quartzsite, quartzsite arizona, arizona, Fran Crawford, Steven L Fletcher

Full time RVing adventure 2000 Travelog -
Part Two - Quartzsite Arizona and more

Steven L Fletcher & Fran Crawford full time RVing Travelog: January 21 to March 1

Our home at Quartzsite. AZ (LaPosa South - LTVA)

(Our home at Quartzsite. AZ -LaPosa South - LTVA)

The phenomenon of Quartzsite Arizona so amazed us in '99 that we had to revisit it to see if what we had experienced was real. I think there were even more folks there this January than there were last year. We had gotten to La Posa South... actually Tyson Wash... earlier last year... before the RV Show crowd had materialized. This year we got there on opening day but managed to go from north to south on Highway 95 without too much trouble. We were trying to get there and get reasonably settled before the RV Club Online's Virtual Campfire get-together Saturday evening. We spent the day Saturday doing household chores. I took a walk and Steve did some woodcarving then we headed for town about 3:30, not knowing what kind of traffic delays we encounter on the way to the meeting at Love's Truck Stop. We planned to stop at Bird's Mailing Services and get snail mail and email squared away. All the RV parks in town seemed to be packed full and the BLM land was a veritable sea of RVs but for some reason the traffic moved steadily.

Bird Mailing Services was out of business. Bummer. It had been so convenient last year to go in there and plug into their telephone line to download email. We had noticed a place called Boondockers Supply on the highway we came in on so we went over there to see if they had any mailing services. For five bucks a month we could have our mail sent to their post office box and they would pick it up and put a coded sign on the porch of their building so we would know to stop and retrieve it. They also had a computer so that folks could read their email for $2 per 15 minutes and another phone line so you could download email onto your laptop. We signed up for the mail service and then went to Love's, filled up with fuel and waited to see when Virtual Campfire members would show up for the get-together. Around 20 people showed up for the gathering and chatted for a while at Love's then some decided to head for the Chinese Restaurant for dinner.

The restaurant was crowded and noisy and we had already eaten dinner so we just headed home. That was two days after the moon had been full and the eclipse had taken place. The moon was still huge and it was so beautiful to see the desert sky with no city lights to dim it.

We had our telephone in Yuba City forwarded to our wireless and we got a couple of calls from wrong numbers and a sales person. Since the phone seemed to work I tried to call Bev, the editor of RV Companion and they were behind schedule getting to Quartzsite. Said she would call us when she got here. I also talked to Lorine briefly but she said there was a lot of static at her end.

Sunday morning I decided to walk to the public phone to see if it had a place to hook up to with the powerbook. It was further than I thought and I never did get there but I did find the place where the music jam is held on Tuesdays. We had looked and looked for it since our arrival but couldn't locate it. Then I had to try and find where we had parked our house! I didn't realize I had walked as far as I did, so I kept thinking I had passed by our house already... but I finally was able to see it! Whew!

Steve fixed some loose siding on the RV in the afternoon and I visited briefly with our neighbors to the east. They are from Kansas. I went to bed early that night and read until my flashlight batteries died. My television doesn't do 12 volt and there is no radio reception where we were. Monday was overcast off and on and I went up to the roof to take a panorama photo of where we were parked. It was hot on the rooftop.

When I came down Steve was doing his wood carving so I walked over to Ed and Ruth Pallan's rig to visit with them for a while. They are from the Virtual Campfire group and were parked about a quarter mile west of us. Steve had dinner ready when I got home.

Music Jam Session at Quatzsite LTVATuesday is music jam session day. We go whenever we can. Spent the morning sitting and marveling at the folks who line up for a couple of hours in order to use the dump station. We are continually amazed at the quantity of people out here on this desert... loving it! Being dyed-in-the-wool people watchers we parked down along the main road which also leads to the dump station and water supply. In the afternoon there were 225 people at the jam session. It lasted from 1 until 4 or 4:30.

Wednesday was our turn to pack down the house and head for the dump station. We had diligently watched for a slack time so it only took us about 45 minutes to an hour after we got in line. We dumped, disposed of the trash and filled the fresh water tank and headed home. After dinner we decided it was probably as good a time as any to go to the laundromat. Get all the big chores out of the way in one day! The wind blew hard all day but it made for a really clear, starry night. We could hear coyotes barking and howling in the distance.

The wind had died down by Thursday morning. We headed for town to check mail and scope out a few RV parks that might have space and telephone availability. A visit to Rainbow Community behind the Dome Rock was in order. Last year it was just getting started it seems but it has really grown now. The beautiful rainbow brick walls certainly add to the looks of the whole place. A lot more lots had RVs on them and a lot of houses and storage building have been installed. We asked at the office about rentals and the woman told us that was possible although a telephone would take a while to be installed.

On the way back to town we detoured up a dirt road to an old cabin to see what it was all about. The area around it is all staked out with mining claims. The cabin is just an old stone structure that no one inhabits any longer. There were two of them. One obviously newer than the other. It appeared as though someone had tried to shore up the early one to keep old age from claiming it. We explored the 14 day BLM land east of town stopped by the RV Show for a quick look and then headed home. The email situation has still not been resolved.

Friday we went to town to be able to get better reception on the wireless phone to call a couple of RV parks on the river below Parker Dam. One had no space. The other might have three available by Monday... one of which could have a phone turned on. We planned to drive up there the next day and check it out so we filled our propane tanks and headed home.

Saturday we had a quick breakfast and set out to do battle getting through the traffic in town. Finally got through and headed north on 95. I had had a dream about staying somewhere on the west coast of Arizona along the Colorado River so we went up to check out Castle Rock Shores, the one I had called about space.

Castle Rock Shores is about eleven miles north of Parker, AZ, between Buckskin Mountain State Park and River Island State Park. When we got there, Marla, the manager, said she had just been notified that someone was moving out the next day and their telephone would but turned off Monday. We could have the space. We accepted.

Now we needed a local ISP. On our way back to Quartzsite we stopped in Parker to see if we could connect with one but the only one in existence around here was closed for the weekend.

To get back to Parker we had driven down the California side of the Parker Strip to see what had changed. The Blue Water Casino building is finished and beautiful, but we wonder why they put it out of sight of the highway. It overlooks the river and certainly offers hotel stayers a great view, but only a big lighted sign indicates it's whereabouts along Highway 95 north of Parker.

There was to be another get-together of the Virtual Campfire group so we headed back to Quartzsite. We stopped along the highway where some Canadian folks were having a bit of battery problems. They said they thought they had everything under control so we proceeded on.

The new (old) tailgate(the new tailgate after a little paint and the trim from the stock tailgate)

We had been having some tailgate trouble (getting it down after it had gotten bent while Steve was trying to hitch up) and a neighbor told us there was one for sale down the road. .After the GT we headed home and figured if we were going to hitch up the house we needed to stop to buy the tailgate if, perchance it was still there. It was.

Sunday started out beautiful. The main portion of the RV show was over and people were moving out of the area in droves. The line at the dump station was worse than ever. Steve worked on the tailgate and it fit, so we were back in business. We decided to pack down, dump the tanks and go to a 14 day area north of Quartzsite to stay overnight and be on the other side of the big traffic jam that would happen the next day. We parked overnight in the Hi Jolly 14 Day area. I fixed dinner and we are watching television not wanting to unpack computers etc. for one night. I tried again unsuccessfully to call Bev (from this side of town). Steve called his mother.

Later that night... around midnight... we were 'treated' to a real live cop show! We were parked right by the gate to the area and a small pick-up truck came zinging in and pulled up against the fence across the roadway from us. He was closely followed by four sheriff or marshal units that screeched to a halt behind the pickup and they all jumped out of their cars and got down behind the doors! About that time I was wondering where I could go if this was going to be a shoot-out. Steve was in the shower. The fellow in the truck got out and put his hands way up high in the air as three other units sped into the park. They cuffed him and put him in one of the units and then a couple of them left, but the others waited until a tow truck came and hauled the little pick-up off. Never did find out that that was all about.

Monday. Moving day! Everyone seemed to be bailing out of Quartzsite and out of the Hi Jolly area... going north, some... and going south, more. That's good. We headed north to Parker Dam, AZ and Castle Rock Shores. We stopped in Parker to get subscribed to an ISP and 'Peggy' said the owner required us to bring in the computer to have him install the information. He was not there at the time and we didn't want to drag the computers out of the house anyway. We groused a bit and she relented and gave us the information. We paid $24.95 for a month's service and headed north on 95 again. Passed up the opportunity to shop at Safeway because it would be a mess to try and put away stuff in a packed down house.

Castle Rock Shores RV Resort(click the photo to see an pamoramic view)
When we got here Marla the manager, was busy with other folks and said we should just go park and get hooked up and then come back to the office and register later. We got hooked up between a couple of small scrawny citrus trees. The water is hard... bigtime... according to folks who live here. "Actually," said one woman, "if you don't mind the smell, the taste and the sediment that occurs, it isn't bad water!" We decided to use bottled for drinking. We'll have to contend with encrusted pipes in the house, but I don't want encrusted pipes in my body!

Our home at Castle Rock Shores RV ResortOur house is situated east/west with the door facing north... not good by Indian standards but should work down in this little canyon. I doubt they ever have really strong winds here. We're only 100 yards or so from the river and the spaces are wide enough that we don't feel cramped. The river flows east to west here and California is directly north of us across the river. We are a couple of miles down river from Parker Dam which holds back Lake Havasu. The water is calm and Great Blue Herons, seagulls, mallards and loons seem to love it. The park is home for lots of birds of various kinds but so far the most prevalent are some vocal, brazen, shiny, dark blue, iridized boat tail grackles... at least they are not crows. We headed out to do some grocery shopping get gas, and wash the truck. I had the door open until about ten pm because it didn't get cold. Sunsets here are extraordinary.

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