There’s much BLM land available in and around the small town of Quartzsite, Az. where the big RV show is held. A good deal of the land is free for RVers to use for boondocking especially along Route 95 just north of Quartzsite. There are many groups that get together to boondock on this land, as well as individual RVers. The free land is time limited for RV camping to 14 days and many folks just stay there for a short amount of time before, during and after the RV show.
There’s a large amount of BLM land that requires a permit purchase that can be done at numerous venues including at the LTVAs (Long Term Visitor Area) small office stations near the entrances
The Quartzsite Temporary Population Boom–
We have been spending time on the BLM land in Quartzsite, AZ. There are folks here that collect the recyclables and turn them into some spending money for themselves. Great! They hang out near the trash receptacles and sort the recyclable. Not easy or pleasant work. When we separate our trash and give our recyclable we feel like we’re doing some good. Not virtuous, just not adding to the problem. Also, the folks doing the recycling get something out of it and that is a good thing. Makes it a win/win. A few people resent these recycle folks. This is something I’ve never understood. They’re not stealing anything and they play a role in decreasing the amount of trash that ends up in our landfills.
Like so many millions of Americans, we voted (via absentee ballot), then spent a tense Tuesday waiting for the results. We had requested that the Registrar of Voters send our ballots to our mail service address. Sent for our ballots as soon as they were available, completed them and mailed them in with plenty of time to spare. When it was time to get our ballots we made sure that the post office accepted “General Delivery” and would hold our mail for us. Then we emailed our mail service with instructions to send our mail one time to the address we included.
Hope everyone exercised their right to vote on Tuesday. Many a young American died to protect that right so the least we can do is honor their sacrifice and vote. We’ve been voting since reaching voting age and have seen many an election go our way and many not go our way.
Fulltime RV Living–
Life on BLM land in Quartzsite, AZ. is fairly simple. When the weather is good we sit outside in the shade and read or go for walks. Having all the clothes we own with us means we are ready for most any type of weather. In Quartzsite, AZ., three changes of clothes are usual for us. In the mornings we wear a warm shirt and long pants. In the afternoon we can be found in shorts and a light shirt but soon after the sun goes down we are back in a warm shirt, slacks and a sweater for me. Having worked hard all our adult lives we feel a little guilt enjoying these lazy days that are so relaxing but we’re managing! Staying organized, putting everything back in its place and doing the little cleaning required are our only challenges.
At our campsite on BLM land in Quartzsite, AZ. we have excellent cell phone (Verizon) and excellent internet connections using our Samsung Millenicom (Verizon).
At Quartzsite, we’re able to get ABC, NBC, and PBS just using our RV aerial on our TV so our urge to channel surf was met to an extent. Besides our internet access we also have Sirius Radio thus we’re able to follow world affairs.
Even though we are camped in a spot with some shade we get plenty of sun for our solar panels. Due to the angle of the sun in the sky we do have the panels tilted up to catch as many rays as possible.
Enjoying the small things–
Good weather, good health, peace and quiet, getting along well with your partner, a good book to read, nice neighbors to chat with occasionally, good food, these are all nice things to enjoy wherever you may be. Here in the desert, the air is clear so besides the benefit of clean air, the sunsets and the night skies are amazing. The Milky Way draws a beautiful swath of stars and galaxies in an arc across the sky that is awesome to see without any light pollution. Looking at the enormity of it all makes you realize how small we are in the universe. Certainly helps you put your problems in perspective. If you look carefully you can frequently see satellites and even the International Space Station travel across the night sky.
We had enough Arizona gas at $3.41/gal. to get into California recently and drive around Southern California but…we couldn’t make it out of California without buying some California gas. Paid $3.94/gal. in California which was not as bad as we heard it was going to be. After we left California this time we paid $3.78/gal. for gas in Arizona. So there is a difference in price but not that big, scary difference that we were reading about. Gas had been higher priced a few weeks before we got to California, but that didn’t last so very long. Thank goodness!
We are aggressive RV boondockers and rarely pay to stay overnight or to dump our tanks/get fresh water. As we do most nights, on the way to Arizona from California we boondocked for the night along the way and moved on after breakfast. For the “snowbird” season (“avoid cold weather season”) , we could stay on free undeveloped BLM land to boondock on but the $180 pass we bought makes staying on developed BLM land (called LTVA), with its attendant RV facilities, just easier and is still most certainly cost-effective since we will stay on BLM land intermittently this fall/winter. With a small budget, we make every effort to direct the funds we do have to actual travel.
Went to the small town of Quartzsite, AZ from So. California for some peace and quiet. Boy Howdy, is it ever quiet in Quartzsite this time of year! We have only seen Quartzsite in the middle of the snow bird season rush so the emptiness of the place is jarring. Many of the restaurants and stores are closed until the “season” gets well underway and for now the BLM land is virtually free of RVs. We are not usually out looking for restaurants but it was our anniversary so we wanted to celebrate a little and realized how many places are closed for now. Most of the folks that are in Quartzsite this time of year are the folks that live here year-round and some of the folks that are escaping truly high snow areas.
We asked one RV couple from Northern Idaho how they handled being away from family during Thanksgiving and Christmas. They said that they have a big celebration of Thanksgiving and Christmas every year with family in late July and that their family seemed to enjoyed the mid-year holiday. Told us that doing it this way was a lot easier on these two snowbirds.
The Quartzsite BLM registration offices have a book exchange in each building and while a lot of the books are what I call “bodice rippers” that we find just too silly to read, some of the books are recent best sellers giving us plenty to choose from so our days are filled with lazy, relaxing reading.
We bought the $180 pass (total cost) that allows us to stay on LTVA (long-term visitor area) BLM land any time from mid-Sept. to mid-April. The pass is good for most California and Arizona developed BLM land and includes the use of multiple RV dump sites, places to get fresh water and numerous places to get rid of trash.
Our “campsite” for now is in La Posa South BLM in Quartzsite, AZ. near a large bush that provides afternoon shade. The temp. is cool in the morning, rises to the low 80′s in the afternoon and then drops rapidly in the evening into the 60′s. Morning walks, reading and relaxing during the day and then usually a moonlit walk in the evening rounds out our day. The moon rise from behind the mountains is a beautiful sight and if there is little or no moonlight the Milky Way with its thousands of points of light can be clearly seen.
Spent Halloween evening chatting around a campfire with a lovely, large group of RVers. These folks have been coming here every year for many years and stay for the whole fall/winter/early spring renewing their old friendships and meeting new people.
RV Water Pump–
When we went to the Lazy Daze factory in Montclair, CA. to get our missing RV Escape Hatch replaced one of the company’s owners (Steve) adjusted our water pump causing it to run much better. He told us further tweaking would be needed over time and, sure enough, Jerry has already had to re-adjust it. We have so much wiring in the area of the water pump from our solar set-up, it helped a lot to see a “work around” to adjust the water pump without disturbing any of the elaborate wiring located in that small space.
Internet, Cell Phone and TV–
The Verizon Internet and Verizon cell phone connections are excellent in Quartzsite and we get a dozen TV channels with just our TV aerial. PBS here has three channels and all come in very well!
Down at the shore in Senator Wash
Still Living on Hurricane Ridge at Senator Wash
SOME IMPERIAL VALLEY CROPS–LOTS OF VEGGIES GROW HERE
These are some pictures we snapped of some of the crops we see driving along route 24 to the BLM land at Senator Wash. Some of the water from the Colorado River is used to irrigate these crops.
It ‘s nice to drive along and see just about every crop that can be grown profitably in this area. Sadly, there are no fresh vegetable stands near the Senator Wash campground but there is a “pick your own” farm nearby.
WE HAVE MOVED TO HURRICANE RIDGE
The camping at the shore of Senator Wash reservoir is limited to two weeks in/two weeks out so since our two weeks of shore camping was up we moved up the hill to Hurricane Ridge. At first we worried that a place with a name like Hurricane Ridge would be far too windy. Our fears were borne out by a few windy days. As it turns out it was windy in the whole area not just on Hurricane Ridge (though I think it was slightly more windy here) and now that the wind is gone except for a light breeze we are happy campers.
Jim, a fellow Lazy Daze camper, made some nice friends.
Some views of the reservoir from our Lazy Daze “living room” window. Also, the Chocolate Mountains are in the background.
The days here are beautiful and there’s usually a show of colors in the sky at sunset.
We left Quartzsite, Az, on Super Bowl Sunday Feb.. 5th and drove the couple of hours to “beautiful” Yuma, Az. shopped for a few hours then headed to the Escapees Club campground to do some reorganizing of the motor home storage compartments. Spent many an hour Sunday and Monday reorganizing. It seems when you first move into a place (especially one this small) you put things where you think it’s best. As time goes on and you see/hear how others figure out space allocation, it is time to re-organize. Stopped working long enough for Jerry to swim laps in the Escapees Club pool and soak in the Jacuzzi. Will not stay here again though. They say they have WiFi…it doesn’t work, our cell phones here…no signal, our MiFi…no connection. The only saving grace of staying here is the low $5 cost for dry camping (off the grid), nice pool and the aerial picks up PBS .
Arrived in Imperial Dam area along the Colorado River in California Monday evening. Driving through this agricultural area from Yuma is quite interesting. The road twists around large swaths of planted land. Broccoli, heads of cauliflower, lettus (red and green), carrots, alfalfa, etc. can be seen in the fields being harvested. There are very also large tracts of citrus and date trees. We only see large numbers of Latinos working these fields for, we are told, close to minimum wage. If there are other groups represented in this work force, they were not seen this trip.
We are staying on BLM land near Squaw Lake and are parked next to the Senator Wash Reservoir. As reservoirs are wont to do, the water level is quite low for now but that can change rapidly as they let some Colorado River water flow in. So we’re careful not to park in the “wet zone” no mater how enticing it is to be close to the water. Excellent fishing, boating and bird watching are major attractions as well as rock collecting, fossil hunting, and traveling the dirt back roads in off highway vehicles. During this time of year this is another “land of RVs”. There’s every type, value, age and size of RV here from close to million dollar RVs to sad-looking oldies but, of course, the views, sunsets and night sky are the same for all to enjoy. These mostly annual, temporary (sometimes for 6-7 months/year) residents are frequently here to escape the cold weather of home and have developed quite an active community. Many Canadians come here for the “season” since most Canadians and many others still don’t feel safe traveling in Mexico where the weather is also warm. Various types of entertainment, classes, religious observances, book exchanges, organized hikes, etc. are available. Folks generally do their own “thing” but neighbors do watch out for each other. It is interesting that all of these folks, and there are MANY, stay out here completely off the grid, conserve water, keep the area clean and always recycle resulting in close to the smallest footprint possible.
Even though we were here for only two weeks last year we’ve already run into a number of folks we met then. The retired engineers staying near us at the reservoir again this year are from British Columbia. They’re very friendly and clearly enjoying the warm climate instead of the snow they used to have to shovel. Here with their wives and kayaks they’ve been plying the waterways most days and are looking tanned and fit.
We noticed a tear in the bag holding our inflatable boat so when it held air we were relieved. The boat is like a Zodiac and is fun to use but a lot more work to set up than we were led to belive. Oh, the video the boat came with shows two people setting it up in 20 min. We spent four hours setting it up the first time and that did not include attaching the engine to the back! So now we have an electric compressor rather than a foot pump…much faster/easier. Also, even though the instructions for set-up are unfathomable we are now experienced in reading these obfuscated directions. In addition, the video about the boat set-up shows a guy picking up the boat in the carrying bag, slipping the bag strap over his shoulder and walking a far distance down to the water with it. Ha! Our neighbor says the guy in the video carrying the boat over his shoulder was a Champion Weight Lifter! Now, if the electric engines’ battery will take a charge and work, we can putter around on the water and quietly get close enough to the birds to take some quick pictures and not frighten them away. The battery gets charged with solar energy and the electric engine doesn’t pollute so, if everything works, it’s an all around good thing.
Here is something you wouldn’t expect. There are numerous wild Burros wandering this area. Apparently wild burros have been here for hundreds of years and are thriving. Though it is common to hear coyotes yipping near by, it is still startling to hear braying outside your window at two in the morning!
The weather is balmy here most of the late fall, winter, early spring though today was overcast. Well there was a full moon tonight anyway so the sky was too bright to see the stars clearly even if the clouds weren’t in the way.