Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Was it only yesterday that we arrived in Quartzsite??

Take a look at this picture... that's Odel walking across from Scoopy to the motorhome of our friends the Dopps. This is the view out of our front window, facing to the east so we get the morning sun: motorhomes, mountains, and desert. There are 100+ rigs here in our Boomer enclave, loosely arranged in straggling rows and around small campfire circles.

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon in the 60's when we arrived. We had the slides out, the "lawn" unrolled, and chairs deployed by 4 pm, and were starting to see familiar faces. We situated Scoopy a short walk from the happy hour/campfire circle, the venue for the various meetings and gatherings that convene each day: writers' group, solar, boondocking, geocaching, breadbaking (that one hasn't happened yet, but I'm interested)...

The daily 4 pm happy hour starts with announcements (upcoming activities, where the trash run volunteer will be parked, when the fresh water delivery truck is expected, a reminder of the daily 9:30 am walk - all the important stuff), then evolves to snacking, hugging, catching up with old friends, and making plans for dinner or other activities. After we finished with all the backslapping and off-the-cuff scheduling, we headed over to dinner with our friends the Dopps, whose garden we tended last summer in Canby, Oregon while they traveled for a few weeks. They squeezed 8 people into their motorhome - great meal and great company.

Our mission this morning was a trip into town, to The Big Tent. For those of you who are not among the initiated, Quartzsite is the center of the boondockers' universe for the last two weeks of January. RV dealerships set up sales lots, vendors of all things RV'ing and just about everything else under the sun set up booths, food vendors line the streets and walkways... and the center of it all is The Big Tent.

Odel and I had a short shopping list of items that could be found at The Big Tent, so we headed into town with our friend Barry around noon to get our shopping done. That was WAY late! As you can see from the photo, the traffic was bumper to bumper. We parked about half a mile from the tent - no problem getting plenty of exercise today.

You see everything in the Tent: demonstrations of cooking gadgets, satellite TV dishes, sheets, special cleaning supplies, jewelry, clothing, campground memberships, even job recruiters. Barry and I sat in chairs with electrodes stuck on our skin, sending electrical impulses that made our muscles jump (pain relief). We could buy the little gadget for $250 - hey, that's half price, a special deal available only at Q! Then Barry and Odel went off to eat smoked turkey legs and ice cream while I wandered the aisles of The Big Tent unencumbered.

The Tent is something else. What the heck do you think these people are doing?? It looked to me like they were sitting with their bare feet in dirty water, which reminded me way too much of how we save and reuse our water when boondocking... in fact, those tubs look just like the dishpan we use to capture shower water for reuse! It looked totally unsavory to me, but about a dozen people were happily soaking, hopefully getting "Immediate Results". Ick.

This is our second visit to Boomerville at Quartzsite. We first came here in January of 2005, and knew about a dozen Boomers. Boondocking was still a fairly new experience for us, and we certainly had never experienced anything like the Quartzsite encampment.

This visit is much different. We see familiar faces everywhere we turn, and won't have enough time to catch up with our old friends, let alone get to know new ones. Our boondocking skills are vastly improved: our big, east-facing windshield catches the first warming rays of the morning sun, we flush the toilet with reserved dishwater, we capture and reuse the cold water that flows while we wait for the hot water to get to the tap.

We'll never be desert rats, but it is fun to have the knowledge and equipment to gather with friends out here under the full moon and enjoy this unusual slice of life.

I took this last photo just as the moon rose, with our solar lights "bubbling" in the foreground. That's it - a day in the life at Quartzsite.


  1. Wow - what a lot of fascinating "input", huh? Sounds very interesting for a few days, and then I am sure it is wonderful to get away, too.


  2. Those "tubs" are "pulling toxins" out of the body via the feet. It's the "new thing" -- and the water IS yucky!!!!!! I suppose the "immediate results" are supposed to suggest that you will feel like "a million bucks" because of all the gunk that came out of your feet???? tee hee

  3. Hey, those solar lights are way cool, guess I will have to go over there tomorrow night and check them out!

    Hugs, Sharon & Ron