Social, Crazy, Diverse – Quartzsite, AZ
It’s been a whirlwind of a week. Paul and I both agree we haven’t been this social in months (years?) and it’s a wee bit overwhelming, but honestly this is part of what Quartzsite is all about. If you’re gonna come to “Q” you may as well come during the big show and if you’re gonna come to the big show you better be ready for some big-time crowds & craziness. This is part of what the fun of being here is all about!
I introduced this dusty little town in the last post and this time I’ll give you a bit more.
The big RV show in January (when most RVers come here) draws up to a million people each year, or so it’s been said. People mostly boondock in one of the paid La Posa LTVA areas (Long-Term Visitor Areas) or one of the 5 free 14-day areas (see where we usually camp here). The advantage of the former is that you can stay longer & they have trash, water and dump included in the price of the permit ($40 for 2 weeks, $180 for 7 months). The advantage of the latter is that it’s…well…free! Either way if you’ve never tried boondocking and want to do it for the first time THIS is the place to do it simply because it is soooooo easy here and literally everyone else does it too. Q was actually our very first boondocking experience in 2010!!
But the real interesting thing in Q is what happens when all these diverse people come together in one place and it’s not all about shopping. That’s the real magic of Quartzsite:
Social Gatherings & Meetings
No matter what you interest or ilk Q is a place you can find your “peeps”. Perhaps you’re a bus nut who wants a week of tech talks? Or, a ham radio buff? Or, maybe you’re a solo RVer? Or you live in a van? Or, you want to meet other folks with your type of rig? Or, you’re LGBT? Or, perhaps you’re the type who just wants to sunbathe in your birthday suit? ALL these folks are here…ALL of them!
We’re hanging with the Monaco iRV2 group, as you know, but there are masses of other RVers here. Our little meet and greet at the Beer Belly Bar (dog friendly, by the way) on Thursday drew about 25 bloggers & blog readers trickling in and out over a period of a few hours including Watson’s Wonder, Life’s Little Adventures, Island Girl, Bear Tracks as well as some readers who we met years ago as far away as Austin, TX!! Such a fun little meet-up and we totally enjoyed saying “hi” to everyone. Cheers to everyone who came!!
Then we got a little star-struck ourselves when Sassy’s On Da Road turned up on our doorstep with none other than van-dweller wonder To Simplify. Glen is one cool dude and lives fulltime in a van that he re-built from the ground up with his own two hands. The poor “beast” felt rather fat (and rather jealous) compared to his ultra-mobile go-anywhere van and I have to admit we might have drooled a little when we stroked the interior (sorry, Glen).
These are just a sampling of the kind of meetings you’ll have out here. With 100,000 RV’s in one place you’re bound to meet someone you know!!
People love art and when you bring a diverse group together someone is bound to create. There are actually all kinds of hidden rock sculptures all around Q and we’ve found two just around the corner of us at La Posa South. One set is in the “Magic Circle” (the clothing optional area) while the other is an accurate North America map hidden across a wash. Explore a little and you’ll be surprised at what you find….
Backroad Hiking & Off-Roading
Desert landscapes are often deceiving. On first look they are a never-ending vista of nothingness, but give it a little time and you’ll start to notice details and life that you didn’t expect. We’ve hiked around Dome Rock many times and enjoyed it’s many hidden roads. This year we expanded to Q Mountain (the one with the big “Q” on it just SW of town) and explored some of the old mines as well as the grand view from the top (pretty nifty). We also went further afield to to KOFA Wildlife Refuge (~18 miles south of Q) and did the popular Palm Canyon Hike to see some of the only native palms in AZ. ALL are pooch-friendly areas and well worth the trip. Those with 4-wheelers can explore a slew of other interesting roads in the area too.
And ALL The Other Q Craziness
Of course you can’t mention Q without mentioning the shopping. I wrote a few posts about this last year and there’s really not much more to add this year. You can find just about anything you need (and many more things you didn’t realize you needed) at the show. There are plenty of “big name” guys in the Big Tent, but the real deals are in the little shops & alleys outside the tent. Want a particular kitchen item? An unusual hat? Hard-to-find tools? Rocks, gems (and more rocks)? You may need at least 2-3 days to wonder around and find it, but it’s all here.
We’ve got maybe 2 more days to go before we scoot on from here. I’ll update you on our purchases before I ring off (we’ve got a few interesting ones), but that’ll be the end of our Q craziness. Our next stop will be back in the quiet and remote boonies for some much-needed alone time. We’ve LOVED our time here, but we’re ready to be back in the wilds again
Other good Quartzsite Blog Posts:
- Me And My Dog: Quartzsite boondocking questions answered
- RV Camping: Free Camping at Quartzsite
- Your RV Lifestyle: Quartzsite BLM Areas