It’s that time of year again. Thousands of RVers are headed for the tiny town of Quartzsite, Arizona to take part in the annual gathering that is best described as Woodstock For Grownups. Some people will tell you that you’re not a real RVer until you “Do the Q!”
They come to dry camp in the desert, to shop the small vendors scattered around town, to browse the Big Tent and see even more vendor offerings, to meet up with old friends, and just to hang out and enjoy the desert sunshine.
If you have not been to Quartzsite, it should be on your personal Bucket List. It’s not for everybody, but everybody should experience it at least once.
We’ve been to Quartzsite several times, and to be honest, it’s gotten worse over the years, and I think it will continue to decline. The town fathers want to turn it into their own version of Palm Springs, and their greed has pushed many of the small vendors out as they are replaced with big RV dealerships paying big taxes.
During the last two weeks of January, traffic is terrible in town, and many find it easier to walk or ride bicycles than to try and negotiate the constant gridlock on the two main streets in town, one north of Interstate 10 and one south.
In case I’m sounding negative, let’s not forget the fact that there are few places to shop locally, so one must bring in everything they need, or be prepared to drive a half hour or more to Parker, Arizona or Blythe, California for much of anything. Except for big crowds of people, you won’t find anything in the Big Tent you can’t find buy from vendors at other RV rallies, and usually for less money. Even out in the middle of nowhere, petty thievery is not uncommon – every year folks lose bicycles and portable generators. And did I mention the dust that permeates every corner of your RV after a few days in the desert?
By now you must be asking yourself “Why the heck would I ever want to go to Quartzsite?” The answer is simple, the pluses far outweigh the negatives for many RVers.
In Quartzsite, you will learn to get the most out of your RV’s self-contained features. Even if you don’t think you will spend much time boondocking, it’s still handy to know how to do so in a pinch. You never know when you’ll be stuck for a few days at an RV repair shop waiting for parts and repairs.
You have never experienced a sunset like you’ll see in the Arizona desert, and that alone makes it worth a trip to Quartzsite. Once the sun goes down, a million stars fill the sky, shining like so many diamonds. At night you will be serenaded by coyotes as you drop off to sleep, and the next morning you are treated to the sound of doves cooing their wake up call. These are memories you’ll never make in a regular RV park
Of course, the people you will meet are the greatest thing about Quartzsite. It attracts everybody from bluegrass pickers to hikers, rock hounds to four wheel drive enthusiasts, born again Christians to pagans. They even have an out of the way corner of the desert reserved for nudists, called the Magic Circle! You’re as likely to have neighbors in half-million dollar Prevost custom coaches as in homebuilt bus conversions, as well as any and every type of new and vintage RV ever conceived. And they’re all there to do the same thing as you are, just to be a part of it all.
You may go once and decide that it’s not for you, or like many of our RVing friends, you may fall in love with the place, and return every winter to “Do the Q.”
Thought For The Day – Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.