Let’s get the “stalking” out of the way, first. Members of our large Escapees RV Club are great about putting round decals on the backs of their motorhomes, trucks, and cars. It’s our “badge” of camaraderie. So, it is not uncommon to stop a stranger whose vehicle is adorned with the trademarked “red wagon” to introduce yourself and offer a friendship hug or handshake.
So, today while out traveling a dirt road between Seward and Lowell Point, AK, we came across a vehicle with an Escapee sticker on the back window. Since there were no turn-offs (except into Resurrection Bay), we followed it a short while until it pulled off to take photographs of a gushing waterfall. Frank stayed on his tail and when he stopped, Frank popped out and introduced himself to the occupants. He then opened the club cab doors and Luke and I were immediately recognized as the “CoolRVers”. Turns out that full-timers Jerry and Dee Thomas knew who we were because they had been following this blog and were current on our whereabouts and even our plans for tomorrow. It was nice getting to put faces and names with blog readers.
The Escapee Club also has a number of special-interest subgroups that are referred to as “Birds of a Feather” (BoFs) and we are very active with the “Boomers,” a BoF with its own recognizable decal. Both our Honda CR-V and Frank and Gloria’s truck display both the Escapee and Boomer stickers, making us double easy to spot. Parking next to a vehicle with the same stickers, at the foot of a glacier near Seward, Alaska might be a little far-fetched, except we knew that the owners of this Tracker were Escapees Tom and Paula Nankivell, whom we have been running into since Fairbanks. It was fun to also meet them on the trail near Exit Glacier.
Click the image to enlarge it and then check out the back window stickers on both vehicles.Stalking Not Limited to Escapees
What was funnier to all of us was that we had already called ourselves “stalkers” earlier in the day. While we were in town, Gloria King spotted a 5th wheel RV with a bumper sticker from her childhood county in Iowa. The vehicle was on the main Seward business street and it took us a couple of blocks and a U-turn to catch up with these folks. Turns out they had only moved to that small Iowa town six years ago and only knew of one member from her family there. They did enjoy a brief conversation in the campground parking lot where Frank had blocked them in.
Aren’t you CoolJudy?
Many of the readers of this CoolRVers blog also know that I am an active participant in a number of online discussion forums (Escapees, Boomer, Geocachers, Winnebago WITs, etc.). On those forums I display this mug shot and folks know me as “CoolJudy”. [If you’ve read our profile on the right-hand side of this blog you will know that we live in Cool, California – thus the nickname I have used for a long time!]
Well, as poor Luke has learned, lots of folks “know” me. I can’t tell you how many times over our past seven years of active RVing I have had people stop us in campgrounds throughout our travels asking, “Aren’t you CoolJudy?” It has happened twice here in Alaska in the past couple of weeks. Just a couple of days ago folks whom we met at a Winnebago Grand National Rally in Iowa last year stopped us cold in our tracks here in Seward with that now familiar double-take and question. (I am horrible with names so I’m embarrassed to say I remembered Bob’s name, but not his wife’s name. They are also following this blog so I’ve asked them to send me an email. When they do, I’ll gladly report back in.) They had arrived in Seward by train from Anchorage to spend the day and we actually ran into them three times during the day.
The same thing happened a couple of weeks ago at Riley Creek Campground in Denali National Park. I was walking down the road when the driver of an RV stopped suddenly in the roadway while backing his trailer into a space. He jumped out and he offered the same familiar question: “Aren’t you CoolJudy?” They introduced themselves as Gene and Judi Curp and within a couple of hours they had joined us, the Kings, and the Nankivells for an Escapees Happy Hour. (Two other Escapee couples were in the park with us but not available that day.)
The RV lifestyle is always taking us to new places but we somehow find familiar faces or make new friends at the sight of a RV club decal. Everyone is family. That’s the way life is on the road.
NEXT: Seward – Part 4: Glaciers and Marine Wildlife