Monday, July 8, 2013

Our First Escapade!

We've been Escapees RV Club members since sometime in 2006 - before we even retired and started full-timing.  One of the fun things about the club is a very active online forum.  And, on there, we had discovered that there were "full-timing classes".  These were loosely organized groups of members who had, or were planning to start, full-timing during a given calendar year.  So, we - of course - joined the "Class of 2007".  And one of the first (but not the last!) get-togethers for our class was at a "Life on Wheels" conference in Tucson AZ in March of 2007.  Sixteen of us met for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant and had a fabulous time getting acquainted and sharing our experiences of beginning to full-time or preparing for it.

Since then, whenever even a few '07 Class members are in the same area, they usually get together for lunch, happy hour, a boat ride or whatever.  Larger get-togethers have included a couple of our own rallies (see previous posts for March 2009 and April 2010) and annual Quartzsite AZ camp-outs!

So, now we were about to expand our exposure to the rest of the Escapees RV Club!  We quickly confirmed our suspicions that Escapade would be more fun than FMCA...  We've never met a friendlier, more fun group of people!  They come from all walks of life, all areas of the country (including some other countries) and enjoy RVing in a huge variety of rigs!

We attended as many educational seminars as we could, went to several social events and met some wonderful folks!  I didn't take many pictures but do have a few:

Mac McCoy's fire safety seminar is a "must-do" for any RVer.
This is the Class of '07 gang at their social hour on July 3rd.
John at our rig's parking spot.
Escapade 2013 ended with a bang: fireworks on July 4th!  What a wonderful "family" we've acquired!!  RVers are simply the best!
We decided that Gillette WY must truly be the cross-roads of the United States!  We had more company while here: our Iowa Falls friends, Charlie & Carol stopped by while on their western vacation and, just a day or so after Escapade ended, our niece Emily, husband Dusty, their two kids Anna & Andrew, and Dusty's parents, Larry & Becky, stopped in for breakfast on their way to South Dakota.  We had wonderful visits with everyone!

We also took a little side trip with the car on Sunday, July 7 before leaving the Cam-Plex grounds.  Our daughter-in-law, Kari, was planning a little going-away party for Eric who was going to be heading for Tokyo, Japan for job training (he's been hired as a 747 pilot for Nippon Air Cargo).   We drove the 300+ miles down to Minturn CO to see everyone and stayed overnight at a little condo there.  The party was wonderful and we enjoyed meeting many of Eric & Kari's friends and spending time with Kari's parents, Ken & Harriet, and also with Darlene & Francis.  Darlene is our "honorary" third son's mom and Francis is his grandfather.

John with Kari's parents, Ken & Harriet

Eric with his other mom, Darlene

Me with Derick's grandpa, Francis

We drove back to Gillette on Monday, July 8th arriving just in time to move the rig off the Cam-Plex grounds (we had received permission for a slightly extended stay).  Now it's time to return to our regularly scheduled life!

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