So, we are a part of the Winnebego/Navion Facebook group. This group hosts rallys nationwide. Every year in January the group meets on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land in Quartzsite, AZ. We decided to join the rally this year. It’s our first rally with this group. Our first rally ever!
Quartzsite is a little town in the desert at the California / Arizona Border. We have driven through this quaint little desert town off of Interstate 10 several times. Rather than me trying to describ this unique little gem, here is what the town website says about Quartzsite: “Situated 125 miles west of Phoenix at the junction of Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 95, it enjoys a close association with the Colorado River, just 18 miles to the west. Quartzsite, Arizona is known as the “Desert Phenomenon,” Quartzsite is truly the gem of La Paz County barely 18 miles east of the Colorado river, on I-10, may be the RV boondocking capital of the world. Quartzsite has become a mecca to visitors and exhibitors for rocks, gems, mineral specimens and fossils during the town’s famous two-month-long gem show and swap meet every January and February. From its humble beginnings the now-massive Quartzsite show has grown to RV-epic proportions with vendors offering everything under the Quartzsite sun. The Sonoran Desert setting, just 879 feet above sea level, holds its own mystique. The surrounding mountains add to the overall appeal, creating a scenic environment that is known for pristine desert views and glorious sunsets. With its unique reputation for catering to travelers, Quartzsite is the ‘destination of choice’ for literally millions of adventurer seekers, as well as the vendors who bring a vast array of treasures from all over the world to sell. Those who come to work obviously enjoy the region’s many offerings as much as the vacationers.”
That description painted a very accurate picture of this quaint little gem of town. The sunsets are like paintings, absolutely stunning! (I will have to capture one!)
Our journey began Tuesday morning.
The drive to Quartzsite was smooth, no hiccups to note. I always find driving through the desert scenic and relaxing. It never fails to provide beautiful, expansive views of God’s grandure. We arrived late afternoon and had no trouble finding the designated camping areas. We registered at the BLM station, paid our fee of $40 and proceeded down a thinly paved road which quickly turned to gravel and then packed dirt.
The rally has designated sections for us to park according to generator use. Some RVs use their generators to some degree, while others have amazing solar power and don’t need to use their generators much at all. We opted for the minimal generator use area since Craig had just installed two new 6-volt golf cart batteries, and we are not sure how much we may need to power this baby up.
Other than sections, there are no designated spots to park. One must find a level spot to their liking and go from there.😄 We found a relatively level spot, parked and set up camp, which is quick and easy since this is a boondocking event and no hookups are involved. With the setup up done, we walked over to check things out, check in, and meet some fellow RVers.
The rally is organized with activities scheduled for various interests. The activities or talks that caught my eyes were the drone and solar presentations, the VN tech talks, and the E- bike demo. I thought the 📸 photography talk might catch Craig’s eye. It did.
Well, after checking in and talking with some folks we met Tony, a tecky guy who has upgraded his rig with solar and gizmos and gadgets aplenty! We walked with he and his wife back to his rig along with about a half dozen other folks who wanted to check out his rig. He happily explained all of his upgrades like a professor sharing knowledge with his students. I heard a lot of awww’s and ohhhh’s as we marveled at his upgrades. Some of us a little jealous and others encouraged to do some of the same. Anyway, he and Craig hit it off, so much so, that we decided to relocate our rig near his. Turns out that he and the group of folks around him had happy hour in the evenings and welcomed us with open arms.
We left Tony’s camp and headed back across the desert to our rig, packed it back up and drove about a quarter mile, and moved to a spot across from Tony. He actually scouted a space for us and held it so no other rig would take it. 👍🏽👍🏽
We settled back in and visited with our new neighbors. In this little group that we joined, they are all married couples. One couple is from Maryland; they rented out their home (for about a year,) with the goal of visiting as many National Parks as they could. It turns out that Tony and his wife are from Lomita, CA, a couple of towns from us, and literally are our neighbors. Another couple is from Las Vegas; he is a retired Air Force pilot who now flies for an airline. These are the nicest people. I have to reiterate that RV people are some of the nicest people ever!
Gizmos and Gadgets
One can not help but learn about gizmos and gadgets when conversing with fellow RVers. Each has their own style and unique ideas for decorating and important upgrades, particularly Boondocking upgrades. From roof top and portable solar panels, lithium batteries, to extra water bladders, storage systems, organization ideas, air pumps, and so many other inventive ideas, some I had not thought or heard of.😱 Rvers, I have found, are always happy to share their 💡 ideas. Here are a couple.
The Drone workshop was the first ‘talk’ we attended. Let me back up here, there is a central location in camp where the host set up and where all of the ‘TALKS’ are held. Everyone attending the talks are encouraged to bring their own 💺 chairs, which we all did. Anyway, I am interested in learning about drones because I am considering one to enhance the photos and videos on this blog – perhaps sometime down the road. We will see. But the drone demo was interesting! The cost of drones floored me, the least expensive, a GOOD basic drone being about $400 and the much larger fancier drones ran into the $$$$ thousands! Of course there are remote controllers, carring cases, apps and other accessories that one could purchase to enhance the experience of flying a drone. The rules and knowledge one must know in order to fly a drone varies from place to place and state to state. I had no idea! Nevertheless a lot of knowledge was shared. The instructor, who owned several drones varying in size and cost gave flying demonstrations and provided the pros and cons of each drone he owned; it was a fair and honest review.👍🏽 Overall it was an informative and fun ‘talk.’
Happy hour in the evening was hosted by Tony and his wife in the enclosed patio area of his rig. We were surprised with a bottle of cinnamon fire beverage, from one of the attendees. I am not sure if it was whiskey, gin or wine. But I LOVE cinnamon, so I had to taste it. My taste consisted of about two tablespoons full in a clear plastic cup. That first sip took my breath away! It was like liquid cinnamon red hot candy. Yummy!! That second sip did the same; it went down hot, and warmed my stomach when it hit. Ummmm.😉 I am NOT a big drinker, and I had never seen or heard of this drink before, but it was well worth tasting.😊 Craig and I both joined the Happy Hour crew one night, and I joined them a second night.
The next morning we had the “tech talk” to look forward to. Grandpa Ron was the guest speaker I was looking forward to hearing. He has a YouTube channel that Craig follows. Grandpa Ron has done many, many, many upgrades and repairs to his Winnie and records “how to’s” to help the rest of us. He is a former engineer who shares a wealth of knowledge for Winnebego View and Navion owners. We love Grandpa Ron!! He has such a sweet, unassuming, quiet confidence about him. He is a genuine, nice guy with a weatlh of knowledge. A representative from Winnebego also spoke. He took some heat but overall handled the questions and provided good information to the group. The tech talk was informative and well worth our time.
When we hit the road, whether camping or road tripping I try to prepare as much as I can so I don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen. I will usually make a huge 🥗 salad or two, precut veggies, marinade meat, boil a few eggs and pack nuts and fruit. Here are a couple of our meals.
One night we had a giant salad with steak and another night we had a giant salad with a grilled ground beef patty. I am not sure why I don’t have pix of those two meals. I guess I was hungry!! We typically don’t have breakfast, and will just start our day with a cup of coffee and have a late lunch / early dinner, which I have dubbed “dunch.” One morning, I fixed pancakes, bacon and eggs, just because it felt right. We had a monster salad 🥗that night.😁
The E-Bike talk was held by a fellow E-bike owner. He explained the different types of E-bikes, battery life, front and rear motors, tire size, cost and style of bikes. Several attendees have E-bikes and brought theirs to use as demos. They were kind enough to let us test ride them.😁 The RAD E-Bikes were the most popular at the rally. Many of them had the fat tires, which are great for riding in dirt and sand. We have had our eyes on Pedigos…but are going to take a closer look at the RAD bikes…
When boondocking we have learned to be fairly conservative with our water. As much as I hate to use paper plates, we do opt for them when dry camping simply for water conservation. There are the forks, knives, coffee cups and pans to wash; so I use two bowls that I bought from the Dollar Tree. One is filled with hot soapy water to wash and the other with hot water to rinse. When the dishes are done, the water gets dumped in the toilet. Why the toilet and not down the sink? Because the toilet is the tank that is always last to fill, and the soapy water, I like to think helps keep the poopy stuff from sticking to the walls.
We really enjoyed our time at Quartzsite. We met some really nice people, exchanged contact info and talked of a trip to Baja….we will see. We were going to stay until Saturday, but the gem show was gearing up and the towns population was about to explode. Rather than stay and fight traffic on Saturday, we decided to leave on Friday early afternoon and head to Kingman to visit my brother Bob. I mean we were already in Arizona and he was only a couple of hours away, so why not?🤷🏽♀️
The drive to Bob’s was nice. We passed Buckskin State Park and Lake Havasu. We stopped for coffee at a little local coffee stand and enjoyed the drive. We arrived around dinner time and greeted Bob with the usual hugs and chatter. I am ALWAYS happy to see him and I know he is happy to see me.🥰 When we arrived we were hungry. He hadn’t had dinner yet, and he was hungry too. I was in the mood for some good fried chicken, so we hit the local Cracker Barrel. He confessed to having passed it many times but had never dined there. SIDEBAR: I have to say that Cracker Barrel is one of my favorite sites to see when traveling. We can grab a bite to eat – whether it be dinner or breakfast – and a good nights 😴 sleep. A place to feel safe and sleep soundly is important when on the road. Thank you Cracker Barrel!
SATURDAY, HOMEWARD BOUND
After dinner we hung out with Bob talked, laughed and watched some TV. He has a huge 🏡 home so we always stay in one of his guest rooms. Saturday morning I enjoyed a cup of coffee with Bob in the kitchen. He had some errands to run so he bid me farewell with hugs and I love you’s and off he went. Craig and I hung around the house for a while and then hit the road. I have a house key, so I locked up and we were in our way. On the way home we hit 23 mph winds. Besides the wind, the drive home was pretty uneventful. We arrived home early evening, unpacked and settled back in.
This post is so late, I know, but I ran into some technical difficulties attempting to upload my videos. So, I am hopeful that you can see them. Until next time, remember to be kind, compassionate and share a smile. You never know whose day you could brighten. Until next time…