The CoolRVers are actually a couple of retirees, Judy and Luke Rinehimer and our 5 year old German Shepherd Dog, Miss Shady Lady. We are "extended-time" travelers with a home in Cool, California. Thanks for following along with us as we travel North America in our "rolling condo", enjoying the RV lifestyle. Your comments are always welcomed.

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Monday, April 3, 2017

"B" IS FOR BOOMERS (#AtoZChallenge)

Welcome back to Day 2 of the "A to Z Challenge" and today's posting is based on the letter "B".
Since the original name of this blog has been "CoolRVers On the Road" I thought it would be appropriate to give you a look at our "home on wheels" and, more importantly, introduce you to our FAMILY on the road known as the "BOOMERS" -- representing my assigned letter "B" in today's Blogging Challenge theme.
The "Boomer Banner" roams wherever Boomers gather.

"Boomers" are part of a sub-group known as "Birds of a Feather" (BOF) belonging to the Escapees RV Club, a national organization dedicated to the support of all RVers through communities centered on the concepts of caring and sharing. You will read a lot more about the Escapees organization later this week when we reach the letter "E" in the Blogging Challenge.  
We like to say "Boomers: it's not an AGE thing, but a STATE-OF-MIND". While a very informal club with a membership now totaling more than 1,000 members, the following quotation from the Escapees website is as "formal" as this group gets:

The Boomer BOF is an unstructured social group for those with a youthful mindset (all ages invited to join). We purposefully have no officers, no activity directors, and no published rules.                 

Escapees BOF (Birds of a Feather) groups are comprised of people who share a common interest. In order to belong to a BOF, one must be a member in good standing of the Escapees RV Club.
Casual social group (no rules/no officers) for those who have a youthful mindset.  Members enjoy hiking, beading, biking, paddling, reading, 4-wheel drives, or just sitting around the campfire. Impromptu gatherings pop up several times a year. Monthly electronic newsletter. Facebook and Yahoo groups  provide multiple opportunities to share the RV experience. Free sample newsletter emailed on request. There's no cost to join! Send name and SKP# to boomerbof@gmail.com.

Our Family on the Road  

Mention FOOD and Boomers will come together.  This was actually a "recruitment" opportunity
for non-members of the Boomers to meet and socialize during the recent Escapees national rally.  

Image may contain: one or more people
About 200 members of the Boomers BOF gathered for a Social Hour and group photo
during the Escapees Escapade (national rally) held in Tucson, Arizona a few weeks ago.
I am the "yellow blob" on the floor in front of the Boomer Banner.  
We joined the Boomers in 2005, not long after I retired from Cosumnes River College.   We knew we wanted to travel, but along the way we discovered there was much to learn to survive and enjoy the RVing lifestyle. Besides all the logistical, mechanical, and techie issues of being "extended-time" RVers, we found the Boomer SOCIAL network helped bridge our time away from family with plenty of opportunities for fun, food, and friendships.

In the jargon of Boomers, a large gathering of Boomers is called a BOOMERANG.  Since there are no officers to organize events, folks just use Yahoo and Facebook social media pages or the monthly newsletter to announce an activity.  "Call it and they will come!"

Boomerville is where you migrate to in January

Parking in Boomerville is very informal.
The largest annual gathering of the BOF is held for about two weeks in Quartzsite, Arizona every January.  This past year more than 160 RVs checked into an area fondly called "Boomerville" to dry-camp (RVs parked with no water, electric, or sewer connections) free of charge on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) desert floor.

Dancing &Karaoke around the campfire
The two weeks in Boomerville are filled with daily calendars of self-organizing events which typically include morning walks/hikes, pancake breakfasts, potlucks, discussion circles, four-wheeling, geocaching, crafting lessons, evening travelogue presentations projected under the stars on the side of a motorhome, jam sessions, and even karaoke around a large campfire.

Technical advice and safety issues are popular Boomerville activities. Service projects and raising funds for charity are annual events. Socializing and renewing friendships keeps everyone hopping. Daily 4 pm Happy Hours welcome new arrivals and announcements keep the calendars up-to-date.

Boomers give back to the community.  Food servers at a local mission
Mac the Fire Guy presents live fire demonstrations on using extinguishers and how to escapee an RV through a bedroom window.

Boomers are always meeting each other on the road.

Boomers meeting in Alaska at the "end of the road"
MINI-RANGS are smaller gatherings and occur all over the world whenever or wherever Boomers meet-up to socialize or work on projects.  Right now there are multiple Boomer rigs parked in the desert outside Borrego Springs, CA.
Others gathered this
Boomers gathering at a spa
weekend at a member's "stick house" in the San Diego area for a Mexican-themed dinner.  Hikers are also gathering east of Phoenix at the Lost Dutchman State Park where Boomers are volunteering as camp hosts.
Hubby Luke and our good Boomer Friends Gloria and Frank King

Need an ice cream fix?  Put the word out on the Boomer social network and a mini-rang can occur at a local Dairy Queen. Two or three couples can meet up for a meal and that qualifies as a "mini-rang" and photos will often appear in the monthly electronic Boomer News.

Crabbing at Winchester Bay, OR

Like to eat Crab?  Boomers are already planning another "Crab-a-Rang" this September along the coast in Oregon. Previous crabbing rallies in Winchester Bay, Oregon have also included charter boat fishing, potlucks with all the crab you can clean and eat, and recipe sharing.

Full-time RVers, people who have sold their traditional homes and live and travel year-round in their motorhome, trailer, camper, van, etc. sometimes like to get away and take a vacation cruise. Last year many Boomers took a group cruise to Mexico and plans are already underway for a Boomer cruise to Alaska in 2018.

Albuquerque in October is the destination for the Boomers and Balloons Rally

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the annual "Boomers and Balloons Rally" at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.  We have attended the ABQ Fiesta with Boomers since 2006 and during the last eight years, Luke and I have "hosted" or co-hosted this "bucket list" event.
Balloons landing by Boomer Row
We book 50 RVsites on the Balloon Fiesta landing zone and then connect about 100 Boomers with hot air balloon pilots to help "crew".  This allows the Boomers to earn free, all-entry "crew passes" and most will also be offered free balloon rides for helping the pilots launch, chase, and re-pack the hot air balloons. Boomer "crews" are now in demand and last year we placed Boomers on 25 balloon crews.

While this has been a major event for us to host all these years, it was time to "retire"  our hosting jobs and pass the hosting duties to other Boomers who stepped up to keep the Ballooning Rally going.

Our current "rolling condo" is a 40' 2007 Itasca Horizon TD.

Since we got married in 1970 we have had at least 10 different vehicles that we have traveled in.  In our early days we traveled across Canada and the USA in a converted GMC Carry-all van with homemade plywood bunk beds, Coleman stove, K-Mart storage trunk, and a porti-potty.  After that we moved up in the recreational vehicle hierarchy through a Toyota truck with a camper shell, a van conversion, two 21' American Clipper Class C RVs, a one-ton pickup truck with a cabover camper, another Class B van conversion we called the "ambulance", and then a series of more Class C "self-contained" mini-motorhomes.  

Once I retired in 2004 we jumped into the RV lifestyle and wanted more creature comforts on the road. We started at 21' with American Clippers, tried a 22' Itasca Spirit, a 24' Holiday Rambler Atlantis, and then moved to a full-size, 34' Class A Monaco Monarch.  In December, 2008 our current Itasca Horizon, measuring exactly 39' 10", caught our eye with a "front kitchen", dual recliners, and a great floor plan.  


You will get them when I post a photo essay on our home on wheels when I get to the assigned blogging letter of "H" or "I" next week. In the meantime, please search #AtoZChallenge for other participating Bloggers and comment on their postings.  


C IS FOR ____________


Sonrisa said...

Looks like a SUPER FUN group! Heidi at, Decibel Memos

Donna B. McNicol said...

Wow! Great photos and wonderful write-up about the Boomers. We haven't joined because I get so overloaded with people and have to hide. LOL!

DB McNicol, author & traveler
Theme: Oh, the places we will go!

Emily Bloomquist said...

How cool that the group is so huge and that so many get together each year. Thanks for the great write up and photos!

Emily | My Life In Ecuador

Arlee Bird said...

Sounds like fun. Most of my life travel has been connected with work which is how I enjoy travel--all expenses paid! Over the past couple decades our travel has been of the more solitary type as we cross country to visit family.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out: It's About Time

jcw3rd said...

"C" is for "Care". 8^)

Unknown said...

JC, I plan to do "C is for CARE" ...
Escapees will be the letter E posting.
(I may also add "COOLJUDY")
-- Judy Rinehimer