Sunday, January 23, 2011

Quartzsite–the RV Mecca in January

One of the main reasons for coming to the Southwest in January was to make my first pilgrimage to the RVer’s Mecca— Quartzsite!  During the rest of this year, this little dusty town of 4000 people is nothing more than a boring pit stop along I-10 between Phoenix and California.  But late January is a different story entirely!  During this time, there’s an annual RV Show held at the big-top tent surrounded by a few hundred flea market vendors. 

While these events started drawing RV’ers to Quartzsite a number of years ago, the real draw now is the social scene and spectacle of seeing over 10,000 RVs parked out in the desert camping together.  On top of that are the 80-100,000 daytime visitors (no doubt, fellow RVers who have left their rigs at their snowbird parks in Phoenix, Yuma, Palm Springs, etc who come for the day to shop the flea markets and visit with RV friends). So, the crush of people and vehicles on this little 4-stoplight town require everyone to do some careful planning.

My strategy was to fill my tanks at Imperial Dam LTVA, get my groceries in Yuma, and make the 60 mile drive up to Quartzsite.  The La Posa LTVAs in Quartzsite are the closest to the RV show and flea markets, so my plan was to park there and ride my bike into town to avoid traffic and parking problems.  I arrived to a spectacular Arizona sunset--
I spent the first part of the week in one area of La Posa North that was less populated so that I could focus on work.  Fortunately, Quartzsite’s cell signals and even TV signals were excellent, so it was a great place to work from.  There was also a full moon that provided some great photo ops in the morning and evening:
Later in the week, I moved over to the north end of the camp area where the View-Navion rally was to be held.  About 35 fellow rigs met up and I had a great time meeting everyone at the happy hour and pot luck dinner.  Like the V-N rally I attended in Iowa last fall, people attended this one from all corners of the country.  I met folks from Alaska, Maine, Wisconsin, Texas, and California.  We really get around!  Can’t wait for the next rally!
On Saturday, I finally had time to go into town and explore the vendors & RVs.  I walked through a few motorhome models, and toured the very crowded big-top tent (which turned out to be more Infomercial-type vendors than true RVing products).  The flea markets were also not my cup of tea (as one of my RV neighbors called it “Rocks and Socks”, and his description was spot on!).  But it was fun to see the spectacle, and I was sure happy to be on my e-bike rather than in a car!

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