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.
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!!!!!!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.