Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sunrises & Sunsets

The past couple of weeks we dry camped near Quartzsite, Az with nearly a million other campers, glampers and gawkers. Yeah, I didn't really think there were that many there either until we started to approach Quartzsite from the east on I-10 just before you get to the California border and you could start to see RV's by the 100's parked in the desert. Coming from Phoenix you take the first Quartzsite exit (I think there are 3) which takes you down through the east side of town past some of the local businesses and some of the RV vendors that are set up for the annual RV Show to Hwy 95 where we turned south to get to La Posa South where we were to camp. La Posa South is about 5 miles south of Quartzsite and is the only one that has RV dump stations and water stations. All of them have trash bins.

There are 4 BLM areas where RVer's dry camp. Here's a short description of the show:

  • Every January something happens that is hard to believe, unless you have seen it! According to the Arizona Highway Department, as many as 750,000 to 1,000,000 people, mostly in RV’s, converge on this sleepy little desert town, located just 20 miles east of the California border on Interstate 10, for the rock, gem and mineral shows, plus numerous flea markets and the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show. This phenomenon started over 40 years ago and is now billed as The Largest Gathering Of RVers in the World”...

  • DIRECTIONS TO SITE OR BEST ACCESS POINT:  Exit Interstate 10 at the city of Quartzsite, AZ. Take highway 95 south to the four campgrounds. The campground entrances are approximately 2 miles south of town.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SITE:  The La Posa Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA) was created in 1983 to fulfill the needs of winter visitors and to protect the local desert ecosystem from over-use. The campground is approximately 11,400 acres in size, flat landscape, sparsely vegetated with plants such as Creosote bushes, Palo Verde trees, Ironwood trees, Mesquite trees and various species of cacti.
  • FACILITIES PROVIDED:  10 vault toilets (handicap accessible), dry dump station, dump station with water, water station (eight faucets), trash services, some paved / improved roads, dance floor and ramada.
  • FEATURES:  Cultural sites, rockhounding, watchable wildlife, unique desert scenery, solitude, hiking opportunities and security.
  • FEES / PERMITS REQUIRED:  A Long Term Visitor Area Permit is required from September 15th through April 15th each season. The cost is $180.00 and is valid for up to 7 months. A Short Term Permit can be purchased for a 14-day stay. This permit is $40.00. Permits may be purchased on site or at the BLM Yuma Field Office.
Here's a short pictorial essay of our Quartzsite experience along with 85-90 other Bluebird friends.

Couple of Sunrise shots

Couple of sunset pics

This is the beginning of our trip. We're all loaded up and don't think we've forgotten to load anything. That is until we get down the road aways and figure out what we actually forgot.

Our first stop was Socorro to visit Kiichi Harada, our nephew who is going to graduate from New Mexico Tech in May. We dry camped in the Walmart parking lot.

This is our first stop after Socorro at the VLA (Very Large Array).

Next stop was in Pie Town, NM to look at some property just west of Pie Town. Here is a cabin they are building to sell. We were looking at raw land tho.

Next stop was in Payson, Az for a couple of days. We see a naturopathic doctor there and get a tune-up about once a year when we go on some of our trips.

We left Payson on Thursday and stopped in Tempe to visit Patsi's cousin Donna. Here Kirk (Donna's husband) and I are going into their condo.

Arriving in Quartzsite Thursday evening.

ATV's  are legal in Quartzsite.

Lots of vendors everywhere.

Camping in the desert

Visiting with new friends

Makes a great parking spot for a RZR

Here's his wife

Patsi & I in the desert

One of many pot luck dinners

Arla cooking her wood fired waffles. She cooked every morning and you'd better be quick or lose out. Once she ran out of batter you were out of luck.

On top of Q Hill

Coming down off Q Hill

The Bluebird Chef - Ray cooked Prime Rib for everyone. They served 140 lbs of prime rib and boy, was it GOOD!

Crafts for the ladies.

Did I mention we have pot luck dinners?
Gathering for the Sword swallowing and Fire breathing show

Fire Breathing Goddess

 Her Sword Swallowing companion. They both did the sword thing.

Couple of the ladies gathered enough rocks to do this rock arrangement.

Food Vendor

Our foray into the desert

Tech tips. These are airtabs to reduce drag behind a motorhome or truck. Increases your mileage.

Our campsite for 10 days.

All good things....trips have to come to an end. When you run out of underwear it is time to go home and regroup. It was a great trip and we had a ball. It was our very first rally and we weren't sure if we'd like it, but I have to say it was a fantastic experience. We met some fantastic folks, made some new friends, got some superb tech tips and even fixed a few things on our motorhome. Looking forward to our next adventure!

Until next time....


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