Monday, January 24, 2011

Quartzsite–Fun for Some, Tragic for Others

We’ve been coming to the small town of Quartzsite in the western Arizona desert for several years during January to join a few hundred thousand other RVers for a boondocking experience. We park on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land with no hookups and at no charge for up to 14 days. We arrive with a full fresh water tank and empty holding tanks. We rely on solar panels on the roof and our built-in diesel generator for electrical power. We enjoy our time here and love getting together with friends and meeting new ones.

Our good friends Larry and Carol Jennings are parked in a Long-Term Visitor Area (LTVA) where they can stay longer than is permitted on BLM land, and they have water and sewer pumping services. She tells their story best – go to her blog entries for December and January to read about their experiences.

Traffic usually gets heavy as soon as the “big tent” for the RV show opens, which it did this past Saturday. Heavy traffic was very evident during the past 3 days, as you can see here, where we’re awaiting our chance to turn left on highway 95.


This year, we’re doing something different. We’re serving as Volunteer Club Representatives (VCRs) for the Escapees SOLOs, the group that brought Don and I together when we first met in 2004, and provided the chance to meet again several times, including the one when we decided to travel together in 2007. We still have lots of SOLO friends, and we volunteered to spend this week at their rally so we could enjoy being with them again. The rally is held on Plomosa Rd, about 6 miles north of town off highway 95. It’s been a fun experience (except for a few minor issues to resolve), and we’re glad we decided to spend time with this group.

On Saturday night, however, one RVer had a very bad experience. Her motorhome caught fire and several explosions rendered it a total loss. We saw the huge blaze and heard the sounds as the propane tank and tires exploded. She was able to save her computer, but lost her cell phone, cash, credit cards, clothes and all other belongings. The rig was a small, older Toyota class C motorhome, and we doubt whether she had adequate insurance to replace it and all the contents.


The owner, a single woman, was parked with a group of other single RVers across the road from the Escapees SOLOs. As a gesture to help a fellow RVer, the SOLOs passed the hat and raised about $450 to help her with emergency needs. We know that the group she’s parked with has done the same, and she’s staying with another woman in that group. We all pray that she’ll be able to survive this tragedy and are grateful that no one was injured and no other RVs were affected by the blaze.

When we leave this rally, we’ll still have a few days to park with another group before departing northward. On Wed we’ll move to the RV Driving School Reunion, south of town off highway 95. Our good friends, Dennis & Carol Hill, who own the school, are already there with several other friends, and we’re looking forward to being with that group. Some of them are going with the group to Alaska this summer, and we’ll be discussing plans for that trip.

If you want to know what we’ve been doing since my last blog posting, check out Dennis & Carol’s blog on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, when we were visiting our good friends Denny and Susie Orr…


…and parked across the street from their house at the Escapee North Ranch near Wickenburg, AZ.


You can also experience our rally hosting for Escapees Chapter 21 by going to Jerry & Suzy LeRoy’s blog about our visit to The Desert Bar and a Chapter 21 Rally report. Here’s a sunset view of their rig at the La Paz County RV Park where the rally was held.


Thanks to the Hills, LeRoys, and Jennings (above), I don’t have to re-tell these stories! I hope you’ll visit their excellent blogs and enjoy more details about our adventures.