiet evening.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Escapees in Quartzsite Day 1

With the chapter 21 rally over in Parker, we visited the dump station, hitched up the car, and I drove the long distance of 41.3 miles to Quartzsite. We are now parked with chapter 21 and chapter 6 members for a joint gathering, near mile marker 3 on Plomosa Rd., about 7 miles north of the center of town. We plan to share a few campfires.



In the afternoon, we attended the first day of the 8th annual Escapees Happy Hour on Dome Rock Rd, east of town. We love this event because we get to see lots of friends we haven’t seen for awhile, and we get to make new friends.

Melanie and Gabe Carr enjoyed the warm sunshine.IMG_8997

Several chapters and birds-of-a-feather (BOF) groups set up tables to give out information. Luke and Judy Rinehimer are with the GeoCachers BOF.IMG_8991

Snacks of all types were available in three areas.IMG_8999

Dennis Hill showed surprise!IMG_9000

Susie Orr was glad people showed up!IMG_9002

We sang the National Anthem under beautiful blue skies.IMG_9003

Dennis got some good shots from his elevated vantage point.IMG_9006

Susie and Denny Orr made announcements and intros. Lisa Koca is in the background.IMG_9008

Cathie and Bud Carr shared a laugh with the group. Son Travis and grandson Gabe are on the left.IMG_9012

Afterward we drove out to Boomerville, southeast of town, to show Bill and Jan where it is. There’s a nice view of most of Quartzsite from this area, which is slightly higher in elevation.IMG_9014

Art and Caroline Fennell were first to arrive for the VCR (volunteer club representative) pizza party at Silly Al’s. They’re celebrating 36 years of marriage today! Happy Anniversary, Friends!IMG_9015

Dennis was wearing his orange hair cap that Don gave him when we went to Alaska a few years ago, along with an orange tie. Can you tell he likes orange?IMG_9018

The waitress took orders while we all chatted.IMG_9020

What’s in that glass that makes you so happy, Carol? Oh yes, you’re always happy!IMG_9022

Mac the Fire Guy came into the room to tell us we were being too rowdy. I told him he could get rid of us quickly if he’d just yell “Fire.” IMG_9023

The pizza is the best in town, in fact the best we’ve had in a long time.IMG_9027

Frank’s look tells me he didn’t want his picture taken.IMG_9028

The Farmers’ Almanac says this was a Full Wolf Moon we saw last night during our drive home.IMG_9037

We enjoyed a fireside chat with people parked in our area before calling it a day.IMG_9039

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Escapees Chapter 21 Rally Days 3-5

On Sunday, several of us went to the Leonardo Da Vinci Traveling Exhibition at the Bluewater Casino. Most people know Da Vinci as a painter, but this exhibit included not only some of his paintings, but also several of his inventions.


There were some interesting cog wheels.


Da Vinci studied perpetual motion and proved that it couldn’t exist.


He also explored various aspects of flight, including parasails and helicopters.


Don and I drove through the casino’s RV park, but we didn’t like how close the RV sites are to each other, and the lack of good views of either mountains or the Colorado River, although there is a boat ramp at the end of the park.



Later, our group gathered for a social hour and crafts. I showed some of my knitting projects, including a lapghan in progress (for Soldiers’ Angels), chemo caps that I’ll donate through the Escapees during Escapade in May to the local hospital, and some scarfs I’ll offer during the Boomers’ CARE auction in Quartzsite.


Barb Lopes showed some of her beautiful quilt tops. Here’s my favorite.


Barb also conducted a craft class for decorating sun visors. Here are the results of our efforts, and you can guess how much fun we had making them!


Jan and Bill Mains had decorated the tables with colorful leis, Margarita glasses and seashells for our beach party taking place later.


Don DeMent got into the spirit with his Hawaiian shirt and unique sunglasses. John Knoll wore his Hawaiian shirt, sunglasses and hat for the occasion. And Jan showed off her curvy figure in a beach bikini!


Carol Bezdeka put on her special muu-muu.


And her hubby Tom showed off his beach towel.


Karen’s outfit went well with hubby John’s.


We had lots of fun even before the margaritas were poured!


Even Don got out one of his Hawaiian shirts to put him in the party mood.


We played beach ball bingo, and even though nobody at our table won, we all knew everyone’s name by playing it.


Finally, we voted on a Beach King and Queen, and the winners were John Knoll and Jan Mains. They could hardly hold up those heavy trophies!


Oh, yes, I forgot to take pictures of the food, but it was delicious. Pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans and cole slaw. Yummy!

On Monday, we had a pancake and sausage breakfast that turned out really good, in spite of confusion on the time, due to cell phone tendencies to catch towers in California, across the river and therefore an hour earlier than Arizona time. Several of us pitched in and got things cooking, a little late, but delicious nonetheless. Here’s Don cooking pancakes.


And here are Dan and Barb Lopes, with Donna and Gene Struble, all enjoying their breakfast.


Read more about it on Jan’s blog.

That afternoon, we had our traditional Polar Bear Party, with adult beverages made of Kahlua, Vodka, vanilla ice cream and ice, all blended together. Bruce Ratcliff is Polar Bear Mixmaster. His wife, Bunny is just visible on the left. We all enjoyed the drinks, including some who preferred the non-alcoholic version.


Finally, today (Tuesday) we had an on-time breakfast followed by prize drawings. Here are the winners of the door prizes.


Next was a special raffle of 3 Wal-Mart gift cards that netted over $300 raised to donate to CARE (our charity), resulted in Don winning the $100 card! Jan won the $25 card, and Betty Dawson won the $10 card.

During our final social hour this afternoon, held outside in the beautiful weather, the Jeopardy Tour answers were given to the participants. Four people won a trophy similar to the ones presented to the King and Queen, but Gene got a special prize for getting the most right answers, an alligator mask, which can also be worn as a visor.


To finish the day, several of us went to a nearby steakhouse for dinner.


Outside was a Wounded Warrior Windmill, where coins pitched into the pool would go to support wounded warriors. We emptied our pockets into the pool.


It has been fun, friends, and we wish you safe travels till we meet again, some sooner than others.