Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Quartzsite, Arizona.

Gonzaga Bay to Quartzsite.

____ From San Felipe, we elected to cross back into the US at the San Luis de Rio Colorado border; hoping to avoid the busier customs-post at Mexicali. But San Luis was busy too; a long, three-lane line-up running alongside the 12 foot high steel fence that forms the border where President Trump wants to build his wall. A three thousand strong caravan of Honduran immigrants had recently arrived in the area hoping to gain access to the United States and many were living under tarpaulins strung up against the fence as they waited for a chance to cross. The traffic moved far quicker than the pedestrian line; there was no commercial truck traffic at this border and it was centre lane for RVs. About two hours to get through with a new I94 Visa Waiver giving me another 90 days in the US.

____ A night just south of Yuma, at the Cocopah Casino RV parking after a trip round Walmart. Four dollars a night for a concrete pad among some very expensive motor-coaches before heading to Mittry Lake and a rendezvous with Gail and Milo. Mittry is BLM land and free for ten days in a calendar year. A palm tree oasis set at the edge of the desert where the Colorado River forms the state-line between Arizona and California. Just a couple of days stay before heading up US Highway 95 to Quartzsite but looking forward to another visit in the not too distant future.

____ Quartzsite is a town of 3000 people that swells to over 250,000 in the last week of January as it becomes the Mecca for RVers from all over North America. Such an influx would cause problems for almost any small town but Quartzsite is surrounded by flat desert and motorhomes, travel trailers, 5th wheelers and every imaginable kind of RV just spread themselves about on the BLM land. We choose the Hi Jolly area to the north of town, no services for camping but no charge either. The Big Tent is the big attraction, we cycled down to see the show every day. A lot of stuff is RV related; but as one regular old-timer said, “It ain’t what it used to be and is becoming more like the shopping channel.” Most interesting bit for me was wandering in and out of all the vehicles on display; the electrical circuitry in those things is so sophisticated these days. Most 45 foot motor-coaches have four flat-screen televisions but are set-up to sleep two persons.

____ Although the RV trade show is a big event, there is also a big social side to the Quartzsite gathering. Owner’s clubs for different RV marques hold annual reunions. Tiffin motor coaches had all their wagons in a circle at La Posa and Roadtrek campervans held their get-together at Hi Jolly. Rocks are another Quartzsite attraction as the town name might suggest; plenty of mineral and rock shops. Antique bric-a-brac market stalls fill in the gaps between the food trucks while side-by-side atvs and wide wheel jeeps park just about everywhere.

The queue for the border at San Luis de Rio Colorado. Under the blue tarps are families waiting for a chance to enter the USA.

Hilltop destination beside Mittry Lake. Milo let me drive his Suzuki Vitara to the top; forgetting to lock the free-wheel hubs and having me do it in two-wheel drive.

The view across the Colorado River from Arizona to California.

The BLM area called Hi Jolly. Flat desert covered with hundreds of RVs.

The Ghost; one of the few Class 8 Motorhome- trucks at the Quartzsite Show.

Old Peterbilt was the transport for the nearby antique dealer.

Not just RV stuff on sale in Quartzsite. Cattle skulls and hides too.

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