Quartzsite, Arizona or as many call it – Q -- if you are an RVer, you know Quartzsite. And if you are not an RVer, you likely never have heard of Quartzsite. Ever since we became full time RVers, others have been asking us, “have you been to Quartzite” or, “are you going to Quartzsite”. And when we said, “no, we will be in Florida this first winter, Texas next winter and then we will be in Arizona”, we just received the blank stares of, “how can you possibly wait three winters to get to Quartzsite”.
So, here we finally are in Quartzsite. So, for you non-RVers, what is it all about? Well, it is somewhat difficult to explain. We are parked in the desert. We are not parked in a campground in the desert, we are just parked on public desert land administered by the Bureau of Land Management – no electrical hookups, no water, no sewer,
In our immediate area, there are 60 or so RVs where the Escapees Happy Hours are taking place this week. Spread out in all the desert around this small little dusty town are perhaps 500,000 rigs. Why has this area become the winter gathering point for so many RVers? Part has to do with the abundance of public lands you can camp on and another part is the “big tent” RV show that is held here each January. Somehow it has evolved such that there are not only all these RVers here, but there are all these vendors and dealers selling RVs, parts and accessories, and services to the RVers. And then apparently you throw in several flea market and swap meet areas, vendors of rocks and minerals, and vendors selling all kinds of other goodies and now you have “Quartzsite”.
This is a test for us. Except for the occasional overnight in a Walmart, we have not been dry campers. We are loaded with fuel so we can run our generator as needed and keep our batteries charged. We are loaded with water which we are using as sparingly as possible. We don’t know exactly how long we will be here but it likely will be for at least two weeks with one sewer dump and water refill somewhere in the middle of our stay.
This week are the happy hours, potlucks, bonfires, fleas markets and the occasional free breakfast or lunch at the RV dealer who serves free food just to get people in the door. Next week will be the big tent stuff. And there will be plenty of socializing then as well.