Mud And Life On The Moon

April 13th, 2009

Once we left Slab City, we went to check out the nearby mud pots as Ryan and Nicole suggested. After I wandered around for a while, we finally located them. That is, after a group of people who showed up with their own personal tour guide headed right for them. We were only given the cross streets for directions and being as I had never seen a mud pot before, I had no idea what to look for. I kept expecting them to be near water. However, they were in the middle of what appeared to be a dried up lake bed. My father the earth science teacher would be disappointed in me.

Mud Pot Eruption
Mud Pot Eruption

If you haven’t seen one before, I highly suggest it. Its not something us east coasters see every day. They are called mud pots, but I think that most of them looked more like mud volcanoes. They were four or so foot tall mounds that blew carbon dioxide and mud. The shorter ones blew more mud bubbles. They were the most interesting. The ones that were lower than the land around them acted more like boiling water pots than mud pots.

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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.