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Sat. Jan. 18 to Fri. Jan 24, 2014- Quartzite AZ

Saturday-  We left Paradise RV park at about 9:00 and drove down Union Hills Rd. to I-101 south. We turned west on I-10 and were on our way to Quartzsite. We stopped once at a rest area and arrived at the rally site at 12:00. About 7 miles from Quartzite you come down a hill and you can see all of the RV’s in the distance. Thousands of them!

Quartzsite 2014

For the non-RV’ers, Quartzite is an RV’ing Mecca the last full week of January every year. Thousands of RV’s descend on the area to play and party.  There are a few RV parks, but most everyone boondocks on the BLM land. The RV dealers bring in lots of new and used RV’s and there are hundreds of vendors to sell you everything you never knew you needed!

Quartzsite 2014 big tent

We arrived at the Roadrunner area, which was staked out in 2000 by some of the first folks to buy Alfa’s. We have two SOB’s( some other brand) here, but the rest are either Alfa 5th wheels or motor homes. There are 28 RV’s, with 56 folks.A larger gathering than last year, when we had 20 rigs.

We arrived to lots of hugs and greetings. We parked, set up, ate lunch and took a nap. At 4:00 we had happy hour with everyone introducing themselves. At 4:45 I ran back to the motor home to cook noodles for Wendy the Wagon-master.  She, and husband Doug, are really busy and farmed out some of the duties. This evening was the Wagon-master dinner, stroganoff, salad, and a roll. Sharon and Sven, last years Wagon-masters, did the desserts.

We sat around talking and enjoying a large campfire, until it became cold and everyone of us headed into the RV’s for the night.

Sunday- We woke up to Karlie having her ‘funny tummy’.  We can actually hear her tummy making noise and she becomes desperate to eat grass. Bob discovered the last time this happened, at Paradise, that if he gives her 1/4 of a Tum, she gets better. So he gave her that, hauled on some clothes and took her out looking for grass. Now, we understand that there is no grass in the desert, but she doesn’t, so she had to keep sniffing every bush until she finally gave up and headed back to the motor home. She played with Roxie, but refused her breakfast. About an hour after us eating breakfast, she finally ate.

We caravanned this morning to The Desert Bar in Parker AZ, the closest large town. We passed through Parker and went about 2 miles before turning right onto a dirt road. Charlie and Paula were riding with us. We drove in about 5-7 miles on the dirt road to the bar./ Nellie E Saloon. The bar is situated in the Buckskin Mountains on land that was an old mining camp. The old Nellie E mine was used to mine copper and take it to the smelter to get gold.

Road to Desert Bar

Road to Desert Bar

When Ken acquired the land in 1975, there was nothing left of the mining camp. With the land and a liquor license from an old business on leased river land, Ken decided to give the bar in the desert idea a try. In 1983, Ken opened for business. He operated in a temporary building until the current saloon was constructed. Originally, Ken hauled water in a 50 gallon tank loaded onto the back of his truck. Then he purchased an old fire truck to haul water. In 1997, he drilled a new well on the north side of the saloon that operates on solar power with the pump set at 360 ft.

Desert Bar from a distance

Desert Bar

The Nellie E was completed in 1988. Inside the saloon is unique in many ways. It has windows that are old glass refrigerator doors, the bar stools are made of steel and sway from side to side. The top of the bar is brass and the ceiling is made of stamped tin purchased from a factory in Missouri.  The saloon is powered by solar , stored in batteries and run through inverters.

The glass in the cooling towers came from the Great Western Forum where the La Lakers used to play. The glass is from the luxury boxes. The bridge was built in 1991.

The church was started in 1993 and completed in 1996. The church is made of solid steel and the walls and ceiling are made of the same stamped tin used in the saloon. The names inscribed o the plaques in the church are the names of the donors. The church is a unique place for weddings and is non-denominational.

Church at Desert Bar

Across from the saloon is an outside bar and cooking area. the tall structures on the property are cooling towers. They work similar to an evaporator(swamp) cooler, except they don’t have a fan. When you wet the pads on top, cool air falls and you get a nice airflow.

Sinks in ladies room @ Desert Bar

Above is the sink in the ladies room where Paula is washing her hands. Note the faucet.

Desert Bar

Desert Bar

Desert Bar

Paula and Armand. Armand has a drone which was floating above the restaurant taking pictures.

Desert Bar

Horshoe rocking chair and seat @Desert Bar

Above, Bob is sitting in a rocking chair made of horseshoes. Below, a saguaro cactus made of horseshoes.

Horseshoe Cactus @Desert Bar

We had a great time!  This is a place for seniors to go to party. The music was country and there was a nice dance floor in use. with a live band from 1-5p.  The bar is only open weekends from the first weekend in October to the last weekend in April. It is only open from noon until 6PM. No open containers may leave the place, which included Paula’s root beer! I bought a nice plum colored v-neck,  3/4  sleeve t-shirt.

We returned to the motor home and had another happy hour at 4 PM.

Monday-   42 degrees this morning, 72 in the afternoon, After coffee and doughnuts, we left early to head over to the big tent. Since we arrived early we were able to find a parking place in the Tyson Wells parking lot. We hiked to the tent. We stopped at a booth and bought a six pack of Super Stretch Lids, one of which perfectly fits the top of my wine glass! Can’t spill any wine hiking over to happy hour! Then we stopped at a booth and bought a “TENS” unit for my hip. I did some negotiating and got the price down.

We continued on to a carpet cleaner booth, where we purchased some carpet cleaning stuff. When the guys took out the washer/dryer, there was some fabric softener in the old machine that leaked onto the carpet. We have not been able to get it out, so we thought we would try this stuff. If it did not work, we can return the cleaner.

By this time Bob’s hands were full, so he took that stuff back to the car. I continued on and found a nice Thermos bottle holder. We bought one for Bob’s beer bottles. We then bought a new tire pressure monitor. The Duran we have kept loosing contact with the sensors on the car. The tire pressure monitor has saved us a number of times, so we really wanted to replace the one we have. The batteries kept dying in the old one and Bob was pretty frustrated with it. So we bought the new one with batteries that we can change. The guy selling this brand was the same guy who sold us the Duran in Perry GA in 2008, so he gave us a good deal. Bob had done a lot of research; knew the pricing and what he was looking for. He was hoping for a rally deal and we did better than expected.

We bought some nuts to much on and wandered through the rest of the tent. We stopped for lunch at a BBQ vendor who had cherry flavored BBQ sauce. It was really good. We would have bought a bottle but it was too expensive at $8 for a small bottle.

We left and went home to the motor home and took a nap. Bob then used the new carpet stuff to clean the carpet, so that it could dry while we are at happy hour.  At 4:00, we moderated a talk on Alaska, with a lot of other folks who had taken the trip and people who want to go in the next couple of years.

At 5:15, we had a ‘heavy Hors d’ oeuvres ” happy hour. Wow, there are some good cooks here! No one went home hungry. We sat around the campfire for awhile, then became cold and returned to the motor home to watch TV and go to bed.

Tuesday-  43 this morning, 69 this afternoon. Breakfast in a bag this morning! I baked some chocolate croissants(Walmart  crescent rolls with a teaspoon of mini-chocolate chips rolled into the roll and baked for 10 minutes). We put our eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes each in a quart freezer bag and headed over with our coffee to the breakfast. Doug was the cook and we added some bacon bits, cheese and ham to our omelets and gave them to Doug to put into the boiling water. 10 minutes later we had an awesome omelet. Wendy had cooked a hash brown casserole and breakfast was great.

‘Mac the Fire Guy’ was the guest speaker from 10-12 and since we have heard him speak several times, we went back to the motor home. I worked on an article and Bob re-cleaned the carpet. The stain is not coming out, but the new stuff really cleans the carpet nicely, so we decided not to return it.  

At a little after 12 we went to Tyson Wells to lunch.There was a vendor who was selling German food, so we thought we would stop there if we could find a parking spot. Unbelievably, we found one on the road and pulled in. So after lunch, schnitzel sandwiches with German potato salad, we wandered through the Tyson Wells vendors. We only ended up buying an ice cream cone, before heading back to the motor home for another nap at 2:30! 

We went over to happy hour at 4:00, taking the dogs with us. They are enjoying playing with the other dogs. At about 5:30, Lorraine Lynch hauled out her guitar and started a sing along. Some of the folks stayed singing and others wandered over to the campfire. We ended up talking to Sharon for awhile. She and husband Sven had been in Alaska while we were there, but we never managed to catch up with each other.

We returned to the motor home and the TV had converted to black and white. Shades of the 50’s! So Bob called Direct TV and they had him re-boot the receiver, after checking to make sure that we were not in the east coast winter storm. Nope, daytime temps in the 60’s to 70’s and nights in the 40’s, with sunny skies! Wonderful Arizona weather!

Wednesday-  53 this morning, 74 this afternoon. Bob left for the ‘tech talk’ at 9AM and I finished the last of the 19 articles that I had to update. Whew, glad that is done! Bob had discussed at the tech talk how to set up the RV for cold weather. Dale talked about tips for boon-docking for 2 weeks and Ray spoke about some of the technical items in the motor homes.

At 11:30, we drove across the road and into La Posa West ( we are in La Posa North). We went to the big tent end of the area, parked the car,  and crossed the gully to get to the paid parking lot. We headed into the big tent to pick up another of the bottle coolers. They are great! Now we each have one. 

We left there, went to McDonalds for lunch, then went to The Gambler. The Gambler is an RV supply store. They have used and new items. We are looking for several items. We need the little black rubber grommets that are on the stove to hold the grate in place.  They were all out but have 50 arriving tomorrow.

Bob also needed a switch for the booster for the new tire pressure monitor. He is putting it in the top drawer in the bedroom. We returned and I took a two hour nap, which I obviously needed since I have had one everyday and have been sleeping well at night.

At 4:30, we went over to happy hour looking to see who was joining us for dinner. We met up with Paula/Charlie and Deanna/Frank at The Wharf. Okay, yeah, we were a little skeptical about a seafood restaurant in the desert, but it was good. They have a limited menu. Bob, Paula, and Deanna had the Alaskan fish and chips. Frank and I had the Alaskan grilled salmon which came with salad, rice pilaf and a roll. All the meals were very good and inexpensive. My salmon dinner was $14.95.

Our reservation was for 5PM, and it was a good thing we had a reservation. When we left at six, there was a line outside waiting to get in. We returned to the motor home and watched TV.

Thursday- 42 this morning, 73 this afternoon. We just puttered around the motor home this morning. We ran back over to The Gambler and picked up the grommets.  Then we went shopping in a fourth area of Quartzsite. We stopped for lunch at the 3 Families Restaurant. Waste of time, we will not go there again!

We had the coach walk this afternoon, where some folks opened their coaches for us to wander through, looking at their changes. We walked into Fran and John’s coach and looked at them. They looked at us and we all agreed we had met before. All the way through dinner and while sitting out talking, we kept batting back and forth different places. Finally, John said, have you ever been to the Balloon Fiesta. BINGO! We had met them there in 2011!

Dinner was hotdogs roasted over a campfire with sides. There are some very good cooks here! We sat around the fire in the evening.  As one person said, we are a food club with folks who like to RV!

This evening was also Crazy Hat night. So here we are! Photo: Funny hat contest at Quartzite AZ.

Friday-  We had the pancake breakfast which was really very good. We had a quiet day and a quiet evening. Happy hour, then we went back to the motor home to cook dinner, then returned for the campfire.

One Response

  1. Sounds like you guys have a lot of fun! My husband and I just bought an RV and are heading to Quartzite for our first desert experience. I’m so excited but feel kind of out of it as we don’t know anyone and it seems that it is a big reunion of friends down there. Guess we will meet folks. Where would you recommend we stay where we won’t have to walk too far to the main tent? We are not towing a vehicle. Thanks, Jeane

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