Saturday: (01/19) We made it to Quartzsite a little after 4pm. Our first stop was for some of their cheap gas, by California standards anyway. Gas was $3.79 in Blythe and most other places on our path yesterday. Here in Quartzsite it was $3.09. We checked in at the La Poza West BLM Long Term Visitor Area just South of town. After a quick tour we found that the the spot we stayed at a few years ago was available. There really are no specified sites. Campers just park 25 feet from each other in the desert and our spot was available and it includes a tree. Lou made pad Thai noodles for dinner. Quartzsite is a little town of some 3,000 full time residents that becomes a metropolis of maybe 500,000 peak during the winter. Most of the winter residents come in their RV's and park somewhere in the desert. It's the migration ritual of Snowbird's. More leftovers for dinner.
(GPS: 33.65026, -114.21905)
Sunday: (01/20) Dawn and I ventured out to look around. Dawn checked the vendors at Prospector's Gulch.
I concentrated on the Big Top RV Show. Lots to see even the occasional new and exciting thing.
I rather liked the customized golf carts.
Lou went to the market. Grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. After lunch I stayed home a while while Lou and Dawn took the Jeep out for a spin around town. I discovered our nice tree was shadowing our solar panels so I moved it away from the tree. I also cleaned the panels. Now they are doing much better. Later I returned to the Big Top tent and bought some LED lamps for the RV to replace some removed for use at home and also the lone remaining incandescent, the lamp in the range hood. Now we are 100% LED and florescent. For dinner we went out to the Mountain Quail Restaurant for their special of the night, mesquite smoked pork. We woke at 6am to 25 degrees but it as 35 degrees by 8am and by 9am quite nice. By afternoon we were in the 70's. Typical desert winter weather.
Monday: (01/21) Hash browned potatoes, Quartzsite General Store sausage, and eggs. I walked over to the Big Top and walked through looking for a pain eliminating ointment that we heard about that the people had picked up in the tent. There are a lot of old folks here so there were all sorts of pain sales booths. Some electric therapy, some insole for shoes and some others I forget but no ointments. I then walked by the shops at Tyson Wells, more than 100 tents. At one of the last I visited I found the SmoothGator ointment that the people we met last night were rving about. Now I can point Lou to where it's located to try it out. On the way home i stopped and picked up a fancy long range TV antenna. They are seen all over out here and a regular RV TV antenna gets nothing here and many places. The transmitters are about 90 miles away. I had brought our extendable handle that I use with brush to clean our house without needing a ladder. Now a multipurpose tool, it is serving as the mast for our TV antenna. I brought it to use with our Wilson cell phone antenna when we get to Yuma. I assembled it and erected the mast and it works great bringing in 16 channels. We had planned a late lunch at the Grubstake bar. I wanted to get their outstanding fish and chips but Lou and Dawn can't eat them because of their gluten free diet. The bar couldn't just grill the fish and we didn't have a menu to check so Lou and Dawn had lunch at home as I went off to my fish and chips. It was great as expected. I brought home a menu for reference later. They had leftover pad Thai noodles. When I returned they headed off with the jeep on another tour of town. I relaxed digesting my lunch. The above photo is of our campsite. Note the nice tree for Lou and the new TV antenna. Cottage cheese and fruit for dinner.
Tuesday: (01/22) Hash browned potatoes, sausage and eggs. We explored the West end of Main Street and the Main Event, a usually big flea market. it isn't too big but there were enough shops to keep us busy until about 2pm. Steamed cabbage with onions and sausage for lunch. After lunch we secured the RV and rolled down to the dump about 2 miles South of our campsite. Now with a full water tank and empty holding tanks we returned home. More cottage cheese with fruit and some ham and cheese cold cuts for dinner.
Wednesday: (01/23) We enjoyed a really nice sunrise this morning. Oatmeal with yogurt, craisens, and brown sugar for breakfast. I dropped Lou and Dawn off near the Post Office where they could check out near by junk dealers. I then Stopped by Solar Bill's and Discount Solar looking at replacement batteries for the RV. Our existing batteries are only five years old but cant hold a charge. By morning when we run the heater fan the batteres are below 10.5 volts. This after being conservative in the evening. We should be able to go three days with normal use without becoming too discharged. I chose Fullriver AGM batteries from Discount Solar. That's one of the nice things about being here in Quartzsite. If you decide what you want early enough they have it so no shipping is involved. For batteries that's rather a big cost. The batteries are costly enough so it's nice to eliminate the shipping. The Fullriver batteries are from China but so are most batteries. These gave a seven year warrantee more then any others so hopefully they do last. They also cost only $259 each rather that $318 each. It took me a while to conform with myself that I didn't want to change from six volt batteries like I currently had to twelve volt. Also to determine I wanted six batteries and not just four. There was a sign on the wall at Discount Solar that said "buy what you really want, it only hurts once." So I got replacement six volt batteries that were the same size as the existing so that fit right in place using the existing cables.
It was a lot of work to change them. The shop was busy and the guy I bought from was elderly so couldn't load the batteries himself. So I did. A lot of times. First to the cart. But since I needed to make room in the Jeep to carry them I then had to lift them off the cart to the ground so the cart could be used for other things, They have one cart. I then loaded them into the Jeep when there was room. Then back at the RV I unloaded them, Then removed the old batteries from the coach and installed the new batteries then loaded the old into the Jeep. Back at the shop, I had to unload them a final time and got my core deposits back. the six batteries were moved a total of seven times. They are not light, weighing about 70 pounds, so I got a good workout today. Before I started installing the batteries I had a ham sandwich for lunch. I finished returning the batteries about 2:30 and meet Dawn and Lou. They had had a Greek salad for lunch at Silly Al's Pizza Parlor. They left me to look around where they had been and did some errands in the Jeep, things they didn't want to have to carry around. Lou was adventurous and avoided the traffic backups on the roads by driving back home through a wash. I wondered why there was so much dust caked on to the rear of the jeep. Dinner was smoked pork chops with mashed potatoes with cauliflower served with broccoli. We had horchata fruit bars for desert.
Thursday: (01/24) Potato pancakes and sausage for breakfast. We went over to the Pow Wow at the Quartzsite Improvement Association (QIA). The Pow Wow is really mostly a rock and mineral show. We really don't care too much for rocks but there are interesting things to be seen among them. We had lunch there. The QIA served up a nice Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes and green beans which I enjoyed. Lou and Dawn had Chef salads. After lunch we stopped by to visit our friend Jeanie who has a home here. Today was cloudy all day so our solar didn't help much. We had some rain last night but only threats today. Carrots, sausage and couscous for dinner.
Friday: (01/25) Toast and sausage for breakfast. We did our final tasks to be accomplished here in Quartzsite. Lou and Dawn were off to the bookstore, the market and the prospector store. Dam and Lou got lessons for using Dawn's metal detector.
I walked through the Big Top at the RV show. I asked questions of the travel reps from Canada and pestered other vendors with questions. I also picked up some summer sausage for one of the vendors and bought a new sewer hose to replace the leaky one I threw away. As I finished, Lou called to say they would be finished shortly so I could start getting ready to depart toward Yuma. i had a ham sandwich for lunch before starting. I lowered the solar panels, removed the TV mast and antenna, and secured everything. When Lou and Dawn returned, they enjoyed Greek salads they picked up at Silly Al's Pizza Parlor. We got on the road about 3pm. Shortly after getting on the rod it started to sprinkle enough to keep the wiper on all the way to Imperial Dam.