January 2-31, 2017, Quartzsite, Arizona
Guy and I were looking forward to our new adventure in Quartzite, AZ. It was a wonderful time spending New Years with my sister and her extended family. Since they were all heading back to California, it was our time to head out as well.
We picked going to Quartzsite for the Super RV show and the ability to drive our buggy anywhere thru the mountains or on any street. I’m not sure how to explain this place except to say “you see it all here”, it is one crazy busy place and there is no other like it. You see everything from fancy big million dollar coaches, trailers, and every size or shape of homemade trailers or campers, and tents.
The tent which is the size of two football fields goes up for the big show. The inside has three isles of booths displaying everything from nail files, hot tubs, make-up, massages, RV camping memberships, spices and sauces, and with a few things RV mixed in. Around the outside of the tent you will find flea markets that are open all year, they sell everything else, hats, camp chairs, tools, rock and gem stones, yard art and plenty of items from China. Trust me, Guy and I did not walk away empty handed, we seem to always find something we need or want.
Anything thing you can imagine they sell
Every year, for the month of January, any where from 800,000 to a million Rvers converge on this small town and the surrounding area for the super rv show. The town consists of 36,000 year round residents. The town itself is pretty small, with about 20 RV parks, a couple of small town grocery stores, a great ice cream store, a few restaurants, and of course a McDonalds, as well as the “nearly naked book seller, Paul.” The nearest towns are Blythe, CA (20 miles) or Parker, AZ (35 miles) where you will get any medical services and will find the nearest Walmart.
Many Rvers will “boondock” (camping without the necessities, electric, water, or sewer) out in the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land, where in some spots there is no charge, or in the Long Term Visitor Area for up to 8 months for $180. Of course, that means you must find a way to take on water as well as dump your tanks.
There are many RV groups, clubs, and friends, which gather in the desert, with their rigs parked in big circles. There are always large campfires, movie nights (sheets attached to coaches as screens), potlucks, seminars, one group even hired a band for Saturday night, the payment to get in was a can of food for the homeless. (There were 75-80 rigs there for that event that lasted 5 days).
Living in the desert comes with its advantages, space, with no one close to you, the desert quiet, beautiful clear nights with millions of shinning stars, campfires, and lots of stories abound at the happy-hour time. But it also comes with disadvantages and thats lots of dust and dirt, maybe moving your rig every 5-6 days to empty tanks and take on water, once you decided to ignore the dust and dirt, your life becomes much easier.
Guy and I decided to stay in town at the Scenic Road Rv Park, which comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of having full hookups (electric, water, sewer) was what we were looking for, we had our campfires, happy hours, stars and friends around to enjoy. The disadvantage is having close neighbors and more traffic noise.
We went riding with a couple of groups, that have ATVs and invited us to ride with them. Since we didn’t know the area, it was great having a group along to show us the way. There were many old abandoned mines and abandoned houses scattered thru out the desert and mountains that we went thru.
Guy and I belong to a group on the internet called RVillage. It enables rv travelers to keep up with each other and check to see if there are other RVillage members are in the same area. That way you could have a meet and greet and get to know more travelers. While we were in Quartzsite, Roger and Cindy posted that they were having hor d’ oeuvres and campfire, bring something to share. They were on BLM land boon docking. There were about 20 couples there, with non of us ever meeting before, it was a great night. While talking with Roger and Cindy we found out they also had a side by side and had not taken it out much. So of course we all made plans to head out a couple of days later.
Out on one of the trails we went, we found a pretty cool abandoned rock house. There weren’t any big roads leading to this house and we were all pretty stumped how they got all the cement and rocks up the mountain! When they left, they didn’t take anything with them as you can see in the pictures.
We found the GoldEye mine that was still being worked today. But the remnants of the mining life was still in the house.
While out with Roger and Cindy we found a great cave to explore!
Our friends from Idaho, Joyce and her husband, Ron drove down from Las Vegas one day to see us and told us that Rons brother, Chris and his wife, Bobby were staying out on the BLM land and that they had a buggy!! Wow! Jack pot, more riders!!
Guy and I ride by ourselves but it really isn’t safe, if something were to happen, either to the buggy or us it would be hard to get help. We are sometimes 30 or more miles from town. So finding more buggy riders is wonderful, plus more new friends.
I had two of my oldest and dearest friends ( can’t believe I did not take any pictures) come stay in Quartzite as well. Barbara and I have been friends since we were 10, both of us were born in Mass, our birthdays are 3 days apart and we both love quilting. Barb belongs to a group called: Sisters on the Fly, which is a Women’s camping group. There are over 7,000 members, her number is 99. The Az group that she belongs to camp at Quartzite every year and is one of the events that the husbands can attend. It was great fun having her and her husband, Jim over for dinner one night as well as out to dinner at “The Grubstake” another night. Our week went by so fast, we still had so much more to talk about, even tho we never stopped talking while we were together.
Kathi’s rig, Benson,AZ
Kathi, came with her rv and stayed with us for two weeks. We had a great time of catching up as she lives is Southern Ca, where we have not ventured with our coach yet. She is just getting started on her traveling adventure and hasn’t gone to far yet. She also went with for another week traveling with us to Benson, Az. (more on that in the next blog).
The desert has its own beauty, with vast wide open spaces, numerous types of cactus, sunsets that are most beautiful in the US. It is unforgiving in the summer months as Quartzsite is one of the hottest places in the US with temps as high as 122 degrees. But spend the winter and it can go as low as 40 degrees at night with the highs during the day from the 60’s – 70’s. We have sure enjoyed our stay here in Quartzsite and hope to come back again someday. If you haven’t been to the Super Rv show, I recommend you spend one January and enjoy the experience.
Thank you for following along with “The Rovers” and our tour of this wonderful country of ours. Come on back as we now are heading down to Benson, Az which is south of Tuscon and much closer to the border of Mexico.