Casa Grande, AZ & the Gypsy Journal Rally

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yesterday morning I left the Ajo Heights RV Park and headed to Casa Grande for the 2nd Western Gypsy Journal Rally. The drive was uneventful and peaceful taking about an hour and a half on a gorgeous sunny day. The Pinal County Fairgrounds were easy to find and I pulled in to the frantic motions of the parking crew (all volunteers who did a wonderful job). I told them I needed a pull-through spot and of course was told that they didn't have any. Laughing I mentioned that I had already discussed that with Nick - it's his rally. They told me he was already on his way over to park the couple of vendors who had pulled in, they asked me to pull to the side and wait.

Well the vendor I pulled beside was none other than Chris & Jim, Geeks on Tour. We had been following each others blogs for a while and had to exchange our hugs for our first meeting. If I were younger and my skills a bit more up to date, I would probably be doing some of what they do...their classes go over VERY well at events.

Nick showed up and asked me to wait while he parked the vendors and checked out where to get me settled. After a couple of false starts he turned me over to Terry Simpson and I pulled through into a parking spot. Then Terry and another gentleman, whose name I have forgotten, helped me unload all the "stuff" in my trailer so I could unload the bike and then close up the trailer so someone could back into the spot behind me.

I started undoing the tie-downs and although it took a little strength, I managed to get three undone before the first stupid of the day....had to have at least one. LOL! I started with the right rear, moved to the left rear and without thinking moved forward to the left front. MISTAKE!!!! As soon as it released the bike tilted to the right....I shouted, "Oh CRAP!" but Terry was already in the doorway and grabbed the bike. To those who don't know, I should have done the right front next so that the bike would lean to the left and rest on the kick stand. You can bet I won't make that mistake again. I have a large bruise on my right shin where the foot peg caught me as it tipped. OUCH! Fortunately that was the only damage to the bike or me... My new neighbor across the way stopped over and he rolled the bike up beside the motorhome and we chatted a bit. He has a Gold Wing as well as smaller bikes. His wife is still active duty but he is retired and part-timing as he feels like it.

I spent most of the afternoon just walking around, checking out the vendors before it got crowded. Some I already knew like Smokey Joe & Pam who sell dry wash products as well as the RVers Notebook software. I snapped a shot of Smokey....Pam wasn't there just then.

Another vendor that I had met before (in 1999 at my first Escapade as well as at the 2007 one - both in Goshen, IN) was Too Crazy Ladies. They make custom badges, pins, buttons, signs, decals and lots more for many different events, not just RVing related ones. I picked up my Class of 2007 and Boondocker hang tags to add to my name badges. It was nice to actually have time to chat...usually things are so busy that I've had to stand in line for 20 minutes or more!

I ran into two women who writings & books I have read for a long time...Jaimie Hall- Bruzenak & Alice Zyetz'. Jaimie's husband George took some photos of us, check out their blog to see! They currently product an email newsletter that I had started about 12 years ago. When I stopped RVing Jaimie and Stephanie Bernhagen took it over. It's amazing to me that it's still in production!

One vendor I hadn't seen before but had seen the product mentioned somewhere recently was the vendor for Star Lights - motion sensor porch lights designed for RVs. What a great idea! If I wasn't moving to a boondocking lifestyle, I would definitely be adding one of these.

Day two was more meandering after catching up a bit online. I had plugged the motorcycle into my Battery Tender since the battery needed a boost after not being started for a month. Tried to fire it off this morning....nope, not going to work. I had read that the BMW batteries are different than most other stock motorcycle batteries and that the stock Battery Tender products might damage it. Well, since this was the third time I'd used the charger, guess that was the final straw. So no riding this week....sigh....and will have to get a new battery in Tucson next week as well as the proprietary Battery Tender designed for the BMW.

I stopped and chatted with one of the vendors who specializes in electrical work and asked him to take a look at my 12-volt cigarette lighter to be sure the wire was heavy enough to handle my 400 watt inverter for my laptop & printer. Fortunately he said the wiring was more than adequate and while the outlet wasn't the strongest, it should do without problems as long as I check the inverter plug in to be sure it wasn't getting hot. Peace of mind for $10. Gotta love it!

The event orientation session was great, I located the Class of 2007 folks and sat with them. So great to see so many here! After all the initial announcements, welcomes, etc. many of the instructors did a brief info and that was followed with the same from many of the vendors (probably half the vendors are also instructors). During the break I started seeing folks walking back in with HUGE ice cream cones. Yup, had to have one...delicious and hit the spot.

The day slowly came to a close and I managed to catch some nice sunset shots. Great way to end the day...tomorrow will be another busy one!

Till next time - keep on rollin',


  1. Hey Donna!

    I have been out of the loop for months. Like you I put Rving on hold when my house did not sell last year. However like you,if first you don't suceed try, try again! I will re -list this Spring

    Your blog is wonderful!
    The detail and links are so helpful, thank you
    I have listed your blog under "Favorite RV Blogs" on my blog,

    BTW, my condolences for your loss of BoBo. I am a dog mom myself, hence "apackof2" However I would like to encourage you to never say never.
    Pets bring so much to our lives

    Meanwhile I plan on being more faithful to read your blog as you are the one "going before me"

    I have lots of questions but I'll ask one by one

    First of all, boondocking is my preferred camping

    Both being singles,what do you consider to be the mimium holding tanks size?

    Right now I only drink bottled distilled water and want to continue that practice when Rving

    Thanks so much, keep up the GREAT job!

    Warm Regards
    Class of 2008(hopefully)

  2. It looks like you are having fun and I see in our newspaper that the weather down there is finally very nice. That is also good news on the wiring to your 12v outlet. It is better to know than always be worried about overloading it.

    I agree with Joanie above, you are doing a great job with your blog!

  3. Make sure you buy an "Odyssey" battery! They can even mail it... I finally got a new one six years later after killing it at least 20 times! DO NOT BUY A BMW one...
    And a reminder... I do "prepare" receptions... could even do the Photography for you...
    Too funny!!!
    (don't you dare not posting this!!!)
    So it is a rumor...

    Be... very well... Ara & Spirit

  4. Rumor? What rumor...Froggie, are you getting "enamored" of someone???!! You better keep me filled in!

  5. hmmm...uh,....hee heee...does "Doug" know yet?
    See what ya started Ara?...this is sure to be the "talk of the Rally" for the next couple days!...


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