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Old 10-03-2020, 11:30 AM   #1
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Entegra@quartzsite gathering - 2021

People have been asking when I am going to announce the Quartzsite gathering this year. I don't normally publish much information about Quartzsite until late September or October. There are three problems in making firm plans about Quartzsite.

1.) There is no guarantee that the Quartzsite RV show will actually happen. It is currently planned as of this morning, but lots of people are predicting that fall will usher in a new big spike in COVID-19 infections all across the country and if the situation deteriorates significantly, the State of Arizona may well shut down all mass gathering like the "Big Tent". So, time will tell, and there is no way to predict what the world is going to be like in January 2021. So, there are no promises. The plans to reduce COVID risk at the big tent are almost laughable to anyone who has attended in the past (IMO).

2.) Even if the State of Arizona permits large events such as Quartzsite, all that science and experts have told us is that communal meals, "pot-lucks" (where everyone brings something to eat for everyone else), but then virtually everyone is exposed to anyone who brings a meal that may be a supercarrier of COVID-19 and spreads the virus to others who share. This is why there are very few functioning buffet restaurants right now.... if you are careful, you don't want a bunch of people sharing serving spoons and "fondling" the breads or biscuits with their hands and then putting something they have handled back into the common food area. These problems tell me that some of the common good things about the Gathering need to not happen this January, so my anticipation is that there will be no "catered" meals, and no "Pot Lucks". What I can tell you is that there will be none that I plan personally and none that I attend or supposedly sponsor like a typical year. My assumption is that Dee and I will either eat by ourselves in our own coach, from food that she or I prepare, and communal eating will not occur. This will lead to a big reduction in cost of the Gathering, or maybe there will be no cost, and we will operate like we did the first year 6 years ago..... we asked for people to make a cash donation of $20 bucks for their share of the firewood used in the nightly fireside discussion.

I think that we can continue to have formal owner discussions during the afternoon and informal owner discussions and camaraderie at night around the bonfire. I would expect everyone to have masks with them, wear them, and socially distance. Those events will be outside so that makes things better. If you insist on not wearing a mask or not social distancing, then I ask you not to think about attending. You have the right to do whatever you want to do, but if that is your perspective, then there are thousands of acres at Quartzsite and you are free to exercise your freedoms by yourself and park somewhere else on BLM desert away from those who attend the Gathering. You can have your own gathering.

3.) I discovered in April of this year that the Hodgkins Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph system) that I went through a ton of heavy duty chemotherapy three years ago, and was declared "cured" has come back. A reoccurrence of Lymphoma takes a stronger and different approach to treatment and I have been undergoing a new treatment at Baylor University Medical School Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas. Interestingly, Dee had breast cancer 23 years ago, which was also "cured" and stayed "cured" for 23 years, and she got a diagnosis of a reoccurrence of Breast Cancer a month before I was told about my diagnosis. She is also on a new, very advanced chemo-type drug and she is doing very well on it. But both of us got our diagnoses within a month of each other. Now, we are not the only owners of Entegra coaches that are very high risk groups.... most all of us are in our late 60s or 70s. So, both of us are about half way through our treatments. Dee is doing great. I have a PET in a couple of weeks and I assume that I am going to be responding well to his new stuff (because I feel pretty good), but the point of all of this is that there are a lot of high risk people who attend the Gathering. Again, if you are not going to follow the expectations of people who are trying to protect others as well as protect themselves, then please don't even think of attending the Gathering. I dont want any unpleasant interactions. I expect that if your are outside and in the presence of other owners, you will have a mask on covering both your mouth and nose. Several of the owners who have attended almost all of the Gatherings and know how things go are Canadians and I assume none of them are likely to be able to cross the border. Since there is a chance that I am forced to stay here in Shreveport because of my treatment, I may need another person to step in and play my role. I will be talking to several people about assuming that responsibility if either Dee or I find that we are not able to travel.

So, that is probably more than you wanted to know but now you know it. The Gathering is the most unique "rally" that I have ever attended. It is also the most enjoyable rally that I have ever attended. It is not for everyone. If you are not going to be happy unless you have 4 or 5 catered meals and LOTS of planned activities, then the Gathering is not for you. But, it seems to me that if you are a high risk (age, pre-conditions) and very concerned about COVID-19, but you still travel in your coach, then there is no reason that you can't continue to follow all your safety considerations and still attend the Gathering. We have had 4-corner weighing in the past, and we always have had Aqua Hot service days during the Gathering and I assume that we will have those still. We also have had expert technical talks and the annual talk by Pat Carroll, the head of Entegra design team. I have not yet begun discussion of Pat's intention and plans... he may not be able to travel.... if he can, we would love to welcome him for the 5th year (I think).

So, there you have it. Nothing formal to announce at this point but if you can live with my restrictions, then you can begin to plan. The "Big Tent (Show)" and formal RV show is currently scheduled to run from January 16th (a Saturday) to the 24th. I ask that no coaches arrive before the 15th (the Friday before the show opens). Where we are going to be and and the plans will be announced as it become clearer. For now, no registration. May not go up on ECOA web site .... or it may. We shall see.... hold on.

Gary
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:16 PM   #2
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Gary, I'm really sorry to hear about the medical issues you and Dee are dealing with, but encouraged that both of you seem to be responding well to the treatment regimens.

Best wishes to you both for full recoveries!
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:47 PM   #3
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Gary,

So sorry to hear of your cancers coming back. We will most likely not be able to attend in January as there is no guarantee the border will be open by then plus we will be committed to a park on Vancouver Island by then.

You and Dee take care and we hope to see you both in Quartzsite the following year.
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Old 10-03-2020, 03:48 PM   #4
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Thinking of you

Gary, Just wanted you to know that Andrei and I are thinking of you and Dee and sending big virtual hugs and positive energy for you to both beat this! Thanks for everything you both always do for the group! While we love our Gathering in Quartzsite, we understand all the Covid difficulties and will wait to see how things go. Stay positive and healthy!!
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Old 10-03-2020, 08:39 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear that your cancers returned. Rick and I wish you both a speedy and complete recovery.

We saw an interesting approach to the buffet quandary when we were in Michigan this year. This was for a salad bar but would probably work for any type of buffet. The restaurant had a box of those thin, clear plastic disposable gloves at the very beginning of the buffet. Each person was asked to put on a fresh pair of gloves, we used those to serve ourselves and then disposed of the gloves at the end of the line. I can think of at least a dozen reasons while that wouldn’t work in a setting like Quartzsite but thought I’d mention it for anyone with a smaller group, or even a family gathering, to consider.
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Old 10-04-2020, 07:45 AM   #6
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Thanks for the well wishes from everyone. I appreciate you saying it, but it was really not the reason I published it and I thought maybe I shouldn't, but then I thought what I was really trying to get across to everyone was that planning any group gathering is a risky business with the pandemic raging. I want everyone to understand that this may be "touch-and-go" and very "iffy".

But lots of people are traveling still as we see from reading posts here on iRV2. That means that they are willing to take their chances and assume COVID won't get them, or it means they are traveling and using the same cautions that most vulnerable people are adhering to at home.

Dee and I plan to travel this winter. We both may be getting our treatments done at some major medical center close to where we happen to be traveling, and we really want to do the Gathering in Quartzsite if we can. Rather than act like everything will be hunky dory and come off definitely, I thought I should be honest and talk about all the potential problems and changes.

Quartzsite tends to attract a "different" group of owners. My guess is that many of those people plan to be traveling in the southwest anyhow this winter, except for all the Canadians (which are a huge Gathering contingent) but cannot cross the border (understandable since they are doing a much better job than we are). Anyhow, I think the saying is something like "Forewarned Is Forearmed".

Gary
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Old 10-04-2020, 11:35 AM   #7
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Gary,
Our thoughts go out to you and your wife for a full and speedy recovery!
Best of luck on the Quartzsite gathering, hopefully we will be able to attend next year.
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Old 10-04-2020, 11:46 AM   #8
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We Foretravel owners are studying our "Q" gathering as well......
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Old 10-05-2020, 12:57 AM   #9
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Gary you and Dee will be in my prayers.
Sounds as though you have a fabulous team of physicians and a terrific outlook.
Keep that spirit!

We truly enjoyed quartzite last January, if it’s in the stars we will be there masks and all!
We will go along with the adjustments needed.
Keep us posted , take care... have faith! Ann Connors
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Old 10-05-2020, 08:47 AM   #10
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Hoping for health and strength through this tough time for you and Dee.
We, due to work, have not had a chance to get our coach out and explore. January will be our chance to do so. We will be traveling from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Let's keep our hopes up life to resume back to a tolerable normal...and health for Gary and Dee.
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Old 10-05-2020, 02:09 PM   #11
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Gary,
First off, I don't personally know Yall but rest assured yall are in our thought and prayers. I have learned much from your post and look forward to meeting in person. Thank you for the update on Quartzite. We have a few folks over on the other media sites that aren't over here that have expressed interest in this rally / gathering. Please keep us updated and if there is anything we can do for yall or to help in planning the gathering please let us know. We would love to help in any way we can.

JP
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:54 AM   #12
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John

Thanks for the offer to help. I am just beginning to feel out what may be possible. I will add you to the list of people that have attended in the past and I will keep informed along with posting here on the forum.

Dee and I have given up our "summer" trip to COVID and medical appointments and we would like to keep our winter trip moving forward, but the world is a different place right now.

Back channel me with your direct email address to facilitate communication in a PM.

Gary
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:46 PM   #13
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The following was posted to a question posted by Don N6CUS. I will merge both threads into a single thread from now on. Here is a copy.

"Don

If you look back to the prior page of these threads, you will see what I published to the forum about two weeks ago. I will get the thread and provide the link.

As this point, the ENTEGRA@QUARTZSITE GATHERING will be announced on the ECOA web page events page during the first week of November. There will be formal registration at the cost of $20 plus the fee collected by GLM at the ranger station. This will be a much cut down version, more like out first year. No catered meals, no pot lucks, wearing masks, social distancing. Less money. Bonfires and socially distanced discussions, services, and evening bonfires."

Gary
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