Friday, February 15, 2008 -- Casa Grande, AZ.
We joined some neighbors last night, Thursday, in huddling for warmth around a circle on the leeward side of a camper to talk and enjoy a little wine. Another winter storm was getting geared up to attack places east and north of here, and colder weather, higher winds, and rain was predicted. RV'ing is a lot about being outside and often, especially in the evening, it's common to find groups, here and there, braving less-than-ideal weather at times, to be not-inside. To some degree I'm sure it has something to do with the size of the "indoors", but the fresh air, the camaraderie, and learning about new places and experiences is the real motivation.
As we huddled and talked, Dar and I finally found someone who's newer at fulltiming than we are. One couple had just sold their house in California last week. Their first official trip as fulltimers was to Casa Grande for the Gypsy Gathering Rally. Their real estate agent had given them a bottle of wine at closing and, not being big wine people, they brought it along mostly because they didn't have anyplace else to put it. It turned out to be a bottle of 1999 Dom Perignon which we, the group, promptly volunteered to help them consume. Carrying around full sealed bottles of expensive champagne in a camper can be dangerous. It could blow at any moment -- perhaps even causing an accident. No, it's better that we helped them improve the safety of their new-found environment by getting rid of that pressurized bottle. I believe this was the first time I've had a taste of Dom Perignon and my untrained and very pedestrian palate didn't detect much difference between it and the $9 bottle we normally get for New Years eve.
The Gypsy Gathering Rally is now history. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people who've been doing this far longer than our 7 months and comparing notes. For the most part, the seminars were very good and we're both leaving with new knowledge and some new tips and pointers for improving our quality of life on the road.
Oh, and Dar won a certificate good for free admission to a future Gypsy Gathering Rally. This is a big deal! It was one of the two large door prizes that were given away last night at the closing assembly. After coming up dry in the door prize department the previous three nights, she was a little... shall I say... exuberant at winning big the last night. She hasn't yet told me if she'll invite me to join her, so I'm on my best behavior. It's probably good I didn't get her a new sewer hose for Valentine's Day.
It did rain a fair amount overnight last night and we woke this morning to a wet and somewhat muddy parking area. We decided to avoid the rush to leave and stay here another night. At this point we're planning to leave for the Quartzite area Saturday morning, although nothing is cast in stone yet.
Andrea, Gage, Ryan... we're getting closer and closer... only a month away.