Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More 07 Reunion & Q

The Class of 2007 Reunion is over and we are on the road after two weeks of desert camping. It was great seeing old friends and meeting new people as is true with all SKP functions. On Saturday we did a Skype call to 07 mates Howie and Nora who were unable to make it for health reasons. It was great getting to see and talk to them. This is the longest we have boondocked and we now know we can do fourteen days if we are very conservative (which is hard for a liberal like me). We have decided that we are not really into being desert rats, but the opportunity to get together with so many friends makes it worthwhile. As always, we look forward to seeing them all down the road.

The welcome sign at Quartzsite. This little town (population 3,300) grows to many, many thousands in January. From the time we arrived on the 9th until we left, the number of rigs that pulled in was unbelievable. I don't know what the actual number is, but the tourist info says they have over 2 million visitors a year. It really is something that all RVers should do at least once.
The feeding frenzy continued with a pulled pork dinner. Mike Bubar smoked three big butts and we had our choice of three different sauces. You can see how we "rough it" using generator powered crock pots so the meat will stay warm. Thanks to Mike for all the time he spent cooking, a job well done.

The Class of 07 has a tradition of adopting new members who did not start fulltimeing that year and this event was no exception. Here are our new adoptees. Welcome to all and I'm sure we will see you on the road.

Since going on the road four members of the class, Paul Anderson, Jay Carter, Patty Landry and Keith Curry have passed away. We had a memorial service to remember them and share stories and memories. Jim Chapman did a great job with a very touching memorial poem. This makes us realize how lucky we are to be living the life we have and that each day is so important.

One afternoon we went to the Escapees happy hour, a two day event that attracted several hundred people. It is always great to get a chance to catch up with other SKPs we have met during our travels.

Most evenings we had a fire and enjoyed the desert sunsets. We did figure out why the sunsets are so spectacular, it is because of all the dust in the air. A couple of evenings we really "roughed it" as we gathered around Hank's outdoor TV to watch football and a video of the 2008 Gypsy Journal Cactus Queen Contest in which several 07 members participated. Some of them made great looking women even with their beards.

At many SKP gatherings the group raises money for CARE, Continuing Assistance for Retired Escapees. CARE is based in Livingston, Texas and is a place where SKPs can go to recuperate from an illness or surgery or get long term care. At this reunion we raised over $1,600 which brings our five year total to more than $4,000. Hank served as auctioneer and Marcia was his Vanna, displaying the goods. We had a fun time with Jim Chapman bidding "for" me and I returning the favor. I even bid against Nanc once to get the price up. It is all for a great cause and everyone had a grand time.

After the auction we had a chili cook-off with ten different entries. Jim Chapman's contribution was to cook a pork butt Cajun style which he learned in Louisiana last year when we were all there. Jim has mastered it as the pork melted in your mouth. All of the food was VERY GOOD.

The main reason so many people gather in Quartzsite in January is for the Big Tent events. On Saturday the RV show started and, as you can see, it was very, very crowded. They have just about everything any RVer would ever want and more stuff that no one really needs. You can buy clothes, toys, cookware, pets and even a few of the usual RV supplies. Again it is hard to believe this all takes place out in the desert.

To prove that many of the people out here have a lot of time on their hands we found this map of the US and Canada that someone had put together on the desert floor. It really was quite interesting.

On our last night in the desert we had Omer and Sylvia over for dinner. It was great getting to spend the evening catching up on what has been happening for the last couple of years. We hope to see them at Betty's again in the spring.


greg and jean said...

Nice Post thanks for the report always enjoyable reading your blog.

So where are you heading?

If Texas is on your way holler if you happen to be near !! We will be in the Valley until the end of March and then up to The Hill country for April.....

Jim and Bobbie said...

What a great "round up" you have posted of our time together. Good job, Jim. Hope to see you on the road....oh, yeh, you're coming to Deming today....see you for happy hour!