January 11 – Feb 1, 2019 Quartzite Arizona
Leaving Fort Davis and heading towards “Q” (Quartzite) we wanted it to be a one day trip. We left before the sun came up, it was a little scary heading down a mountain road towing and only having driven once before. Needless to say, we did not make it in one day, and ended up deciding to stay the night at the Elks Lodge in Gila Bend, AZ. We put the address in our gps thinking we were set to go, wrong. When we got to Gila Bend it took us thru a small neighborhood, hummm? We took the left she said to go, it was a narrow sandy road, then a right which was another narrow sandy road. Guy put on the brakes, fast, as we knew that if we went further we would be in trouble, turning around this 45’ beast would be challenging if not impossible. After checking it out we did indeed need to make a 12 point u turn. It was a challenge in the soft sand with a high burm on each side.
January in Quartzite, AZ is the place to be if your an RVer!! Every year in January the Sports, Vacation and RV show happens, with close to 1,000,000 people, mostly in RV’s converging on this sleepy little desert town. The show started over 40 yrs ago on Jan 28, 1984 and has grown in size every year since.
The “BigTent” is 69,000 sq ft, and fully carpeted over the desert floor, there are vendors of every kind inside the tent as well as outside. The streets are lined with tents selling everything you could possibly think of either rv or food related, clothing and every kind of household gadget or cleaner. Campgrounds from around the country selling spaces are there to hand out their information. You can also find any kind of rock or gem from all over the country as there are vendors all over town.
The most fun for us is the buggy riding, there are no restrictions about riding the buggy on the streets all over town. The wide open desert is our best play ground. We love to ride the desert exploring all the different abandoned mines, old abandoned shacks, or checking out what’s over that next hill.
The Desert Inn out in the middle of the desert on a dirt road only accessible by an off road vehicle. It looks like people bring stuff and leave it.
The GoldEye Mine was mined by LH Erdman until his death. There are now others who mine there now. His parts of his rock house is still there as well as other items that are now all rusty.
When arriving at “Q” we headed to La Posa South, a BLM camp area in the desert. At this point the government was still shut down, so the normal fees were not being taken. Our friends were camped somewhere in this area but we did not have a clue where. It’s a huge desert area with rv’s parked all over. Our friends were all out riding buggies in the surrounding mountains and could not receive texts or phone calls. Driving down the main dirt road we kept looking for our perfect spot to stay for the rest of the month. I think I drove Guy crazy, as I would see a place and then change my mind, we finally settled on our perfect spot.
Some would think that camping in the middle of the desert that there would be nothing to do or people around, that would be a wrong assumption. You can be as busy as you want to be, there are over a million of your like minded friends there with you. Guy and I seemed to find a happy medium for us. Our friends were camped less than 1/4 mile from us, we could walk or take our buggy over for happy hours at Diane and Steve’s in the afternoon, or to Red and Pam’s for a fish fry, Debbie and Steve’s for a campfire. Les and Sue were a little more challenging as they were about 2 miles further out in the desert. One night Sue invited 14 people out to their campsite as she had cooked dinner for us all and had a little campfire.
One afternoon 10 of us went to the big tent to walk thru it, then looked at some rv’s and worked up a thirst for beer and ended up at Beer Belly’s. As we listened to the music the conversation moved in food as we had all worked up an appetite. As you can imagine with 10 people and different ideas of where to eat, drive to Parker for Mexican or into Blythe, Ca for Italian. Then reality hit about how far the drive was to each, so we went about 1/4 mile away at Silly Al’s for pizza.
Camped across from us was our new “son” Troy from Alberta, Canada, he is the same age as our son. We spent almost everyday with him, checking out the big tent, buggy riding, sitting by the campfire or eating together. We enjoyed him so much we took him with us to functions with friends, which is why he was dubbed our new “son”. I wish I had taken a picture of his 3 yorkies which are all rescues. I did take take a picture of LaciLou with Mia.
My sister, Penny and her husband, Roger came from California with their motorhome and buggy for 5 days. Which made for great times with lots of laughing, eating, drinking, buggy riding, campfires and just plain conversation.
My good friend Kathi, also from Ca was camped about 7-8 miles on the other side of Q with her group of Leisure Van owners. When her group dispersed she moved over by us for a few days before heading to the beach in Northern Ca.
Debbie and Steve told us about a hike we should take to Palm Canyon, so off we went. I am just so amazed at the mountain ranges in Az. The desert flowers were all just starting to bloom with such awesome colors, the cactus even bloom with beautiful flowers in spring. I’m hoping we get to see them.
The hike was pretty easy, we noticed palms growing up along the trail high up on the mountains. The hike stops at the sign pointing to palm trees which were growing in a crevasse high in the volcanic mountains. You wonder how did they get there? Scientists suggest that two immense volcanoes erupted covering the surrounding area with hundreds of feet of ash, rocks, cinders, and lava. Millions of years later the rock layers cracked, split open, tilted and lifted. Could there have been palm trees in those layers of rock millions of years ago? It’s a conundrum!
Well, our month was up and time to move to Gold Canyon, which is on the other side of the state on the south east side of Phoenix and the Superstation Mountains.
Guy and I thank you for coming along on our journey around this wonderful country. Come on back and check out our travels and the fun we had in our next adventure.
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