Saturday, January 8: Unfortunately, our internet/cell coverage is very slow/non-existent at times. I tried to post last night, but it timed out, so I’m trying again this morning before too many people jam the cell tower.
Friday, January 7: Thanks to a friend’s comment, I realized that I never “published” (posted) my blog from January 3, so I am even further behind than I thought. Another quick “summary” of our trip so far (starting with today and working backwards).
This morning we headed off to RV Bootcamp Express from 9am – 6pm learning “everything RV” which included Basic Systems Common to all RVs, General Maintenance, Fire Safety, Weight Management (while I can certainly use it, the discussion was around RV weight, not mine), Propane Systems, Batteries and Electrical Systems. Fester is already quite knowledgeable in these areas, but it was a very good seminar for both of us and the Instructor was great. The seminar gave us a chance to meet other RV newbies. Greg and Sandra (New Year’s Escapees) were in our class, as well as our current “neighbors” Tina & Cody.
The Annual Bash doesn’t officially kick off until 4pm on Saturday. In addition to signing up for multiple seminars/classes, we’ll also have opportunities to participate in group activities like meditation, coffee group, yoga, dog walks, happy hours, and pickleball. And, did I mention… this is a party group, so there are numerous evening events such as happy hour, bands, & dancing, theme nights and more.
Leaving class, we noticed a giant Farris wheel being assembled for the bash. Based on all the gear/equipment being set up around here… this will definitely be a big deal. We understand that between now and the kick-off on Saturday, they are expecting close to 400 rigs… crazy! Fortunately, before entering the rodeo grounds, everyone has to show proof of their COVID vaccinations or negative test results. However, because of our personal Covid concerns, we plan to choose our activities and participation carefully.
Thursday, January 6: We arrived at the Lake Havasu Rodeo Grounds on Thursday afternoon (a few days early) for the Xscapers Annual Bash which runs January 8 – 16. If you missed an earlier mention on the Xscapers, here’s their moto: “Xscapers is a community within Escapees RV Club created for working-aged RVers. A community with a passion for an active and free-spirited life of travel and Adventure.” Sounds just like us, huh? As mentioned below, we had recently departed the Escapees’ New Years Hangout in Tucson, and we’re anxious to see what the Xscapers are all about.
FYI, this event is boondocking/dry camping only (no hook-ups), so we’ll have 11 days without power, water or sewer. This will be an excellent test for the six solar panels Fester installed prior to our trip. Prior to arriving, we filled our fresh water tank, dumped our sewage (gray and black water tanks) at Lake Havasu State Park. We had filled our propane tanks before we left Pima Fairgrounds. We’re expecting mostly sunny and/or partly sunny days while we’re here, so the solar panels should be able to keep us powered (although we have to closely monitor our microwave/coffee pot usage since they are big draws). This is very much like living on the boat, always juggling your power supply vs. needs. Fortunately, we have a generator we can use to charge up the batteries if needed.
The Rodeo Grounds are sectioned off into areas for Solar (no generator use), Family, General (that’s us) and Partyers. Thanks to the many Xscapers’ volunteers, we were signed in and parked in the General Section in no time. Even as we were setting up camp, we started meeting fellow Xscapers. Greg and Sandra from Escapees New Year rode by on their electric bikes to say hello. Not surprisingly, Sadie is a “people magnet” and folks are drawn to her and that starts up quick conversations.
Wednesday, January 5: We arrived at Lake Havasu State Park in time for a 2pm check-in. After setting up camp and settling in, we jumped in the jeep and headed for Angelina’s Italian Kitchen for a pasta fix. They’ve been in business since 1989 and aside from the online reviews, we knew they were good when people started arriving when their doors opened at 4pm! We weren’t disappointed with our meals or the service and took home enough leftovers for at least two full meals. I think we’ll return – if for nothing else than to try their desserts which we passed on because we were stuffed. After dinner, we picked up Sadie and drove around Lake Havasu, refreshing our memories from our last visit with Savannah. BTW, we connected with Savannah and will meet for lunch or dinner on Saturday. This is a beautiful state park – we’re just a short distance to the beach and there is a very nice walking trail that leads to a beautiful native cacti garden.
January 3 :& 4: We arrived in Quartzsite, AZ after an approximate 5-hour drive from Tucson. Based on an New Years Escapee’s suggestion, we ended up at the Plomosa Road Camping Area on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) property for two nights of boondocking (free, no hook-ups). We absolutely loved it! There’s a lot more to cover about Quartzsite and its “Quirky” RV Community, but this will do for now.
Sunday, January 2: It was bitter cold when we woke up Sunday morning and we were happy to learn the day promised sunshine and temperatures in the lower 60’s. Once again, Cheryl and David chose a unique event for this morning. The group would meet at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in time for the 10am Raptor Free Flight Show.
We attended a farewell dinner (Mexican buffet) at the Sunset Cantina at the fairgrounds. Sitting with a new group of Escapees including Jan, Jeff, Terry and Laura, we enjoyed hearing about their RV travels and their upcoming plans. Jan , aka “Glamper Jan,” is traveling in a Ford Campervan. Turns out she lives in the Sandusky, OH area in a park model trailer from April until October 1, then takes off in her campervan for the winter and has been a snowbird for about five years. Jan is a vivacious solo traveler, probably in her late 60’s/early 70’s. She runs Nomad Sewing from her van – making and repairing RV curtains, etc. Of course the other three Escapees have interesting stories as well, and I hope to provide a glimpse at a later time. When we headed back to Zephyr II for the night, it was obvious that the temperature had dropped and it was even windier than when we went to dinner. The wind was so bad, that we had a tough time falling (and staying) asleep. Since we’re such newbies, every strange noise made us wonder if something was breaking off the coach or something.
Saturday, January 1: We kicked off New Year’s Day with a Potluck Bruch, which was a lot of fun and gave us a chance to sample a lot of delicious options. Escapees posted their recipes, so I started a “go to” list with new possibilities for the next potluck (in Lake Havasu). The afternoon event was a hike/drive in nearby Saguaro National Park. We opted to skip the hike and take a nap instead. Afterwards, we took Sadie on the Fitness/Natural Trail. Because of all the rain we had Friday night, the trail was filled with puddles, but Sadie managed to keep all four boots on for the entire walk!
The Escapees evening event was the Elf’d production at the Gaslight Theatre. More on that later.
One of these days, I hope to update these posts with more details and photos… please stay tuned.