Saturday, March 7, 2015

Arrival at Escapade

We arrived at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson on Thursday as part of the Escapade staff – we’re the chairpersons for the volunteer/info/lost & found desk. The RV site we were assigned didn’t work out for our 40-ft. motorhome with 4 slides, so Molly Pinner asked Keith & Donna Green to swap with us because their rental Class C would fit just fine. Thanks, folks!


We ended up with probably the nicest site we’ve ever had at a rally. Here’s the view from our motorhome door.


Don made sure the map and decals were displayed on the magnetic plexiglass signs, as well as the anchor. The coach beside us is Gary & Mary Olson’s Allegro Bus, which they are selling. We traveled together to Alaska 4 years ago. On the other side of them are Dennis & Carol Hill, our long-time buddies who stood up for us when we got married.


Don & I started our booth setup in the hall.


The exhibit hall looks so empty before the vendors move in.


All the club booths and the commercial vendors are in this large hall.


Wallace Lewis and Bob Pinner worked on solving some important challenge.


I’m sure we’ll have a meal or two out of this food vendor’s trailer.


Molly’s job description includes anything and everything, it seems!


Staff got all the rally bags stuffed with brochures, coupons and local info.


Bob took an empty bag with him, just in case…you never know when you’ll need a bag!


Gary & Mary and Phil Devonshire had to laugh about something while waiting in line.


Maybe it was Cathie Carr trying to be invisible!


The next day brought more of the staff into the fairgrounds, including our good friends Jan & Bill Mains. Jan’s getting around great on her knee scooter, after crushing her heel in a fall off a ladder in January. She and Don, along with several others, belong to a unique club that I hope doesn’t grow any larger.


We were all happy to see our club founder, Kay Peterson, looking so great!


And the 4th generation of the Peterson/Carr family, Gabe, is also here, being hoisted by his Grammy Cathie. Mom Melanie can be seen in the lower left, and Grandpa Bud in the lower right.


Meanwhile, during the announcements, Pete & Jo Peterson took great interest in what was going on, while more than one person behind them tried hard to stay awake. It must have been a long day!


Wayne & Beth Roberts were recognized for their past years of service as Escapade Directors.


Mark & Dortha Hall gave announcements.


Finally, with business done, we all re-convened at La Cantina Restaurant for happy hour and dinner. Bill seemed to like this little wine glass.


And last, but certainly not least, I found Dennis Hill giving his new H-D trike some polishing this morning, with a sign on the back recruiting members to form a new Birds of a Feather (BoF) group called Motorcycles on the Road.


For more rally stories and pictures, be sure to read Dennis’ blog and Jan’s blog. Jan got some great pictures of us at happy hour, as well as on the job at our booth this morning.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Other Side of Texas

Our month-long stay at Betty’s RV Park in Abbeville, LA was a lot of fun, and we hated to say farewell to all the people with whom we shared our first Mardi Gras celebration. We departed on Feb. 21 among a group of friends hugging, saying goodbye and safe travels, and trading calling cards with a promise to stay in touch.

When we reached the eastern border of Texas we were reminded of just how far it is across this great state - 880 miles!


Our first stop was the Escapees RV Club’s Headquarters, Rainbow’s End, in Livingston, TX. We stayed on Dennis & Carol Hill’s lot while they are in Arizona, and had a nice chat with neighbors Beth & Wayne Roberts. – Thanks again, Carol & Dennis!


It was a brief 2-night stay and we departed early on Monday morning for an appointment at West RV to solve the mystery of the wiring from the motorhome to the towed car (toad). They found a couple of problems, both in the car and the cable, solved them both in about an hour, and the charge was for less than an hour’s labor. We always recommend West to other RVers, and this visit reinforced our faith in them.

Our next stop was Spring Branch, TX to visit Pete & Jo Peters, who own a beautiful home there with a nice deck and rocking chairs, but it was too cold for us to sit outside.


They have two RV spots, one for their rig…


…and one for guests, where Larry & Marilyn Forbes parked as they got there a few days ahead of us.


We got the “overflow” parking at a neighbor’s place. Still a nice spot with full hookups, and the price was right! Thanks again, Jo & Pete!


We shared happy hour inside with the (electric) fireplace roaring and comfy chairs for everyone. I think the cat had the best seat in the house, though.


We had burgers at a local place the first night, along with Harrell and Tommie Sue Hicks, whom we hadn’t seen for a few years…


…then we and the Peters and Forbes had a nice “down home” dinner at the Antler CafĂ© the next night.


Our brief stay was over too soon, and we continued on our way across Texas, staying at a Passport America park in Ft. Stockton. The Forbes met us there, and as we drove toward a Mexican restaurant for dinner, Robert & Diana Knight caught up with us. So it was six for dinner at Alfredo’s with good food and lots of great conversation and laughs.


We were on the road again the next day, this time crossing the western border of Texas and continuing on to Deming, NM and meeting up with the Forbes again. It was so cold, I bundled up to try to stay warm. The dash heater on our coach couldn’t keep up with the cold air all around, and even though the air coming out of the dash vents was warm, it mixed with colder air a foot or so away and I was still freezing! Don had to capture my “snow bunny” look!


We and the Forbes took a day to drive south from Deming to Columbus, NM and Las Palomas, MX for a great Mexican lunch and to bring back a few liters (one each) of liquor. When we left on Feb. 28 the weather started warming up as we moved further away from the cold front that was moving east. It was nice to be more comfortable and to see desert mountains and cactus again.


Although Arizona isn’t our “home” we do have a fondness for the desert weather and ambiance. And those great southwest sunsets, of which I plan to capture more pictures soon.


It’s always nice to return to our RV lot at Cochise Terrace Resort in Benson, and we’re happy to see everything looking good after our long absence.


We departed from here last year on April 28, and returned exactly 10 months later on February 28. We drove over 11,000 miles and spent an overall average of $3.97 per gallon of diesel, which is a tad bit high because of 3 months in Canada where we paid over $5 per gallon. We’re sure happy to see fuel prices drop under $3.00/gallon and hope it stays that way! Am I dreaming?