Wintering in Quartzsite 2017

As this is posted, Spring is upon us. Our most recent post entitled “Williams, Arizona and the Grand Canyon” is reflective of springtime, which in southern Arizona means temperatures have begun to climb. Time to move northward, but not too far north because some areas have not gotten the memo regarding Spring. That’s why we relocated to northern Arizona recently. But we wintered in Quartzsite. Here’s a brief synopsis of our time there. But it’s only brief and doesn’t really do justice to the enjoyment we had, and the people we met there.

Two and a half months is a longtime to be in one particular area when you are a full-timer. It’s not a particularly longtime if you are a snowbirds. Snowbirds are those that leave snow for winters in areas of warmer climate. Snowbirds are content to park for the winter. But we are not snowbirds. We’re originally from the high desert of Southern California.

So, it is kind of weird that we rolled into Quartzite, Arizona on January 12th and, as of today nearing the end of March, we’re still here. One thing is for sure. Quartzite is an acquired taste. Some people don’t like it here and cannot comprehend why others do.  Obviously by now, we fall into the group that likes it here. So, what is the attraction?

We cannot speak for others but, for us, we are attracted by the weather, combined with a sense of freedom and tranquility in a Sonoran Desert environment.

Last year at this time, we came to Quartzite in conjunction with Ooberfest 2016. We had  a ball meeting new folks and continuing communication with some throughout the year.  It was for that reason that we decided to attend this year’s event. Last year’s, as well as this year’s Ooberfest was hosted by David and Brenda Bott and their blog Outside Our Bubble. The event coincides with the annual Quartzite RV SHOW held for one week in January. Whereas last year we had 36 RVs and couples show up, this year we had about 76 RVs show up, mostly motorhomes. All in one giant circle. We actually had over 100 sign up, but weather got in the way, with a few days of rain leading up to the event. Even so, we more than doubled the attendance of last year’s inaugural event. Saturday of that week, we had a potluck dinner for about 120 people. Dinner was followed by a live band, Notes from Neptune, three very talented musicians. A fun time was had by all, listening to our own private outdoor concert, with dancing, multiple bonfires to keep us warm, and favorite beverages to keep everyone even warmer. Priceless. Thank you Dave and Brenda for all that you did to pull this off.

This is a photo of Bogie sitting on our dashboard surveying the beginnings of what would become a giant circle of RVs. Lots of people and dog meetings are ahead, along with plenty of shopping and errands to be run, as well happy hours and lots of socializing.

One of our fellow RVer couples operate a hot air balloon business catering to tourists in the Napa Valley in California. We met them here last year. This year, they brought their balloon with them so that they could teach their granddaughter to fly so she can become fortified. So, every morning we were treated to what it takes to fill a balloon and otherwise get it ready for flight. In addition to there “crew”, they also needed some volunteers to help. Believe me, they had NO shortage of volunteers.

 

 

You would think the skies would be crowded, what with ultra-lights and drones flying in addition to the balloon. But, there is SO MUCH wide open space here that there were no issues. Just lots of fun.

 

 

One of our MANY day trips was to Desert Bar, a VERY popular food and drink establishment in a most unlikely location 5 miles up a dry canyon on the site of an old mining area northeast of Parker, Arizona. Making the Desert Bar even more unique is that it is entirely solar powered and only open on Saturdays and Sundays for a total of 88 days per year during the season between November and March. Oh, and it’s also CASH ONLY.

 

 

 

This “aerial” photo shows a few friends having a beverage or two, and a whole lot of fun. Sharon in red.

 

Here’s our winter friends Dave and Diane enjoying themselves. Diane is always smiling and laughing. Just not now. 🙂

 

 

 

Even the dogs have fun. This one, Raven, getting used to boots intended to help  protect against rocks and cacti.

Needless to say, two and a half months allows for lots of memories. Way to many to document here.

 

 

Now we have moved on, as have all the others with whom we camped. Heading out to all  the points of the compass. Such is the RV lifestyle. But we will meet again, no doubt. In the meantime, we will continue to chase sunrises and sunsets.

 

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4 Responses to Wintering in Quartzsite 2017

  1. Dawn says:

    This looks absolutely wonderful! I think it would be a great way to spend the winter. Of course, given today we got snow (again) in Michigan, just about anything warm seems like a great way to spend the winter!

    • sunrisesandsunsets says:

      Hi Dawn! We really had a great time, this being our first “full-time” winter on the road. It’s hard to put into just a few paragraphs all that two and a half months encompasses. After a month on BLM land camping for free, we eventually took advantage of a monthly rate at a RV Park in town. It was all good, with lots of things to do and much socializing.

  2. you will have to add Kathy and I to getting the acquired taste of Quartzsite. This being our first year to the Southwest leaves us with a lot more exploring to do so we’ll definitely be back next winter. Of course with all that exploring means we won’t be hunkering down for the Winter with all the places we have read about through other blogs that we follow.
    Hopefully we’ll be able to cross paths later this year when we can come back to the US.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

    • sunrisesandsunsets says:

      Howdy Rick and Kathy! We certainly understand when you “CAN come back” if you are referring to the 181 day restriction. One of the couple’s we hung with for over a month in Quartzsite are full-timers from Nova Scotia. They are heading north right now to cross over into Alberta. What we didn’t understand until it was explained to us, is that it is an American restriction, not Canadian. Last year, before going full-time, we visited Quartzsite for a couple of weeks, and then moved east, stopping at several destinations including Wickenburg, Casa Grande, Apache Junction and others. Lots to see and explore.

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