info re quartzite arizona from someone who - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-30-2006, 04:58 AM   #1
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confession time.... i read about all of you more adventurous types going to places and boondocking. not exactly what i want to do for more than a day or three. but i do want to go somewhere warm at this time of year. i like going to many different places and staying a short time at each while visiting the local attractions.

have seen many references to quartzite and have this fuzzy picture of a big open area with a few trailers scattered over it. folks hunkered down waiting out time out of the cold of winter, no town, no water, no bathrooms, no grocery stores, no anything but open sky at night and campfires in some places. (where does the firewood come from?) and if it is just a big spot on the landscape, how do you know when you are there? it sounds like a warehouse for old folks while the snow is on the ground at their "normal" home.

obviously, i am wrong.

will someone who has been there tell me the practical things instead of the romantic view of a couple sharing the faraway ideal getaway i have already pictured in my head? is there an old post about the actual place people go and what they do while there? the only things i have found on the web make it sound like a wasteland except for the short, frantic, rock collectors flea market. sure, hiking is mentioned, but is there a specific destination or is simply warmth and walking the draw?

i don't want to sound like i am criticizing anything but where can i get actual facts?

appreciate all info volunteered by all of you.

reading this over i realize that i sound like someone you would not want camping next to you even in a huge desert. am not really that bad.

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Old 11-01-2006, 07:38 PM   #2
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Hi, Alice - here's what we can offer regarding Quartzsite. We purchased the BLM's permit for camping in Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVAs) last season and spent portions of Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb & March there. There are 4 LTVAs - all have dumpsters, but 3 are for boondocking only. Permitted rigs can use dump station & fresh water source at the 4th area, which also is the only one with vault toilets. In our Scamp 13, we have only 2 lights and our small solar panel keeps up with that usage. We recharge our cell phone & laptop with a small inverter as we drive. Thanx to recommendations from several on this forum, we use Verizon's AirCard for internet access and it's a breeze.

One can be as busy or as 'veggie' as one chooses. There are dances several nights each week, square-dancing at least once, lectures, classes, cfart shows, chattaugua (sp) programs by AZ Arts Council, etc. but you have to seek them out on your own. Oh, yes - there are lots of music jams each week, either in Q or in nearby snowbird towns of Brenda & Salome. More stuff is available in Blythe, CA or Parker & Yuma, AZ (shopping, restaurants, etc). The rockhounds seem to spend all day 4-wheeling around the desert (outside the camping areas, thank goodness). We mostly enjoyed walking the desert & reading or conversation at our campsite, and we did enjoy the dancing quite a lot.

We just left Q yesterday after about 10 days. If we hit cold weather as we travel east & south, we plan to return after the crowds disperse in Jan. It is a quirky place but the people are nice. I'll continue in 2nd post ... too long-winded for one

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.” A. Einstein
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Old 11-01-2006, 07:46 PM   #3
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Me, again - more of the scoop on Quartzsite:

The 'town' consists of:

an EXCELLENT library
3 grocery stores
1 nice 'farmer's market' type produce market
at least 2 laundries
lots of churches
a GREAT bakery
several passable restaurants
1 bookstore, the proprietor of which prefers an interesting 'minimalist' wardrobe
several fast-food joints
Radio Shack
2 swell ice-cream vendors (Dave's favorite!)
A gazillion snowbird full-hookup RV parks

What is does not have is ambiance! As you stated, the big push is during January & early February, when they have that big tent set up as HUGE flea market and as venue for other events (car show, etc). Traffic is terrible during this time - we only went into town early am or late afternoon, after the other geezers were finished shopping. There are several different flea markets/swap meets all winter, but the 'stuff' seems to be the same from one to another. It does seem if you've been looking for some sort of 'widget' you can't find elsewhere, someone in Q has 10 of them!

There are several BIG RV sales lots set up: La Mesa RV, Beaudry, etc. They floor a ton of bulgemobiles and must actually sell some of them.

About the permits - long-term, which allows you to camp in Q and several other out-lying areas (1 has hot springs!) from 9/15 to 4/15 is $140 ... about 72 cents a day! You can purchase short-term permits as well (30 for 14 days, 60 for 30 days) so it's quite affordable.

That's about it - hope this info is helpful. Q might qualify as one of those places everyone should see at least once. Happy camping, wherever you park it, and we hope to see you on the road in the future. Right now we are in Gila Bend, AZ where it was 85* today!
Take care, L 'n D
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.” A. Einstein
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Old 11-01-2006, 08:04 PM   #4
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Thanks. Enjoyed reading your posts.

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Old 11-01-2006, 11:17 PM   #5
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We usually drive through in February, not stopping until Phoenix. There's always activity around Quartszite, and I understand that the gem show (and swap meet) is good.

Also check out Mayflower Park north of Blythe. E&W hookup and a nice dump site. LOTS of grass, on the river--nice quiet community park with a wintering RV community. Judging by the number of snowbirds, it isn't too expensive and the people were nice. We've only stayed a couple of days at a time, and enjoyed it each time.

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Old 11-01-2006, 11:20 PM   #6
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I come at Quartzsite from a slightly different angle. My grandma lived there for over 20 years. We loved going there every year for the gem and mineral show, and pow wow in late Jan or early Feb. Tyson Wells was my favorite swap meet area. We also enjoyed the area during non swap meet time.

If you want top see all the sights be prepared to do loads of walking. There are many, many interesting characters to meet and tons of "window" shopping to do.

L & D forgot to mention the Mc Donalds, where some of the local seniors meet each morning for breakfast. Main Event swap meet is right across the street. Go see Hi Jolly the camel drivers grave at the local cemetery and check out the other old graves too. There is also a museum that I've never been to, it was never open while we were there.

Everyone should experience Q at least once.
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:07 AM   #7
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We too visited Quartzite and all of the above is there. It's a neat place but don't expect to camp out on the lonely desert unless you go search that out. Maybe a couple of pictures might help.
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Old 11-02-2006, 08:15 AM   #8
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We often stay there a day or two as a stop-over, either going further south or on the way back. For us, a day or so shopping the tail-gaters is sufficient. We aren't rock hunter/gem people, but like to lurk a bit.

You don't have to 'camp' in with the crowds of bulgemobiles. Just go a bit further out. With a lightweight FGRV that is quite easily done.

With a FGRV the cost for moving around a lot isn't much of an issue. We would qualify more as 'tourists' than 'campers'. Rarely do we stay put more than two days.

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Old 11-02-2006, 08:44 AM   #9
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thanks everyone, much better picture. i was afraid i would be the only single person in a honeymooner's paradise. no fun.

keep it coming, the more info the better.

what about tuscon? anyone been to the hummingbird house? it is not an rv place but it is of interest to me because of the pottery studio time available.

thanks, alice
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Old 11-02-2006, 08:03 PM   #10
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Hi again, Alice - oops, we did leave out a few special Q things like the Hi Jolly gravesite, but glad you could use the info.

We will be driving thru Tucson in early Dec - will do some research on Hummingbird House & try to post what details we get from a visit, if possible.

No worries about being a single person in Q - the Escapee's gang even has a location staked out in the "free 14-day" camping section on Plomosa Rd off US95.

Enjoyed reading others' impressions, especially Lisbeth childhood memories - Great! Regards, L 'n D

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.” A. Einstein
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