Friday, January 22, 2010

Quartzsite Storm

The desert is supposed to be dry, by definition, right? Not so, during the past few days. Here's the view from our RV site this morning, after many hours of rain, wind and even a tornado warning and watch. Notice the angle of the parking sign—evidence of the strong winds.

Lake Rice Ranch 2

“Rice Ranch Lake” crested sometime during the night, filling a lower parking area with about 6 feet of water.

We’re parked in the vendor area at Rice Ranch, helping our good friends Ken and Maryanne Watson, western distributors for the new product Magne Shade windshield and window covers. We wanted to test our shades in the wind, since a common question from prospective buyers is “will they blow off?” The shades held firm until the worst of the storm hit, reported as about 70 mph, and the wind changed direction from south to west. If we’re ever in another storm this bad, we’ll remove the shades at the same time we bring in the slides and stow the satellite dishes.

Other than the frightening time we spent inside last night, wondering if we’d either be blown over or floated away, we were in pretty good shape this morning. We slept well after the storm died down last night, and Don got the shades back on the coach this morning.


The shades are really pretty and provide privacy in the daytime, yet we can still see out clearly. They are put on by using a fiberglass pole to push the magnets into position, so you don’t have to climb on a ladder. Don and I are considering becoming agents for Ken & Maryanne, covering some of the RV rallies we attend.

Some of our neighbors in Rice Ranch didn’t fare as well in the storm. A-1 Mobile RV’s tent blew partially down, and poor John couldn’t get his van started this morning, while RVers were frantically calling him for help.

A-1 Tent

The people who make the great, juicy burgers a few sites down discovered their location used to be the middle of a wash. Mother Nature is now trying to reclaim it. They removed the kitchen-in-a-trailer from the site and were still working on cleaning up this afternoon.


A pump was set up at the northeastern end of the lake, and it’s having a small effect on the water level. Unfortunately, the water pumped out is being diverted across Kuehn Rd into other washes, making a wet, muddy mess in those areas.

Lake Pump

In the meantime, our water supply was shut off because a pipe broke underground and had to be repaired. It was the second time for this repair, because the ground gave way beneath it and the weight of so much mud on top broke it again.

Water pipe

All in all, it’s been an interesting time in Quartzsite. It’s the first time either Don or I can remember using windshield wipers in Q, and the first time we’ve had full hookups. Now we can add that it’s the first time we had lakefront property in Arizona!