Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A Boomtown Called Quartzsite

As I write this post over several days, I feel like we are in a media blackout. Why is it taking several days you ask? Well because of the amount of people in this area, internet service is nearly non existent. We have learned to get up early to take care of business and by 8 o'clock it becomes terrible. Downloading or uploading a picture takes what seems like forever. 5-10 minutes in a world used to instant gratification seems like a lifetime.

Quartzsite Arizona is a small little town on the western edge of Arizona near the California border on Interstate 10. The Interstate runs right through the town making it a great stop as you are traveling through on your way to California or east to Phoenix. Population in the summer according to the 2017 census is 3694 permanent residences here. The town sits in the desert and has very mild winters. Making it a favorite wintering spot for snowbirds.

According to an article from the "The Daily Universe", they say that nearly 2 million snowbirds pass through or stay in this area. For anyone who has been out here during the winter months knows how slow the internet can be with that many people all trying to get on it. The system is overwhelmed and it is near impossible to work, search, post or video chat with relatives back home.

There are a few small business' here year round. A pizza place, hardware store, a couple of small grocery stores and many campgrounds. Not enough business' to accomodate 2 million visitors though. So what happens at the beginning of the season is that a tent city starts arising. First one or two here and there and then as each week goes, more and more tents arrive. These tents carry anything a person could need and they know their customers. You have hardware tents, houseware tents, clothing, groceries, food vendors, rock tents and the most popular one is Beer Bellies, a bar.
Tents and RV's as far as you can see.

The big RV show has started now and that is the climax of things going on here. They set up a tent the size of a football field or bigger right in the middle. Inside they pack it full things related to RV's such as parts, gadgets of all kinds, campground deals and many other things as they try to separate you from your money. Outside the tent are more vendors highlighting their newest products and of course food. It is really like a carnival atmosphere around here and it will continue for 9 days.

If you are wondering where all of these people stay while they are here or if you are planning a trip here for next years event, don't worry, there's plenty of room. I think there are at least 10 campgrounds in town that can accommodate many many RV's. If you like the modern conveniences of full hookups, water, sewer and electricity.

The majority of the people will stay out in the desert boondocking. The BLM controls all of the land around Quartzsite and you can camp here all season (7 months) for 180 dollars. Or you can stay in 2 week increments for 40 dollars. A single dump station, water and garbage is available. These Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA's) are huge. There are 4 south of town. La Posa North, West, South and Tyson Wash. We are in La Posa South because that is where the dump and fill station is. These areas can hold thousands and thousands of campers so don't worry about not being able to find a spot.

And if that isn't enough room for people there are also places farther away from town, the 14 day free areas. There are areas north of town and south of town. And farther south of town is the KOFA wildlife refuge where you can camp for free also.
Looking towards the big tent.

This area becomes the largest campground in the world. It is really amazing to see it first hand and if you are an RVer, you should experience it at least once. I know people that have been coming back for many years now. This is our second visit to Quartzsite. Our first visit 4 years ago we missed the show, coming in in February. So this year we wanted to get here before the big show. It is interesting to see this place transform.
Wall to wall people at the show.

After the show, people and tents will start to filter out and then it will get smaller and smaller. They close the BLM area after April 15th because it gets too hot to live out there in RV's. Things will get back to normal for this dusty little town. They will have a break until next fall when the snowbirds start to make their annual migration south again. I guess we follow the seasons also but I don't think of us as snowbirds. We are still young so to speak. I think we shall call ourselves snowchicks.

On a more personal note. Our BFF's, as Sue put it have sold their fifthwheel and have driven back north to South Dakota to their new home they are building. Jim and Barb came down here specifically for that mission and we are glad that it worked out for them and didn't take very long to get it sold. They were here a month and we packed a lot of fun times in that short amount of time. When the day came for them to leave, it was sad to see them drive away. Leaving their rig in front of us for the new owner to pick it up.
Bye! We will never see you again. Thanks for the chairs!

On another personal note. Our garage in Minnesota is done for the most part anyways. The building is up.
The concrete will be done in the spring. We are anxious to see it. I am already planning the decorations for my man cave. My "guyrage".
First decoration for the wall.
Now the battle will begin over who owns the garage.

"Glady's! We should start thinking about leaving. I have too much dust in my lungs. Cough, Cough.".


  1. Nice garage to store your toys ... and Jim and Barb's table and chairs. lol

  2. You may never see us again but we shall see our table and chairs as we stealthily sneak into your new garage and claim what is ours! Any maybe a few other things.....

    1. Would you really want your chairs back after you have seen me sitting in them?