April 10 – Quartzsite, AZ


We headed out of Tucson after saying good bye to my brother and Fran. We headed north to Phoenix with a 70% chance of rain. We had sprinkles along the way but the downpour hit just west of Phoenix. Couldn’t see so we pulled over for lunch. That’s the great thing about retirement, we are not on any schedule. Rain subsided after about an hour and we continued on. The rest of trip we saw no more rain. Weather was overcast and cooler about 68.

We arrived at the Split Rail RV Park in Quartzsite about 3 PM. It was a large gravel lot, with many live-ins. There were spaces for regular RV’s but no one was there. This time of year in the desert is not too busy, in fact this campground closes April 15. We relaxed that evening.

I would have to say that the desert and trip across Arizona wasn’t too impressive. It was flat, dry and full of bushes and no buildings.

Monday’s first order of business was to get to the Post Office and mail out our taxes. I was concerned I wouldn’t find a PO because we felt we were in the middle of nowhere. Sure enough the PO was down the road and I completed my patriotic duty by paying Uncle Sam. The Visitor’s Center next door is only open Tuesday thru Thursday.

We rode around the town to see what was here. It was amazing, what wasn’t here. There are more RV’s than houses, in fact houses were almost non-existent. This was a very mobile community.

There were all kinds of Flea markets, rock shops, novelty shops and the list goes on.

Quartzsite is a very unique community. In fact, that is why we stopped, just to check it out. In the winter, the town turns into one of the biggest gatherings of people in the country. Over one million visitors migrate here during the winter. Thousands of vendors also show up. There is an old saying here that if you can’t find it in Quartzsite, then it hasn’t been thought of yet.

We did go to the Hi Jolly National Monument. You ask who was Hi Jolly?

He was Hadji Ali, a camel driver who worked for the army (Jefferson Davis as Secretary of War) in an experiment to use camels as pack animals just before the Civil War.

After that we went to the Celia’s Rainbow garden. This is a memorial garden unique one-of-a-kind desert botanical garden for lost loved ones, including family, pets etc.

We then stopped by the Bureau of Land Management campground. For $180 you can stay there 7 months boon docking. That is no utilities but the freedom to live on the desert. I have been told that there are 1000’s of RVs that show up during the wintertime.

If you are a rock hound, or looking for a quirky vacation, this is the place to go. I believe the hippies of the 60’s settled here if you look closely.

After lunch we went to see the London Bridge in Lake Havasu. Yes it came from London England and was shipped over brick by brick. The engineer’s dream. Walked around the area, seems to be an upper class community that enjoys their boats and swimming. We did visit the Mudshark brewery. The weather has been cooler and we have been enjoying that.

Our campground advertised Karaoke Monday night. I didn’t think much would happen, but people came from all around to sing. We didn’t go but we could hear the music till after 9 PM.  Just some of the flowers in the area.

Tuesday is travel day, short stay. Everything was ready but the satellite dish wouldn’t go down. The fear of all RVers that something won’t go back into its place. How long will I be stuck here? Called the manufacturer and they said no problem. They walked me through a recalibration process and the dish came down. Time to leave.

Our pups along the Lake.

On the way out of town, Brenda bought a rock, rose quartz. I’m starting to feel like the movie “The Long Long Trailer” with Lucille Ball.

We are off to Joshua Tree National Park in California.

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