On Tuesday the 17th I depart the RTR for another gathering taking place on the other side of town, the Xscapers Quartzsite Convergence.
Xscapers is an extension of the Escapees RV Club that is aimed at working-age RVers. Membership in one gives you access to the other, they’re essentially the same thing – the ‘Xscapers’ name came about as a way to re-brand for a younger crowd. You do not need to be a member of the club to attend their convergences, but many people who attend one end up joining because it’s such a neat group of people.
Besides offering the typical club benefits of magazine, camping discounts at parks, an active community, and access to mail forwarding and residency, the Escapees/Xscapers website hosts a treasure trove of information on RVing, has a job board for RVers, and works with several bloggers (myself included) to provide content to a younger (and young at heart) crowd.
While Xscapers convergences do have seminars on different aspects of the RV lifestyle (subject to who is attending and is willing to discuss what topic), these gatherings tend to focus more on social events and outings and most of these tend to be on the weekend or during the evening as many attendees work remotely during regular business hours. Other outings hosted by the club focus more on informative material for new RVers (the Escapees Boot Camp) if you’re looking to learn more about the lifestyle.
Sadly, I was sick for most of the nine days I was with the group and missed a lot of the events.
The Margarita competition the evening of the 17th was a lot of fun. The next morning I fall sick and sleep most of the next three days.
On Friday the 21st I’m feeling well enough to join the solo travelers among our number (nine of us) for pizza at Silly Al’s. This place gets the best reviews of the food joints in Quartzsite and I’d been meaning to go. It’s always crowded so expect to wait for a table, but the pizza is worth it. We arrive at 5 pm and wait about a half-hour. The next morning I’ve lost my voice and can’t stop coughing, back to self-quarantine in the Casita for a couple days.
By the 24th I’m still hoarse but understandable, and the coughing is limited to brief fits, mostly at night. A group of us drive out to Kofa Wildlife Refuge for a hike out to the only native stand of palm trees in Arizona.
On the way our tour guide JP stops us at a neat rock art labyrinth, someone sure had a lot of time on their hands!
It feels nice to be outside after several days confinement in the RV. The hike is about a mile round trip (the drive out is the longest part by far) and follows a canyon up between bluffs.
Before long we’re hiking in the shadows, even though it’s nearly 11.
At the end of the trail a sign points up the side of the cliff. The palm trees are lodged in a crevice halfway up! Experts aren’t sure how they got here or how old they are, as it’s impossible to date palm trees since they don’t have growth rings. There is no visible water source, either there’s a deep spring that provides the water they need or the topography of the notch they’re in holds rainfall. The spot gets less than an hour of sunlight at this time of year, and we’ve time our arrival for mid-day to make the most of it.
That evening is trivia night, and my team wins with 14 correct answers out of 24 – the questions were hard! I happen to be quite bad at trivia and contribute nothing to to the group other than our name: Team Us. It’s a good thing the other five members knew what they were about.
The next night is movie night! The weather in general has been less friendly than last year, with several days of wind and rain and now several nights with lows in the 30’s, but JP, who is designated host for the second half of the convergence, manages to get a corn dog truck to come out and cater for the event and that’s incentive enough to drag people out of their warm RVs.
Thursday the 26th is the last full day of the convergence. I drag myself out of bed to attend the brunch at 10 am and say goodbye to the folks who are pulling out today. I’m glad I came, even though I haven’t been able to get out as much as I would have liked.
My last sunset in Quartzsite is a pretty good one.
The last campfire social goes late, not surprisingly. This is the last most of us will see each other for another year. But the great thing about good-byes between RVers is our paths are sure to cross again down the road!
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