From Rockport, we headed north to Livingston, Texas, which is home to an amazing organization. The Escapees RV Club was founded on July 4, 1978, by Joe and Kay Peterson. The Petersons formed the organization to be a home base for full-time RVers. Today, it has grown into a national network of support opportunities for those who have forsaken brick-and-mortar for wheels.
A few examples:
- Our mail forwarding service is through Escapees. They do a remarkable job of sending our mail on to us anywhere we want on demand. They will even go through it and let us know if something has been received.
- They own more than a half-dozen “Rainbow Parks.” Some, including the huge one at “headquarters,” combine transient travelers like us and permanents who have decided to curtail their traveling days. Deeded lots hold everything from RV’s only to RV’s with supplemental structures to full “stick and brick” homes with RV parking garages. In Alabama, we had became good friends with the regional group, attending their monthly meetings and a few events at their park.
- They have an excellent health facility called “CARE.” It provides medical support services, including respite care, meals, appointments, etc. for members.
- Many other campgrounds offer discounts to Escapees, and some members actually provide overnight driveway parking for members passing through.
- They hold regional and national rallies with great social opportunities, and they have many special interest groups.
- They offer educational seminars, including a comprehensive “boot camp.” They will even help you become a “Texan” if you would like to use their home state for its financial advantages.
We signed in and promptly got traditional hugs from the office staff. So many others in the park offered friendly greetings. I broke out my new bike and visited the full limits of the facility. I met the person in charge of our mail, Kelly Burns, and talked to the office staff about Texas residency, which we declined for now.
One of our reasons for this visit was to take advantage of medical opportunities. We had complete ultrascan screens of all our organs, blood tests, eye tests and hearing tests, all at nominal charges. Arranging for health care while on the road is one of the greatest challenges.
Our stay at Escapees was topped off by the weekly dinner activity on Thursday, which includes much more than a meal. These folks hardly lack for companionship and mutual support – it’s one big family.