Quartzsite 2007 Recap

Every year Linda and Mike serve as impromtu "hosts" for the RV America gathering in Quartzsite, AZ. This year was especially memorable, with several "newbies" joining us to experience Quartzsite during the annual RV Show, and to stare in awe at all the different flea-market venues scattered all over town. This year, the word had gotten out that the group was going to continue their fun and fellowship with a week in Puerto Penaasco, MX, and that probably contributed to some of the new faces.

After the week in Quartzsite and the week in Puerto Penasco, Mike posted the following loooooooooong "summary" of the great time that was enjoyed by all the participants.

pic of sunset on oncean

Shown below, is a copy of the RV America post that proclaimed what fun we all enjoyed.

Quartzsite 2007—a Great Success!

[Warning—this post may require large doses of Murine or Visine for tired eyes.]

The 2007 annual get-together of RV America boondockers in Quartzsite, AZ was a great success, followed by another great week of fun and fellowship in Puerto Penasco, MX.

Karl and Sandy Park arrived first and staked out the RVA territory, but the BLM Rangers were not letting anyone reserve space for additional rigs by putting out yellow caution tape on the bushes. Karl made do, very well, by using extra chairs and stuff from his 5er.

Due to the large crowd that had assembled this year—before we got there—the RVA camp location was South (about 100 yards or so) from where we usually gather, just North of the new high voltage power lines that now run through the BLM land from East to West.

By the time most of the group arrived on the 18th, Karl and Sandy has already made some very visible RVA signs from wooden stakes, cardboard, and a large felt tip marker—so the usual RVA red, white, and blue signs stayed in the truck.

This year was a banner year for RVA participation—seemingly due to the prospects of joining a guided caravan to Mexico. This year we had 10 rigs that camped with us in Quartzsite, and 11 rigs that went to Mexico. The RVAers came from Virginia, Vermont, Texas (2) , Colorado, Washington, and California (5). One couple from California was parked across the wash to the West of the RVA group and came over one evening to see what was going on with the rowdy bunch of RVAers that seemed to be having such a good time. They came back the next night, and we soon had them agreeing to accompany the gang to Mexico. (We again missed Lee and Marilyn from Catoosa, OK, who, we understand, had engine problems in their Foretravel.)

You can read all about our Quartzsite and Mexico adventures by reading Bob and Linda’s journal and also read WAR’s blog. The good times and antics of the RV group are well documented, both with words and with pictures.

With the larger crowd this year, there were some duplication in names—we had a Mike1 and a Mike2; a Linda1, a Linda2, and a Lynda with a Y. We also had two Richard’s, but Fuzz from Vermont said he was just as happy being called Fuzz, so that left only Richard (from Texas) to sometimes be called Richard and sometimes be called WAR (Wise-Ass Richard).

The weather was very windy this year, and one day was very rainy—but we all had a great time, sitting around the campfire until the chill was too much. Several of the group remembered to bring some fire wood for our nightly campfires. One of the campers brought an old wash tub cylinder which made a wonderful fire pit—and also concentrated and spread the heat more evenly that just an open fire.

The usual Quartzsite gremlins struck again, with both Mike1 (me) and Virg’s sister, Sue, finding out that our converters were not putting out any juice. Sue also had a bad step motor that Virg replaced, along with her converter. Fortunately, I had a battery charger that got pressed into service as a converter—for the second year in a row!

Two of the Quartzsite newbies had contacted me at RVA by PM (Private Message) asking to join the group, and they were warmly welcomed by the whole crowd. Most evenings we had a scrumptious selection of goodies to munch on around the campfire and enjoy with our libations. On most nights, the goodies were enough of a meal that the group didn’t go out in search of a vastly overcrowded restaurant somewhere in Quartzsite.

One of the Texans, with the smart mouth, now referred to as WAR, was always bragging about his having a three-LED light that fit on the front of his hat brim, and he was sometimes rather annoying in his indiscriminate flashing of his hat light. He also was complaining that he really wanted a five-LED hat light, but couldn’t find one anywhere in Quartzsite. Of course, Richard later found out (rather humbly, we might add) just how resourceful some of the RVA group can be when goaded into action.

The character of Quartzsite continues to change—and, from our perspective, not for the better. LaMesa RV has paved over almost all of what used to be the Silver Buckle area, and Beaudry RV is not far behind. It also looks like the southwest portion of the old Rice Ranch area is now being made into an RV park (just grading and sewer pipes being buried so far). In other parts of town, developers are building houses and condos and asking ridiculous prices for them. Traffic was its usual disaster (but the new RVAers were taught how to get over to the Main Event without spending hours crawling in the traffic on Main Street). Only La Mesa RV was desperate enough to offer the hoards of starved RVers in town anything to munch on for lunch.

The old timers and the newbies all had a great time looking for bargains (not too many any more) and funky things that you can find only in Quartzsite. Richard and Patsy started to really spend some serious time looking at the new Winnebago and/or Itasca 38T as a replacement for their trusty older Airstream Land Yacht.

Four RV America Quartzsite Newbies were duly inducted into the Quartzsite RVA gang and presented with their personal badges of acceptance (Quartzsite Trailer Trash hats)—which are getting harder and harder to find in town. Darn.

It was with some sadness that we realized that our time in Quartzsite was at an end, and that we had to all start packing up our rigs and heading out for Ajo, AZ—eastward on I-10 toward Phoenix, but then heading down US 85 past Gila Bend to Ajo, about 30 miles North of the AZ-MX border.

Because the RV group to Mexico was going to be 11 rigs (one joining us from Yuma), we were spread out over two different RV parks in Ajo. We all assembled South of town, received some last minute driving instructions from the wagonmaster (hmm, guess who got elected), and we were off to Mexico. We all arrived at Playa Bonita RV park in fine spirits. Linda1 (my Linda) had arranged to get us an entire row in the RV park, so we were parked back-to-back. All being together helped to foster the group spirit (and of course, in Mexico we had lots of spirit(s)).

One of the nice things about Playa Bonita is that there is a little cantina next door that served very good Margaritas for a reasonable price (especially when bought by the pitcher). You could easily walk over to the cantina, and it was close enough to crawl home (if you had trouble navigating on two feet).

One of the women in our group had commented on the RV America Women’s Forum that she had an anniversary coming up and was wondering if her husband would remember. Well, someone else of the male gender (hmm, WAR is a strange animal) just happened to read Carole’s post, so the whole group was alerted to the fact that we were all going to celebrate Richard and Carole Johnsons’ 22nd wedding anniversary. The ladies got together and bought a gift, and several computers were put to work generating special cards for the happy couple.

We assembled a campfire area between two motorhomes, and the group assembled there each evening for more munchies and libations. Linda1 had a portable LP campfire pit, and Karl donated his extra LP cylinder, so that we always had at least some dancing flames, but not any heat to speak of.

WAR discovered that goaded RVAers can be very resourceful people. After being harassed by Richard and his flashing 3-LED hat light, the group decided to retaliate—big time!

(Virg had found a source of 5-LED hat lights in Quartzsite, ordered one for almost everyone in the group, and arranged to have them delivered over-night to Ajo, AZ where we would be assembling for our trek to Mexico.)

So, during a nice quite evening get-together in Mexico, Virg stood up and made some comments about the 3-LED hat light and the person who was causing all the nuisance. Virg asked, rhetorically, if anyone knew who the truant was, and of course, that was the signal for everyone at the campfire to turn on their 5-LED hat lights (on our Quartzsite Trailer Trash hats) and shine them all at once toward Richard. Boy, what a tremendous response— all of us laughing and, for once, Richard just sat there totally speechless (a rare moment in his life).

In Mexico, the group seemed to gravitate to eating at the cantina or going into town for lunch or dinner—usually in groups, so the party continued the entire week. All of the group, except three couples, were Puerto Penasco newbies, so they were enthralled by all that there was to see and do. The newbies were especially partial to Shacks Fifth Avenue, (North of town), and all the vendors of Mexican things that were available. (For the oldies, Shacks has undergone quite a change since two years ago—the streets are now paved with cement and inlaid bricks in the intersections, has curbs, and the Mexican version of disabled ramps at the corners. Many new buildings are going up, and all the electric utilities are being put underground.)

The biggest change of note, however, is the skyline to the West—now almost a solid row of 20-story condos for sale to the gringos (for ridiculously high gringo prices). Many of us can’t understand the tremendous surge in building down there.

The old harbor area is still crowded with fish vendors, and the prices are still great, compared to state-side prices, especially for halibut and shrimp of all sizes. The RVA group made quite a sight, descending on the chosen fish vendor and getting excellent pricing, since we are all together.

All too soon, the RV America week in Puerto Penasco was at an end, and we all celebrated by going on a private sunset cruise (Margaritas provided), and we all brought a side dish and something to BBQ. The twin catamaran was owned and operated by an American crew that joined in on our festivities. Great food, good entertainment, and a wondrous setting as the boat was turned to face the final sunset in still waters and calm winds—what a lovely ending to a very fun week in Mexico.

The sentiment was almost unanimous that the sunset cruise was the perfect ending to our week—and everyone is ready to make Puerto Penasco the second leg of the RV America gang’s Quartzsite journey an annual event. Already, we have had interest from several other couples who have heard about our wonderful time in Quartzsite and Mexico.

Of course, none of the good times would have happened without the hard work of all the ladies—making tour and insurance arrangements for the group, setting up lunches and dinners, and also providing the many munchies that were consumed during our two weeks together.

The general consensus is that next year there will be a three-day separation between our Quartzsite departure and our trip into Mexico. Everyone needs time to restock the pantry, do the laundry, and many other small tasks.

All of the group safely made the return trip to the USA, and several of us decided to extend our togetherness for another few days at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument just North of the AZ-MX border. And, if that wasn’t enough, three couples (including Linda and me) spent the next several days together at the Gypsy Journal rally in Casa Grande, AZ.

Yep, guys and gals, the Quartzsite 2007 gathering was a smashing success—and we are already looking ahead to next year’s bigger and better event. Yes, guys and gals, Quartzsite 2007 was a smashing success! Y’all plan on coming, next year.

[I have been nagged by several of the RVA gang, more than once, to post the results of Quartzsite 2007—so they could submit their rebuttal arguments.] Having my laptop crap out, I was forced to get an el cheapo used laptop from a Quartzsite vendor, so at least I had some Internet connectivity in Mexico—right now thanks to Bob and Linda’s Datastorm sitting next door (since my cell phone modem doesn’t seem to work anymore, either).

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