Thursday, January 22, 2015

First Few Days in Quartzsite…

imageAfter nearly four years on the road we finally decided it was time to visit the boondocker’s mecca – Quartzsite, Arizona or would it be more appropriately called The Woodstock for RV’ers… We spent one night boondocking in Quartzite on the way to San Diego along with our friends Dan and Merlene and Jim and Cookie.  At that time passing through the town we noticed it was very quiet and hardly any RV’s were taking advantage of the free overnight camping. This time would be different…

Quartzsite, located in western Arizona, is just off of Interstate 10. It's was widely known as a paradise for  rock hounds since the 1960s. Things have changed since the 60’s and Quartzsite, or the “Q” as it is often called is now home to one of the world's largest open air flea markets and home to over a million visitors each year. There obviously isn’t enough hotel space for these visitors so most of them arrive in thousands and thousands of RVs mostly during the months of January and February. It is an unbelievable sight to see.

Since we had no real affiliation with any group who annually camp out in the Q I had pretty much settled on staying with the Boomers, an Escapee Birds of a Feather group. But the morning we were departing Yuma I changed my mind after Paul Weaver contacted me and asked us to join the Classless Class which is a popular group on the Escapee Forum. We had always hoped to cross path with the Weavers one day and this was the perfect opportunity to finally meet in person! 


We drove about 85 miles and turned off on Plumosa Road where we found the The Classless Class (a really fun group of fine folks – don’t let the name fool you!). Though we arrived ahead of the Weavers the entire Classless group was very friendly and welcoming. The week looks to be full of potlucks and group outings making us instantly feel really glad we came.  We are scrambling to learn all the names of these fine folks and testing our memory while gathering around the fire at 4:30 each afternoon for Happy Hour.

Anyway no trip to the Q is complete without a visit to see the thousands of vendors of selling rocks, gems, minerals, hats, shirts and everything else imaginable. This sleepy little town of 2-3000 people (depending on which source you trust) swells to over 100,000 in January and February. They say that about 1.5 million people visit the Q annually and mostly in winter. And with very little precipitation in the area (only 3.51 inches annually) there are plenty of days to shop.


Our impression of this very large show was that we must already have all the “stuff” we need as we walked for over half a day and never found a thing we just had to have. Sharon did see a few things she wanted but wasn’t willing to get rid of anything (if you know the rules). So after seeing nothing special we chose to drive over to the mountain with the “Q” emblazoned on its side and hike up to the top.

This isn’t a very long or overly steep hike and it’s not all that scenic as there is a bunch of trash in the area. the real treat was the expansive views we got once we got to the top and summited… The panorama was a sea of RV’s all over the desert replacing creosote bushes as the most common thing found in this desert. It was indeed a pretty cool sight from the top…


We ended the day by stopping at the Yacht Club bar on Main Street in Quartzsite to meet other RVillagers for a happy hour hosted by the founder of RVillage, Curtis. We met lots of RV’ers and quite a few bloggers there. We sat a table with fun group that included the Geeks on Wheels while Curtis and the Technomadia Bloggers, Chris and Cherie sat at the table next to us. We had fun but had to leave early missing the opportunity to meet all of RVillagers there but the big fire back at camp was calling our name.  This boondocking experience is becoming as event filled as any resort we've ever attended.  We just never know what to expect in this RV lifestyle while On the Road of Retirement......


  1. Looks like a good time! It is so nice to meet other RV'ers and bloggers, swapping tales, learning new areas or just getting to know each other.

  2. We always enjoy Quartzsite but are not into group camping, enjoy a visit with people and happy hours but not potlucks. We usually spent about a month in the area every year just enjoying the peace and quiet before and after the show.
    Have too much fun there.
    Never been to the Yacht club in our 9 years there but love Silly Al's awesome pizza.

  3. Hope your having fun. We don't do the boon docking thing for more than 1 night so it will never make our agenda.

  4. You must have been doing something wrong if you had time to blog on Thursday. I had to get up before the crack of dawn to even read the blogs.

  5. Glad you got to experience Q. Any group that has happy hour every day at 4:30 sounds like my kind of group.

  6. Glad you two could join us. We are so happy we got to me you two...up close and personal.

  7. Been keeping up on FB. Looks like a great time!