T-zero! (We’re past our commitment date now, but still having fun!)
- Where: Quartzsite, Arizona
- When: January 19th to 28th, 2017
- What: Xscapers Convergence
- Why: to get a taste of our future lifestyle
Going Home – very sad.
The time went by much too quickly. A 10 day trip – our longest vacation in years – and it hardly felt longer than a long weekend. We kept busy, but didn’t get any of our planned “work” done while we were there. I didn’t even check email. But the main purpose of the trip was to meet up with other Xscapers at the Convergence, and that we did!
Although we arrived there midway through the event and the weather was cold and windy for the most part, we were still able to attend presentations, and some group events. We were able to meet a lot of new people, and even got to visit with a few we met last year. We got to know some wonderful people and it was fun to meet some of our favorite YouTube Celebs.
Because we had to miss the first week due to work commitments, we missed some events that would have been fun to attend, like the YouTube Channel Tips and the tour of office spaces, so I didn’t get to see the rig with his and hers desks and 6 computer monitors (so I heard!).
Late arrival also made it a little more difficult to mingle as groups and friendships had been formed before we got there. Mostly it was difficult because instead of hanging out around the campground, people were holed up inside because of the nasty weather. I had really been hoping for T-Shirt weather like last year. Someone from the group said they checked on their weather at home in Washington and it was only 3 degrees colder! Not what they had in mind!
But there were a couple of nice days. One was the day we did the group hike to Palm Canyon in the Kofa Wildlife Refuge, about 30 miles south of Quartzsite. That was a beautiful day and we had a great time meeting new people. We also enjoyed taking pictures under the beautiful blue skies.
Stormy weather makes for interesting photography as well, and my favorite shot was trees along the Colorado River against the dark clouds.
With this trip, we tested our boon-docking capacities. And we did well. With 8 nights and 9 days off grid, we managed to live off of our systems. We still don’t have solar installed, but with the new batteries we managed to run the generator for only about an hour to an hour and a half each morning and evening. Although our tank monitoring system doesn’t work, we visually estimated that we probably still had a quarter of our 100 gallon fresh water left. So we were conservative enough. We figure we could last over 10 days no problem. But boy, once we got to campgrounds, it was wonderful to take a long regular shower and not worry about water or electrical or wifi conservation.
With all of the thousands of RVers converging at Quartzsite around the time of the big RV Trade Show, the cell towers were at capacity. Our Verizon did well, but our T-Mobile – the account we got so we could watch unlimited Netflix etc – did not. The phone service worked, but the data did not stream. The connectivity presentation explained why and offered options to get around it in the future. We definitely felt a little lost without a reliable internet connection. Still, we were able to access Facebook and do some searches, so all in all not bad. And we had plenty of off-line work to keep us busy even though we just didn’t find time for it.
So all in all, a really great trip. It convinced us even further that this full time thing is something we’ll enjoy doing.
The first day was a little hard. To get into down-time mode after being so busy with trip preparations and such for the week before was hard on me. But that only lasted about 24 hours! Now I’m thinking about all the work that awaits us as we head home. But we’re even more energized to tackle all of our chores so we can get this adventure rolling!
Peace & Love, Joy
And in case you’re interested in a blow-by-blow account, here was our Itinerary:
- Thursday – Left at one and spent the night at Agua Caliente Casino near Palm Springs.
- Friday – Arrived at Xscapers campsite around noon – went to a Photography class at at 1pm. Then bored. Very windy and cold. Rained. Took a short Jeep trip exploring until it got too dark & wet. Watched 2 movies because I didn’t know what to do with myself.
- Saturday – Got up and prepared to go to the opening day of the RV show. Got there 1 hr after opening and could barely make our way to the first exit where we quickly escaped! Toured outdoor booths and some motorhomes. Attended the Instant Pot Demo in the afternoon (and now want one of course!).
- Sunday – Jeep trip to Desert Bar – stopped on the way back to meet the RV Geeks at Tough Top Awnings (NICE people!!).
- Monday – RV Show Scavenger hunt. Did not partake but did go back to show. Then went rock hunting along Colorado River. Another Stormy night.
- Tuesday – Group hike toPalm Canyon in Kofa National Wildlife Refuge – south of Quartzsite. After that we stopped at Crystal Mountain to rock hound. Got home to prepare for the 4pm Guacamole Contest (we didn’t come close to winning!).
- Wednesday – nice weather and busy day! 10 am Drone Presentation, 1pm Connectivity Presentation with LivinLite’s Erik & Kala, and 4pm Aussie Day food Tasting with RVLove. 6:30 pm Corn Dog Truck(!) and outdoor movie: Spaceballs.
- Thursday – Went in to Tyson Wells Sell-aRama. Tom bought a hat, then took Concealed Carry class while Joy stayed in the RV all by herself to edit the Jeep Trip Video. 6 or 7pm event wrap up costume party (and us with all our costumes at home!) and campfire.
- Friday – AM went in to re-look at some RV’s (just in case!). Left camp around noon. Stopped at Parker for lunch and to upload Jeep Trip video using McDonald’s wifi (man, was it fast!). Arrived at River Island State Park at 2 and hiked around before cleaning up. Had dinner while catching up on you-tubes with park wifi.
- Saturday – got up and prepared to head home. Made a detour off of I-40 to Route 66 and stopped to tour the (almost ghost) town of Amboy and briefly stopped at Amboy Crater to Vlog about the trip. Drove home the last part in rain and darkness.
- Sunday – woke up to thick fog. Yep, we’re home.