Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Quartzsite trip today, the world's largest flea market

At 8 AM (ouch) we headed out toward Quartzsite, AZ, a trip of approx. 2 hours, due east of here along Highway 10, us and Wendy and Dave in our car. Wendy and Dave's park hadn't had electricity for about 2 days, and that isn't so good in the chilly weather, the furnaces are a huge drag on RV batteries when you have no electricity, it's the fans that gobble up the power. There is a monster coach motorhome beside them, from Alberta, and they run a generator, and will let Wendy and Dave plug in a power cord to power their rig if need be.

Arrived there just after 10 AM, it's at the intersection of Highway I-10 and AZ Highway 95, and we kind of separated to look at the stalls, many of which were just being set up. Some vendors had been there since American Thanksgiving, late November, others just arriving now. For Quartzsite it was quite quiet, no lineups of traffic, no problem to park right near the vendors. There is a large RV parts store, many many vendors of tools and kitchen gadgets, many bead vendors for jewellry, and clothing, flags, food stalls, and another huge component of Quartzsite is rock hounds, with rocks from the whole world over. There are huge amethyst geodes that you can nearly walk into, you'd need a large mortgage to buy one of those and a very large house to house it, but oh my it would be so nice to have one, (or more!)

We covered three areas basically, Tyson Wells, Rice Ranch, and then west of that was the incredible rockhound area, it might be called Desert Gardens Gem Show, which is paradise for many of us who have no idea what is under the crust of the earth, or contained inside many of the boulders we see.

We hit this rockhound area last, and late in the day, AZ is one hour different from us in CA, they are one hour ahead, so at 4 PM CA it's 5 PM in AZ. Also it was pretty cold in the shade, I wore a fleece coat, a knitted scarf and a warm sweater under that to keep me warm. Vendors in the sunshine at this time of year are lucky, those in shade not so much.

Wendy and I both bought some jewellry beads and findings, even though I left my jewellry making stuff at home this year. The beads aren't usually strung, they are just on long plastic cords that you need to replace with wire or silk cord later on, and a clasp when you make up your necklaces or whatever. I bought a made up necklace for $2, and another long string of coral chips, for $8. Also some pretty earrings.

Lary bought me a pretty white sweatshirt with a pink collar, with hummingbirds on it, very nice indeed and it fits!!!!!!

Lary bought some practical stuff for our kitchen, like an instant read meat thermometer, and he found a pretty metal art Kokopelli statue, for $5. I found another Kokopelli for the wall, and a quail for the wall, perhaps on the shed door outside on our patio.

Then Wendy and I met a super nice man from Alliance, Nebraska who does metal art, and I bought a quail family and a small owl sitting on a barrel cactus, they are both free standing small iron sculptures, so they are for out front of our house here.

The man's name is Garry Underwood, he's called Dry Creek Design, and what a talented man he is. He sculpted an iron burro, life size, with all found bits of iron, even a pistol, a wrench, all found bits and pieces. It' s so incredibly lifelike, you would swear it could just walk over and butt you. He took us inside his tent area, and showed us his album of creations, he also makes rustic furniture. The burro was for sale, $4,500.

He had made a dinosaur from iron bits, and he showed us a cattle skull, all iron metal. He was a rancher, and he welded all his life, now it's his passion in his "not so retirement". He comes to Quartzsite for about a month, and leaves a junky old trailer there all year in storage when he is home in Nebraska. What a creative individual he truly is.

Big opening is this coming Friday, basically the place is a massive couple mile long flea market, divided into different locations, like small neighbourhoods each one, at the intersections of 2 major US highways. They call it the largest outdoor swapmeet in the USA. It has a Gem and Mineral Show, a Sports Vacation and RV Show, a QIA Pow Wow, and it very interesting.

Every year we make at least one pilgrimage there, to pick up some stuff, and wonder at the funny and incredible place. Our time of visit varies, this is likely the earliest we have gone in the year. Later on it gets pretty hot, and the whole thing pretty well winds up at the end of February with a Bluegrass Festival. There are many many trailers and RVs near there, boon docking or rough camping, out on Bureal of Land Management land. The RVs cover the gamut from the good through the bad and the downright ugly. It is incredible what ghastly condition some of the trailers and RVs are in, they may be only for storage, but you even see folks clearly living in their cars, pickups or vans. On the way home we had the most lovely bright red/orange sunset in the west.

Lary was pooped after more than 4 hours of highway driving, some of it in the dark, plus the day walking all over Quartzsite, so we had dinner in DHS at the Thai Palms place, the same one that was flooded and shown on the nightly news when they had the flash floods last week or so. They had only been closed one night after that, at dinner time.

Forgot to say that on Monday we had taken our extra end tables up to the local charity shop, they had leather tops, a lower shelf, and a nice drawer, but they took up too much space in our small living room. And we took our 2 working TVs, as they were extra to our needs also.

And after that we had gone into Palm Springs to pick up our film tickets for the Palm Springs film festival, we had 6 vouchers each, for $54 package per person., and then we exchanged the numbered vouchers online for films of our choice, but we needed to pick up the actual tickets, so in we went. It was very slick and smooth how they punched in our name, and out popped the 12 tickets for the different movies. Sadly 2 very good movies were already sold out, and we didn't want to line up for rush tickets for those films, as we have quite a few other things going on at the moment, too.

Then we went over to Catalina Spa to have a kind of final briefing about our Mexican cruise, we leave Jan 14 til the 23rd, and we'll be bussed from the gate of Cat Spa right to the ship, and same goes when we return. Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, La Paz and Cabo San Lucas are our ports of call.

Right after we return from the cruise we'll move over to Cat Spa into a rental park model trailer, so that our place here can be totally painted including the ceilings, a job which will take the professional painter about 6 days. It will be way better not to be sleeping in the work zone, and the smelly drying paint. Much easier for the painter to down tools at night, then just pick up where he left off the next day. He said he'll cover all furniture with plastic, and move what he needs to move, only challenge is that the size of the place means that he can't exactly move stuff very far, there is no other room available in the whole place.

After the painter finishes we will have the new vertical blinds installed, they'll be nice beige textured blinds.

Bye for now, don't forget to email us even though you are reading this. We miss the news from home, and your own personal news too.

Again Happy New Year to our readers.