Quartzsite, Arizona. For several months in the winter, Quartzsite or “the Q” as some of our friends say, is a hopping town with traffic jams and everything. The rest of the year? Not so much. Businesses and restaurants close down, some never to reopen. In the past few years, we’ve seen a decline in the amount of rigs you see sprinkled across state land and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property but this year, they’ve come back. The world didn’t come to an end, gas and diesel prices remain lower and relatively stable and after all, the weather tends to be warmer here than where most of these campers come from. Our rally ended with coffee and muffins this morning but we decided to forego the muffins in favor of breakfast at Bad Boys Cafe. Our waitress there told us that she and her husband are camp hosts at “mile marker 99” on the road to Yuma and in three days this week, they checked in 1,675 vehicles just at their one location! Special interest groups like our Eagles International club come and go throughout the winter but especially around the week or so that the Big Tent is open. As we left this morning, we met more motorhomes and trailers than I could keep track of headed in to refill the vacancy. The attraction for us, besides the Big Tent event and the vendor market across the street, is our friends from all over the country. Believe me, dirt, camping without hookups, wind and this year, rain, don’t appeal to me all that much.
Speaking of no hookups, one of the mainstays of a successful stay in Quartzsite is our generator since we are very dependent on electricity for refrigerator, lights and most of our heat. And if you’ve been following this blog for several years, you already know that the generator has been the Achilles’ heel of the Liberty bus every year at Quartzsite. This year was no exception. The first night, it ran like a champ, just smoking along as usual. The next morning, it started and died and refused to start again. Pull out the propane heater and prepare for cold water sponge baths. The problem remains to be found but we were able to plug in to a friend’s bus for lights, at least. Today we are in Yuma staying on Wilbur and Laura Bradbury’s lot with full hookups, so the generator and 12 volt system problems can wait.
Last week was the chili cookoff at Northwest Community Friends Church and LeRoy’s chili was award winning, even if he did not win the Golden Spoon for best overall. The winners were chosen by popular vote, so who knows who might have voted for LeRoy’s chili if they hadn’t had a close relative in the contest!
We’re both looking forward to getting new glasses in Los Algodones, Mexico this week, along with good food at the cantina and inexpensive medicines. We’ll probably get fish tacos at our favorite taco stand while we’re here before heading back to Tucson midweek.