I can remember very clearly my first few hours of hours after arriving at Marine Corps boot camp. We had our heads shaved, we were relieved of our "civilian" clothing and handed boots, olive green pants and a yellow sweatshirt. In other words we had been stripped of our old identity (they were going to build us a brand new one, yeah sure!). But standing there, everyone having the same dorky bald canary look, we talked and the first groups that
formed tended to be based on your state of origin. You know, us Texans have to stick together. I find it extremely curious the speed of such bonds are made. Throughout boot camp other, more powerful, commonalities took over and other bonds were formed and the state thing faded somewhat but it never went away (and, of course, sometimes we found out even Texans can be a?#@s). But still, just think, if you're in an elevator in New York City and you discover the person across from you is from Texas, then immediately you feel a bit closer to him even if he was from Houston and you're from El Paso (thats about 800 miles from each other).
Kamala and I are cyclists, we ride a tandem, and we are long distance tourists (at least we were before the dogs--another blog for another day). Any one of the preceding, cyclist, tandem, or bicycle tourist creates an instant bond if you run into each other on the road, in the park, at Aunt Myrtle's birthday party, waiting for jury selection........You get the picture. There's no guarantee that a lasting bond is going to happen, but it definitely provides a "comfort space" to allow things to happen. The more specific the commonality, the deeper the comfort.
Now, we took possession of our Casita about two and a half years ago and, of course, we loved it right out of the chute. Whenever we saw one, we'd say "look, look a Casita!" On the road we'd wave as we crossed paths with others and occasionally we would get a chance to talk to other Casita owners. And we would run into Scamp owners and discovered that we were part of that larger "Fiberglass" club. We even contemplated going to a rally but every one that we looked at had to be reserved months in advanced and hey, with our lifestyle, that ain't gonna happen. Then we met Glenda and Jeff and their Casita at Lake Brantley near Carlsbad, New Mexico last year. They pointed us to the Fiberglass Rally in Quartzsite, Arizona, Lots of free camping space and the best part--no reservations.
So we went to our first Fiberglass Rally this year. Over a hundred little fiberglass eggs showed up. Most were Casitas with a few Scamps, 3 or 4 Escapes, a Trillium, a Burro and a couple of others whose names escape me. That bonding factor was, BANG, instantaneous. Friendships formed simply because you loved your little travel trailer. Now I don't suffer any illusion that I'm going to establish deep, loving friendships among this crowd but the possibility is there to be lost or gained.
We found the group to be friendly, open and sharing. The background of the participants was diverse but we all loved our little houses on wheels. We talked of travel, modifications, campgrounds and roads. We told camping stories and all the unique ways to to use these little "eggs". Kamala and I learned a great deal about solar panels, plumbing, generators, batteries and lighting. People were willing to share their knowledge of what works and what doesn't. I wish we had gone to one of these rallies earlier. It would have saved me some time and headaches. Hell I wish we had gone to one of these before we bought our Casita because we would have bought some different options (and we would have probably bought it a lot sooner). In short, we loved it,
Warning!!!! While the camping was free and there was no registration fee, the rally has cost us several hundred dollars in "upgrades" due to information we obtained at Quartzsite.
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