Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.
Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

59th Escapees Escapade Rally and Truck Stuff - Sunday, March 17, 2019

Last night, we were stressed about the pick-up truck situation. This morning, we took action. At 8:30 a.m., we were in the parking lot at Pima Air & Space Museum. (Yes, they open the gate earlier than 9:00 a.m.) 

Bob changed out both batteries on the truck and turned the key. Same problem: lights came on, the seat automatically adjusted, but the engine did not turn over. Major bummer! 

Another call was placed to Good Sam Roadside Assistance. Everything from yesterday was explained again: that a tow truck did not reach us in time to tow us out before they locked the gate and we had to cancel the call yesterday. Now we need someone to tow us this morning. Bob had called a couple of tow companies and was told they could tow us but that they couldn't do the work on Sunday. Bob let Good Sam know of the two companies who could tow us and one of them was signed up to tow for Good Sam Roadside Assistance. We were told they would be there in an hour.

And so we waited. While we waited, we asked people if they could keep the disabled parking free in front of our truck because we didn't know how much room the tow truck was going to need. There was plenty of disabled parking and the people were very nice about moving.

When the to truck arrived, it was a flatbed. We had no idea how he was going to maneuver the pick-up out of the parking spot onto the tow truck. He was very professional and you can see the process in the photos below. This was about 10:00 a.m. The white Kia Soul was our rental car and I was able to move it to give the tow truck driver room to move the pick-up truck through that site. 

Kia Soul is our rental, and Beauty, our truck. 
Tow truck on the left.
Bob had to crank the wheel
really hard to turn the truck.
Winching the truck up onto the
tow truck's flatbed.

Meanwhile, Dale Kennedy from Fresno, California, heard of our plight on the 2019 Escapade Facebook page. He contacted Bob and asked if he could tow our 5th wheel from the campground where we had been for the past three days to the Pima County Fairgrounds where we had a reservation in the boondocking area starting today. He had a big Chevy Silverado. The drive to and from our campground was an hour round-trip. What a Good Samaritan! We were so thankful for his help. His actions exemplify the spirit of the Escapees. What a relief. This allowed us to participate in the Opening Ceremony of the rally and proceed with our truck repair.

The Opening Ceremony at 3:30 p.m. amazed us with the number of people attending. This is our first Escapade. There were many vendors that sponsored specific events and door prizes. They were acknowledged with banners in the meeting hall. The ceremony consisted of introductions of key people and volunteers, a summary of what to expect, rules and regulations, and talks from Escapees President and Vice President, Travis and Melanie Carr, and the Escapees CEO, Shawn Loring. 

Immediately following the Opening Ceremony, there was an Ice Cream Social which consisted of volunteers handing out ice cream bars at the exit. From there, we walked across the road to "Central Park" at the fairgrounds. There all first-timers to an Escapade had an introductory potluck. We met many fun and interesting people and somehow there was enough food for all of us: everything from Chex mix to meatballs to fruit plates, cupcakes, veggies trays, etc. That was our dinner.
First-timers potluck.
Wow! Lots of people here for the first time!
Another side of Central Park. 
We had a little free time to go back to our 5th wheel before the evening festivities. At 7:00 p.m., we were back in Thurber Hall where announcements were made and we had a big door prize drawing. Our entertainment for the evening would be The American Rogues, fitting for St. Patrick's Day.

Things got off to a bit of a rocky start because there were problems with the sound. Eventually, they got the sound to work (mostly), and the ensuing entertainment was a rollicking good time. The American Rogues description in our Program Book is as follows:
"With headlining shows in Asia, Europe, Canada, and from New York to California, The American Rogues are taking on the worlds of Celtic, rock, roots, soundtrack, world, military, Japanese, and classical music. The American Rogues aren't satisfied with classifications like "trad" and "Celtic rock." So they coined their own genre 'CeltRockFolkWorld ClassicalMusicForTheMasses.' Granted, it's a bit of a mouthful, but it allows The American Rogues to acknowledge the many influences and styles incorporated in the music they play. Perhaps the most essential part of that self-titled classification is 'for the masses:' this band makes the dynamic fusions of old and new Irish music accessible for modern North American culture...The Official Band of the National Navy Seal Museum."

What a wonderful kick-off concert for Escapade! We enjoyed the show immensely, especially the bagpiper and accordion player. I've never seen an accordion played that fast. The standing ovation was well deserved. Bob and I thought the bagpiper is as much a virtuoso as Rick Wakeman is on the synthesizer, organ, and piano.

And so ended our first day of Escapade. We have four more days of seminars, Dog Park Socials, crafts, RV show, The Market, The Row (booths with SKP [Escapees] clubs, and BoF [Birds of a Feather] clubs), entertainment, Wi-Fi Cafe, RV Country daily happy hours, and line dancing classes.

We would like to state that we are actually boondocking (camping with no hook-ups using a generator and only on-board water in our fresh-water tank). We've never done it before and we'll let you know how it goes. We are pretty far out in the boondocking area so every time we walk back and forth to classes, etc. it's 3/4 mile to one-mile round-trip. Sometimes we catch a ride on a golf cart if we're running late.

Travelbug out. 


  1. Just curious... what was the problem with the truck?

    1. They replaced a relay switch and starter/solenoid. Kept it two days and ran it a lot to make sure the truck would keep starting. We've driven it to Hot Springs, Arkansas now with no more problems. Hallelujah!


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