2011 Travels travel blog

Carpe at Gillette's Cam-Plex Campground
We're here for the Escapees rally. Bailey's coach...

Welcome to Wyoming
We're definitely WEST now!

Traffic congestion Wyoming style
Two other vehicles in sight. On I-90 westbound

Bob attends to ongoing maintenance
Ray Bailey lends his expertise...

Wyoming Cam-Plex. Site of Escapees Rally

We volunteered to assist at Information Table
As if we know anything...

Lady with many badges...

The "gang" from Rover's Roost
Where we hope to spend the winter

Jane Rose, a most delightful lady
She and hubby Brian have been full...

The rally's closing ceremony
No, we didn't win the grand door prize...

Elks Lodge inductees
Bob joined the Elks while at the rally

Elks Lodge Induction
Bob is at left middle

Devil's Tower National Monument Wyoming

Devil's Tower National Monument Wyoming

Devil's Tower National Monument Wyoming
There are climbers on the face of the...

Devil's Tower National Monument Wyoming
Closeup of climbers

Bob with Devil's Tower

Prairie Dogs near Devil's Tower

Cattle with one horn up, one horn down...

Fri, 26 Aug: Are we failing retirement or something? In this case setting the alarm was for a good reason. We had rendezvous to keep.

We'd prepared Carpe for the road quite a bit last evening so we were rolling wheels a bit after 0610, just 45 minutes after the alarm went off. It was a fairly quick 148 miles from Box Elder to Gillette on a virtually deserted I 90, and we pulled into the Flying J at 0900 sharp. Our plans were to top off the diesel (it is 15¢/gallon less in Wyoming) and then move to the nearby WalMart to rendezvous with Ray & Cathie Bailey who were driving in from Buffalo, WY.

Well, here's the way it worked out. As we exited the interstate at the Flying J, a Tiffen just like the Bailey's pulled off the eastbound ramp. We thought it was their coach, but the car this coach was towing was different, so we didn't give it another thought. The coach pulled into the RV lanes and we pulled into the truck lanes (the pumps in the truck lanes are much faster than in the RV lanes). After fueling we pulled out and there was that coach again—this time flashing its lights at us.

Yup, you guessed it! The Baileys bought a new tow car, a Honda, and didn't tell us. They got us, but good...

We unhooked our tow cars and caravanned to the Wyoming Cam-Plex rally grounds where we were checked in and parked (tail-to-tail) by 0950. We had lotsa catching up so come happy hour we retired to their coach for adult beverages and spent two hours trying to figure out where to go. In the end Cathie put together a great spur-of-the-minute dinner.

Sat: 27 Aug: We made up for yesterday's rude alarm driven wakeup by sleeping in and spending some quality snuggle time. We had a late breakfast and did some chores around the house. Bob went over to Ray & Cathie's to find out their schedule and spent more than an hour (they enticed him with some of their gourmet coffee). Sandi was delighted to have him out of the house so she could mop the floors, vacuum the carpets, and give the place a good dusting.

All four of us headed over to the Cam-Plex hall around noon and registered for the Escapees rally. The exhibition hall opened at 1300 and we spent about 1½ hours wandering around the exhibits. We met many folks we knew from previous Escapees visits and events. It was very heartwarming to see them again and exchange hugs and greetings.

We finally gave in to our rumbling tummies and went for a late lunch at a nearby Perkins. Then back home for a lazy afternoon. We dined individually as we were still pretty stuffed from that late lunch. We had a salad with some corn on the cob (it is delicious this year). Then we watched the storm coverage on the telly and turned in about 2200.

Sat, 03 Sep: Wow, another week shot since we've updated this Journal. It has been a very busy week with lots of things to see and do. As with all of these rallies, we just don't have time to attend all of the seminars we'd like or spend enough time with our friends.

Sunday was the opening ceremony, and the seminars started Monday and ran through Thursday. We attended several technical (electrical, water, propane, etc.) and informative (boondocking, Alaska, and others). The exhibits were interesting and we spent money on some travel books (Alaska), plumbing upgrades, and other "toys".

Of course we enjoyed seeing our friends most of all. The "gang" from Rovers Roost in Casa Grande got together for a group photo. Rovers Roost is where we spent the winter of 09-10 and plan to again spend this winter. SKP ACRES had a happy hour. This is the group that put on the rally in Marion, NC this past April (see Marion, NC entry). It was great to see the "gang" again.

The rally ended Thursday afternoon, after which Bob got inducted into the BPOE Elks. The local lodge, with 100 members, inducted 51 additional Elks on one night. Many Elks lodges have RV parking available to members, so we've been wanting to join. So Bob is now an Elk...

We'll stay here at the Gillette Cam-Plex RV park until after Labor Day to avoid the congested roads and crowded parks. On Tuesday we'll (Baileys & Swansons) work our way toward Gardiner, Montata (north Yellowstone Park entrance) where we'll spend a week while Ray, Bob, & Sandi attend a photo class sponsored by the Yellowstone Association. Then we'll relocate to West Yellowstone, MT (west park entrance) for a few more days. Plans after that are not yet set.

Today (Saturday) is a bright, clear, and cool (sixties) day and we took a drive to visit Devil's Tower, about sixty miles east of here. Neither Ray nor Cathie have seen it, and every time we visited it was rainy and gloomy. Well today we hit the jackpot as it was beautiful and sunny so we got some great shots of the nation's first National Monument.

More anon...

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