Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Our Last Hurrah in Quartzsite

It continued to be unseasonably cool and wet in Quartzsite throughout February, and it was quite unusual to wake up a day or two to a light blanket of snow on the caps of KOFA Mountain!  But I’m not complaining—our weather sure beat what other folks encountered throughout most of the U.S.A.  Anyway, we never let temperature or precipitation get in the way of fun.

Snow on KOFA Mountain!

Rat Patrol, our side by side buggy, has fulfilled our needs nicely here in Quartzsite.  We spend a couple hours most days combining geocaching, off-roading, and hiking in new areas.  In one location, Dad was persistent in locating a cache within a tree.  Me, I was more interested in seeing the hare who resided in a nearby rabbit hole.  It left its calling card—poop pellets scattered along the desert floor—but it failed to show its face. 

One day our travels with Rat Patrol brought us on trails within Tyson Wash Long Term Visitor Area (LTVA).  I can’t believe how the desert transformed from rugged earth tones to a lush carpet of green!  The abandoned mines in the area are fine examples of mankind’s never-ending quest for earthly riches.  And as we stop at an intaglio, we admire mankind’s more ancient mode of communication.  On this same trip, we located a boondocking site that was sparsely populated (just the way we like it), had nice views, yet had better road conditions for access than our site these last two winters in LaPosa South LTVA.  And we would not need to travel any farther than we do now to use the water and dump stations.  I marked the spot for future reference!

Hard to believe this is the desert!

One of the many mines that dot the desert lands in Arizona!

Ancient peoples communicated through pictorial messages carved within the desert floor.

A PoPo Face, the trademark of Rambling RV Rat, marks the spot!

Speaking of Tyson Wash LTVA, Lesa/Pierre (from our Montana Owners Club) invited us over for a happy hour at their humble desert abode there.  It was good to see my friend Manny again, and to be introduced to his new love interest, Frost.  It is a small world in the RVing community—Frost’s Dad Mike lives in close proximity to my Aunt Laurie!

Mike and Frost

Lesa and Manny

For the first time in 5 seasons, we visited the Quartzsite Library.  We needed to take advantage of their free Wi-Fi access.  (Mom had the nerve to eat up all our data downloading tax documents that get sent electronically from various sources and then uploading them to our tax accountant’s portal.  As full-time RVers, 99% of all our business is conducted “paperless”.  But our “going green” hindered my ability to talk to you sooner this month.)  Anyway, while at the Library, I met some adorable baby desert tortoises!  You may remember me writing about how I was unsuccessful in my quest to see desert tortoises in Joshua Tree National Park in 2016 and again in 2017.  In 2018, we heard some tortoises resided at an old RV park in Quartzsite, but they, too, remained elusive.  Who knew I could have seen them all along right here in the Quartzsite Library!

We meandered over to Roberts’ Resort at El Mirage to visit with the Monsons and Smiths, our dear friends from Escapees.  El Mirage is gorgeous, complete with golf course, pool, and, of course, pickle ball!  In fact, the Resort was hosting a tournament that day, so we were sure to arrive early so we had a place to park Big Boomer.  We thoroughly enjoyed catching up with these folks (and of course, Mackie the dog) and seeing that Carol and Al, like Dad, are doing much better after their heart episodes. 

The Three Amigo Heart Patients on the left.


We joined friends from the U.S. and Canada for an evening of dinner and music.  Yes, 22 of us boarded the Quartzsite Yacht Club.  The fact we could get a private room speaks volumes to the fact that Quartzsite’s snowbirds tend to leave the area earlier each year.   It was a fun-filled evening for us all.  With Red and Pam at the helm, we took to the dance floor.  I really wish I knew the two-step, but at least I got to do the Electric Slide!  Our line dancing instructor, Vernine, would be proud!

Speaking of which, line dancing has been a blast!  We have a terrific bunch of folks who know how to laugh and enjoy.  Once we told Lesa/Pierre about the lessons, they decided to join the Beginner Class.  Unfortunately, they left Quartzsite before our big Dance Party on March 4.  It is Quartzsite's own March Madness, where dozens of line dancers from Parker, Brenda, Lake Havasu, and even as far away as Ajo, join forces with our Quartzsite gang for a full day of dancing merriment!  Imagine, 100+ pairs of feet, all going at once!  We got to catch up with Ronda, who comes each year, and with whom my parents worked at Grand Canyon Association (now known as Grand Canyon Conservancy)!

A few of our favorite dance friends from Levels 1 and 2...

...and the entire gang who attend Levels 1-4 Dance Classes at the QIA!

Ronda (on right) and friends from Brenda

The Folks from Emerald Cove

Vernine, Bestest Dance Instructor EVER!

Lesa/Pierre/Manny (yes, like me, Manny goes everywhere with his folks) and my family got together one final time, enjoying some grub at Silly Al’s, and toasting our new friendship.  We will all try to get together again during our trip NorthEast.  But should our paths not cross there, we are hopeful we will reconnect with them next year in Quartzsite.

It was time for our annual Arizona get together with friends Bob/Marie, who worked at Crazy Horse Memorial with my folks in 2015.  Alternating our meet up locations each year, they came for lunch at our place in LaPosa South.  They filled us in on their recent Caribbean cruise and their Fall 2018 Northeast trip home.  Once again, a very small world—they are originally from a town about an hour from Aunt Laurie’s house.

We attended one last pot luck with the RV Dreams and Canadian contingency, this time hosted by Harry.  Always an evening of good food, good drink and good times with these folks.   And we finally had the opportunity to see Linda/Bert and congratulate them on their recent nuptials.

We took a couple of road trips (one to Mesa, AZ and another to Palm City, CA) to visit RV dealers in our quest for a new DRV Mobile Suites fifth wheel. Geesh!  Considering these guys work on commission, they were totally disinterested in making a deal.  I’ll tell you more about this in an upcoming post.

Now that we were set to leave in just a few days, the weather had finally warmed up!

Dad and Curtis had another golf outing in Blythe, while Mom and Stephanie, enjoyed the solitude and sunshine at Midland LTVA.  Midland is another of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVAs).  It has a dump station, but no fresh water on site.  With few visitors inhabiting the area, everyone there seemingly has a wonderful backyard view.  Meanwhile, I made my annual pilgrimage to Celia’s Rainbow Garden.  Each year, some improvements are made, as are new memorials for friends, family, and even cherished pets.  The visit always touches my heart, and I connect spiritually with young Celia.  Though it is over 30 years since she succumbed to a debilitating illness, she continues to bring comfort and joy to so many in the Quartzsite community.

My parents with Curtis/Stephanie

The view from Curtis/Stephanie's rig at Midland LTVA

A Memorial for all the women RVers.  Maybe Mom will have a plaque there someday!

We spent a glorious day on the Colorado, visiting Lake Havasu.   We stopped to enjoy the beautiful vistas and prolific wildflowers at the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge and took a stroll along London Bridge.  We also visited Novak Animal Care Center to get our traveling tabbycat up-to-date on her vaccinations.  Tabby was well behaved and after a thorough wellness check, received a good health report.  Novak’s offers friendly, efficient service from capable veterinarians at very reasonable prices.  If you are in the area and require pet care, this Rambling RV Rat highly recommends them!

Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge

Well, our time in AZ has come to an end.  We head back to TX for Dad’s doctor appointments, then start our trek East.  Will talk to you again soon!

We would like to thank the following organizations for all the great service and support they offer to the RVing community:

Escapees RV Club


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RV Dreams

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