Saturday, January 29, 2011

As Seen In Quartzsite..

Every winter the annual gathering of Rv'ers at the Big Tent RV Show and surrounding flea markets and mineral and gem yards in Quartzsite Arizona, or "Q" as many call it, is something that is rare on this earth. This sleepy little down turns in to something akin of an "Old West, Boom Town" overnight, with the same energy lasting for a few months afterward.

This was my first year to see this phenomena after a long desire to do so. My youngest son and I rode the Monsterhome down from V-town with the White Rhino in tow. We landed at the Hi Jolly, 14 day BLM camp Friday night and commenced a little reconnoitering to town that evening to get our schedule tuned for the next day.

Into Town

I had heard and read all about the massive crowds that descends on the town during the first weekend of the big show so, we decided to pick up the tail end of the shin-dig in an effort to avoid the herd and with that success, I think that's a recipe we'll adhere to in the future as well.

Now a lota other folks will get into some good detail about "where is what", "when is what", "where to go" in Q and all those high pressure details but, I won't do that instead, I am just gonna post a few pictures of  "As Seen In Quartzsite" and let your imagination wander from there.

The Big Tent
The Big Tent at 0915hrs! We drove right up into a ringside parking spot and wondered
if we shoulda brought our bowling balls. 'Glad we didn't 'cuz the place filled up well by 1000hrs.

The Big Tent is the center of the show and it's a must if you are an RV'er. The highlights were:
  • Lots of LED light vendors. LED's are a must for every RV boondocker. I picked up some for my computer desk that I am typing under right now. The LED's dropped the current draw by 80% and they are brighter than the old Halogen bulbs.
  • A superb display and literature by the Canadian Tourist Bureau. I walked away with at least 5 lbs of literature and after creasing the cover of the first glossy, I am ready to head that way - some day.
  • I hooked up with the Blue Ox folks to get a  tune-up on the tow bar for the White Rhino. 
  • The good folks at The Good Sam Club insured that my son was a winner of one of their prize give aways. And with that, I will no longer be annoyed by their postal mailing of offers that rarely seem to fit my needs.
The "Bigger Show" 

By far, the bigger show is what makes up Quartzsite overall. There are many swap meet, flea market and individual trader lots around town. I won't confuse you with all the names and locales because that would confuse me too and like you, I was just happy to wander and enjoy what I discovered.


Quartzsite is a place of contrasts that starts in the outlying BLM campgrounds where folks in million dollar coaches are as comfortable as their fellow RV'ers in pop-top, tent trailers camping on the spacious, BLM camp areas, all within a distance of self perceived privacy.

As big as it gets!
As small as it gets.
These two rigs were within 100 yards of each other.

My son starting digging in the dirt before he could walk. His interest in gems,
minerals, mining and the related process is one of those things that makes
being "a dad" special. With that interest in mind, we had to go to Q where at one of
the bigger yards he found a nice gem for his sister and another for his teacher.
The Flea Markets!
No Fleas but, a whole army of Ants made from scrap steel and river stones.

Adult Day Care!
Ha! A great sense of humor here. One swap meet entrepreneur
sells beer instead of all the stuff everyone else sells.
Modern West Boom Town
Every Old West Boom Town started in tents including
grocery sales and more. Across the dirt path was a Drug Store, also in a tent.
The Blacksmith has moved in
150 years ago, he came in a wagon, today the transport is an old School Bus.

Need a ship's wheel? 
How about a Wooden Indian?
Remember what I said about "Contrasts?

Just More Stuff!
These would have been better with a full demonstration -
a tub if water, white smoke and all.
This line up of photogenic junk caught my eye.

 Junk to Art!
At a private junk lot on the main drag had the most eclectic collection of stuff in town. The caretakers were characters themselves that could obviously arrange junk into a string of art.

One of my favorite shots of the trip.

The Best for Last and The Theme of this Blog Entry

At one of the Flea Markets was a double wide tent that was right out of the era of the Hudson Bay Company. It was stocked full of every hide, horn, skull and other animal remnants that you could imagine yet, more. I looked for the PETA protesters for a good laugh unfortunately, none brave such a frontier as the town of Q.

The Trappers Tent!

By far, of all the stuff we saw today, nothing was as different, as "outside the box" as flat out entertaining in this theme as the what you see below.

Need any Muskrat Jaws?
Hah! I didn't think so!

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