Saturday, February 23, 2013

Quartzsite week 2

February 24, 2013:

We took a ride with friends Jeanne and Glen to "Quinn Pass", named for Thomas Quinn, who came from from New Jersey, settled here and started  mining, for a short but excellent, scenic hike.  We then continued on to the town of Bouse. At Bouse we stopped for a beer at the interesting "Somewhere in Arizona Bar", which had a friendly old biker bartender who gave us some travel tips for the area.   Latter in the afternoon, I went on a solo excursion to an area near our campsite where the name "Quartzsite" and a directional arrow is spelled out with rocks to be visible from the air for WWII pilot trainees to see.  Also a mile or so away is the "Fisherman Intaglio" the outline of a fisherman was drawn on the desert floor by ancient indians. It is very faint, you can just barely see it, it's more visible from the air, but it is amazing to me that after hundreds of years it is still visible at all.  Then I went to downtown Quartzsite to see the "Hi Jolly Monument" and town cemetery.  Hi Jolly's real name was Hadji Ali and he was one of several camel drivers brought over by the US Army in a failed attempt to introduce Camels to the American Southwest in the mid 1800's.  Ali was the only camel driver to remain in Arizona where he took up prospecting and became known to the Quartzsite locals as "Hi Jolly".  Also in the cemetery is a stone for James Mareles - Earth shaking, (see photo) with a railroad spike in the stone, there must be a story ?, another John Henry, steel driving man ?

RV Dreams did a seminar on how to find boondocking spots on BLM land, state parks, National Parks, Corp of Engineers sites and others. Also much information about helpful web sites and RV clubs was revealed.  It seems that boondocking is way easier and done almost entirely in the western US where almost all of the public land exists.  It basically comes down to doing lots of research on the web to find good spots.

On Tuesday we hitched up and towed the RV back to the "Pit Stop" in Quartzsite to drain the holding tanks and fill our water tank.  We did a good job of conserving water over the past week and probably could have lasted at least another day or two, but the weather forecast looked bad (wind and rain) for Wednesday, so we decided to just do it early.  Tuesday night and Wednesday lived up to the advance billing, it was windy and rained overnight, then Wednesday morning we had a period of hail or sleet, then alternating sun and clouds until late afternoon. 

The desert is really starting to green up and there are a few wild flowers starting to bloom, there is a definite change of seasons here.  I am really looking forward to the spring wildflowers and the cactus flowers. I had shorts on for the first time this week since mid December, that sure felt good !

On Thursday Twinkles and I took a ride 20 miles over the California border to the town of Blythe, lots of agriculture there and shopping, but the town itself was sort of uninspiring.  We did manage to stumble upon a restaurant for lunch that had some character, "Steaks and Cakes", which had considerable local flavor and the food was pretty good too.  I also managed to find a few cool old signs and graffiti to take photos of. Then back to the campground for another evening pot luck meal and cocktails that continued by campfire well into the night.

We have been over indulging on much good food and drinks (not complaining at all) between all the pot luck evening meals, Gina's "Solo Cafe" breakfast in the morning and the campfire sessions at night. Almost looking forward to quiet times, more hiking, less eating and drinking.  It was a great rally, we learned some things, gained boondocking experience, had a lot of fun and made many new friends.

We are now heading to the Yuma, Arizona area on Sunday where we hope to enjoy a full hookup campground for a couple of days and then boondock for another 2 weeks on BLM land in the area. 

Stay tuned for more,
Twinkles and Slick

The Fisherman Intaglio

View from Quinn Pass hiking trail

The Quartzsite rock alignment

Cholla Cactus with new green growth

Ocotillo with new green leaves

The Fisherman Intaglio

HI Jolly Monument in Quartzsite

Earth shaking gravesite in Quartzsite

The Parker Train Station

The RV Dreams campsite in Quartzsite

Railcar in Parker, Arizona

Sleet bouncing off the truck and covering the ground

Rainbow from our RV window

The Steaks and Shakes restaurant in Blythe, CA

Interesting old cafe in Blythe, CA

I loved this bar room diorama in the museum

The historic Camel Stop in Quatrzsite

On the Quartzsite's most colorful characters

Windmill at the Tyson's Well Stage Station Museum in Quartzsite

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