Monday, February 18, 2013

Boondocking in Quartzsite

 February 18, 2013:

It was a rough start to our travel day to Quartzsite, the temperature had dropped to 24 degrees overnight and there was no water, we were frozen up. We had been looking forward to nice hot showers before the start of our boondocking adventure. So there I was at 7 AM in below freezing temperature putting on our spare water hose and dumping hot water on the valve to thaw it out.  To my relief, it worked and we got away clean, on the road at 9 AM as planned.  

A nice sunny day, nothing but blue sky, good driving conditions.  After 350 miles, we arrived in Quartzsite about 4 PM and stopped at the recommended "RV Pit Stop" to fill our fresh water and propane tanks.  It was then about 5 miles out into the surrounding BLM land to the RV Dreams rally site.  

We set up, (pretty easy when boondocking), and were just in time for the dinner spread put on by RV Dreams.  It was then the usual rally information, rules and introductions.  Then time to relax and unwind under a beautiful clear night sky, filled with stars, cold enough to want to get right up next to the blazing wood fire.  It seemed that everyone was around the fire with assorted beverages and much laughter and conversation.  A couple that we had met at our first RV Dreams rally in Hershey, PA were there and it was great to see them again. 

The cold front that froze us at Bisbee seems to have followed us to Quartzsite.  On Sunday and Monday low temperatures were in the low 30's overnight and since we were only on battery power we barely used the furnace.  I fired up the generator in the morning to make coffee, crank up the heat, use the toaster and recharge the batteries.  The generator is going to get a good workout over the next two weeks.  The sound of multiple generator's running, not exactly serene, solar panels are now making more sense to me, even if they aren't exactly cost effective.

As it was cold and cloudy with light rain Monday morning we took a ride to downtown Quartzsite to look around and were very surprised.  We had been told by other people that there was nothing at Quartzsite, it was just a barren wasteland.  We sure found this to be wrong, there are several stores to buy food and supplies, restaurants, bars, gas stations, even McDonalds.  There are also lots of vendors selling all sorts of stuff, but if you're idea of civilization is a shopping Mall, then this is a barren wasteland.

The RV Dreams rally has had several informative seminars during the week on boondocking related topics. Also there has been lots of great food, pot luck meals, a chili cookout, pot luck hors d'oeuvres, a Valentine's party with dance music under the stars, an RV open house tour and several new friends.   Our nights have consisted mainly of sitting around the campfire, drinking assorted beverages, (beer has been our largest expense), listening to RV travel tales and other related stories and laughing out loud !  

There are still lots of rock and gem vendors in Quartzsite although the big show is over.  We would love to buy lots of rocks but they are not especially good in a RV where weight is kind of important. Our new RV rule is "Little rocks only" !

While I was at one of the RV Dream seminars on Wednesday, Twinkles and her friend Jeanne went shopping in Quartzsite.  They went to the local bookstore and found the owner almost totally nude and of course Twinkles sneaked a photo.  It seems that this is his usual attire at the store.  He is quite the character and years ago was a musician of some renown who went by the name "Sweet pie". Minutes latter Twinkles had a stimulating conversation with another Quartzsite shop owner (character) who warned her about the government plot to kill the 49% people and how the scientists were working in the desert in FEMA trailers developing an antidote to save the rest of the population, it's true, it's on the internet he told her.  So while Twinkles is learning about government plots to kill us, I am back at the camp learning how to properly maintain our RV Toilet holding tank ?  

On Thursday, we went for a short hike at the "Kola National Wildlife Refuge".  The hike was only a mile round trip and takes you into Palm Canyon where you can view a stand of native Palm trees, one of only 2 or 3 groves in Arizona.  We then drove several miles down a very rough, rocky gravel road to the Crystal Hill rock collection area.  This is an area where you are allowed to pick a limited quantity of rocks.  We walked around there looking for cool rocks, didn't find anything great, but left with a few to add to our collection.  

There was an RV Dreams caravan on Sunday to the Desert Bar. The Desert Bar was 30 some miles away, then another 5 miles down a rough dirt road to what looked like an old mining area, it was packed with people, was very scenic and had a live band playing, it was a lot of fun !

This is a very successful rally so far, we are having a great time and learning much. That is the goal !

Stay tuned for more,
Twinkles and Slick

Quartzsite  vendor

RV Dreams circle view

Every kind of rock imaginable can be found here

View from the Palm Canyon road

RV Dreams circle at Quartzsite

The rough road to the Desert Bar

Old Ford Truck at the Desert Bar

The native Palms in Palm Canyon

View inside Palm Canyon looking out into valley

 Crystal Hill rock collection area

View at the Crystal Hill rock collection area

View looking down on the Desert Bar from the hill top

Old car at the Desert Bar

The RV Dreams crowd at the Desert Bar

Someone on top of rig catching the sunset

1 comment:

  1. I was so expecting to see a picture of the bookstore owner! Plus, I also now understand what "boondocking" means and the origin of the word. My one new thing for today! Enjoy your travels!