Archive for the 'towns' Category

Rocking and rolling in Arizona

January 22nd, 2010

Whew! The weather has been pretty nutty around here lately. We spent a couple of days in Quartzsite putting up fliers for freecampsites.net and got rained on every evening. One mid-day shower caught us while out on the scooter. Fun!

Quartzsite is just not our scene. Two days would have been more than enough even if the weather had been great.  It was pretty crazy to pull into the BLM area the first night and see rigs lined up awning to awning just like a commercial campground. We had to go about a quarter mile deep into the area before we found a spot where we could get a mere hundred feet from a couple of neighbors. The next morning, we found out why the area was so ‘sparsely’ populated as the kids in the converted school bus had breakfast and blasted the MTV version of the Grateful Dead over the world’s crappiest PA system. Ah, well… at least it wasn’t polka.

This morning, we got up ‘early’ to try and make it back to Slab City by dark. Apparently, I was still on California time and not really adhering to Jenn’s schedule. Still, we got out at a reasonable time and then sat in mid-morning traffic at Quartzsite while the rain started splattering. The wind had not stopped in at least 24 hours.

Continue Reading »

Quartzsite – the Ghost Town

April 4th, 2009

crystal hill - south of quartzsite, az

OK, technically, Quartzsite, AZ isn’t a ghost town, but it was rapidly on it’s way to rolling up the sidewalks for the summer when we finally arrived. I’d hoped to make it in time for some of the swap meets, but one thing and another had us well into March before we hit town.

We spent a couple of days out in the BLM land and wandering around town to see what was still there- not much! We were hoping we’d be able to get together with Ryan and Nicole who’d been working at Quartzsite all winter, but they were both working double shifts. After a couple of days, we took their advice and headed over to Crystal Hill, part of the Kofa wildlife refuge about ten miles south of Quartzsite. We clambered around in the hills a bit and came up with a few moderate sized quartz crystals for our trouble.

On the way back from Crystal Hill, we decided to stay in a campground for the night as the easiest way to refill our water and dump our tanks. I’m not sure we’ve done that since about June of last year, but for some reason it seemed the easiest thing to do. Imagine our surprise when we’d finished backing the rig in and find Ryan and Nicole’s trailer is at our back door! Total weirdness. The campground owner had told us there were ‘some kids’ in the spot behind us. Considering the average age of folks at Quartzsite, I guess we should have known it would be those other gypsy kids.

We ended up staying two nights instead of one and not getting many of the ‘internet chores’ done, but I did manage to climb on the roof and reseal the bulk of it before running out of dicor. Ryan and Nicole were a lot of fun and we had a couple of pretty fancy dinners. Ryan claimed to be a chef, so we made him prove it. I’m not entirely convinced yet… it may take a few more fancy meals! hint hint 🙂

Ryan and Nicole were planning to head over to Slab City as well, so we made some tentative plans to meet them in a few days and rolled out, hoping to get some serious shopping done in Brawley, CA. Quartzsite prices were, apparently, still marked up for the snowbirds. The next time we hit Quartzsite, we’ll have the cabinets and fridge stuffed to overflowing so we can avoid as much shopping there as possible.

A Railroad Tycoon’s RV

February 21st, 2009

Jay Gould's Exquisite Railway Car

What do you get when you combine one of Jenn’s favorite games (Railroad Tycoon) and the RV lifestyle? You get a railroad car fitted out for fulltiming! That’s just what we found as we were passing through Jefferson, Texas a couple of weeks ago. The Garden Club has acquired the personal car of Jay Gould, a railroad tycoon, and restored it to something close to it’s original splendor.

The car had four staterooms for passengers, two of which were adjoining with a bathroom, including tub and shower between them. The others all had their own plumbing, even if a bit primitive by modern standards. There was a couch as well as a pullman bed in each of the staterooms. The car would be able to take on water at the same water depots that the train used. We didn’t ask, but I assume the black and gray water would have been simply dumped along the tracks as soon as it was generated.

There were two rooms devoted to cooking with a pass through between them. Based on the layout, I would assume that the car originally had bunks for two servants, but only one of the kitchen cars still had a pullman berth at the ceiling. The icebox had something I think we could all use today, a glass door. How often have you opened the fridge and stared at what was there while deciding what you wanted?

Continue Reading »