Monday, January 21, 2013

Quartzsite–rapidly getting busy!

Well, after quite some time spent between Yuma and camping out on Ogilby Rd, we decided it was time for a change of scenery.  No large stores in Q, so the groceries were stocked up in anticipation of an extended stay in the desert.  We headed north on 95, past the usual tethered airship and the Border Patrol checkpoint.  Traffic was light most of the way.  I usually prefer to stay out in the Bouse area, but because I was planning to check out the big RV show main event in Q, and because I was hoping to meet up with some friends coming down from the north, I turned off near mile marker 99 along the Old Yuma Road.

A good spot was selected along a wash, a good distance from the nearest neighbours, and far enough off the dusty gravel OY road so that any traffic was not going to be a bother.  The first day or two were bloody cold, and I only managed a short hike down the wash wearing heavy jacket, gloves and a toque!  And Hailey thought that five minutes outside was plenty.

Fortunately, the warm weather was on the way back.P1187158P1187155P1187153

After a couple days we headed into town for a look around.  It was still generally pretty quiet.  Filled a propane tank at $2.75/gallon, as compared to $1.79 in Yuma, and noted that about 30 boondocking types were all on their laptops, tablets, and notebooks in the McDonalds.  I didn’t try it, but I’ll bet it was slow.

Later that day I heard from the friends I was hoping to meet up with and gave them directions to my little piece of BLM paradise.  Added another LED replacement light to my growing collection.  My directions were good as John & Lise were waiting for me back at camp and treated me to a good supper.P1187161

I gave them a quick tour of the Quartzsite highlights the next day, including the Yacht Club, the Pit Stop, and we shopped for a replacement (digital) TV antenna for their rig.

They wanted to go for a bit of a hike, so we headed out the next day to the Kofa national wildlife refuge at Crystal Hill.  There was a lot of traffic on the rough, dusty road, but we hiked up Crystal hill and a larger summit nearby.


We didn’t come back with any crystals, but it was a good little hike with some great scenery.  At one point, Lise was attacked by a Teddy Bear Cholla that got her hand, but we managed to extract all the thorns with a pair of nail clippers.  Nearby, is a windmill providing water to a trough for wildlife, including Desert Bighorns which are in the area.


In the morning we went for a short hike in the desert nearby and located three nearby geocaches.


Then we were off to town again, to check out the first day of the big RV show.  First, we stopped at RV Lifestyles for some free hot dogs and a drink, and I bought a couple of heavy duty ratchet straps for $5.  CIMG8596

These are not the cheesy ones you normally find around here, but the huge ones that semi trucks use.  They were all missing the strap with the hook on the end, but I have some of those at home.

Parking was a bit of a zoo around the main event tent, but we soon found a handy spot in the wash, not far from the gate.  We were pretty organized and zig-zagged our way past every booth, both indoors and out without getting separated or trampled. 


Most places there was actually room to move about, and only a few traffic jams caused by strollers and little wagons filled with little dogs wearing sweaters!  I actually saw a human child in a stroller – which is pretty rare in these parts!

We came home with a brand new Honda generator, a replacement TV antenna and a locking gas cap – and it didn’t cost ME a cent.  Later back in camp, we installed the new antenna on John’s rig and we were soon enjoying 20 channels of crystal clear digital TV.

I had never experienced the Desert Bar aka Nellie E Saloon, which is only open on weekends in the winter, so we toured up to Parker, via Bouse, then took the dusty, rough 5 mile road out to the bar.  We must have run into some type of group event or tour, because the road was extremely busy with small traffic jams at the narrow corners, etc.  Much to our surprise, parking was not a problem on arrival as it seemed the majority of the vehicles had been departing.


There was live music playing, and lots of people, but we just wandered around to look at the sights.  I was surprised to not see any plaques around to describe the history of the facility – much of which is on the web site.P1207187P1207186

The whole place is run on solar power, and this a fairly impressive battery bank that facilitates that.P1207183P1207178P1207169P1207175

The concentration of RV’s scattered about the desert has increased almost tenfold in the last week with some huge groups, especially out on Plomosa road area.  Things are definitely going strong in Quartzsite with the Sports, Vacation, and RV show in full swing.  But there is still lots of peace and quiet out in the desert – if you know where to look.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for any incursions from the Bayfield Bunch, or Wheeling It, or even Wandering Willy.

I know that there are lots more of we bloggers around here – I think Diana from Life on the Open Road is out on Plomosa road with the WIN’s.

Well, it is far too nice outside to be blogging, so I am going out to enjoy it – and the days are getting longer Winking smile.


  1. Kathy and I just left the Florida RV Show and Rally on Sunday. For the four days we walked around Expo there was a dealer that was selling a Tiger Bengal on a GM chassis saying they have only started producing the vehicles. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. Don't think we'll be doing any incursionating this year. Ran the idea of slipping down to the Q on a day trip to check out some RV's but the idea didn't get off the ground so don't think we'll make it. I don't mind Quartzsite so much as long as I don't have to Sumo wrestle the crowds. Another nice hike near you is Palm Canyon near Crystal Hill. There's also a nice quiet drive out to the Arizona King mine in the Kofa mountains. It was just about one year ago that we met up with you & the Wandering Willy guy near Bouse:))

  3. Your description of Quartzsite and area brings back a lot of fond memories. We used to dtay on the North side of Tom Wells Road. That was my favourite place in that area. It is no longer open for camping. The South side is still open but not as nice.

  4. We are hoping to get to Q for the first time in the next few Needles now..Sounds like a lot of fun..

  5. Where did you find the tv antenna? I look in the tent and must have missed it. Thanks, Ray

  6. And we are out on Mitchell Mine Road with the Boomers!!! Fun!And yes, we are in a quiet area, with a view south of the desert and not a rig in our view.Glad to see Hailey might enjoy some warmer weather!

  7. So When are you making your way to Dog Pound South to enjoy another good Supper here?

  8. Cheers for the mention!! We'll be at Dome Rock sometime this afternoon...looking forward to the craziness!

  9. Can I ask what the generator cost you? Was it a 2000? Just curious if a better price at Q-site!

  10. Very interesting pictures and a good story to boot! Where's the girls with the guns? You be careful out there, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman can't be very far away.