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Week 10: ending 1/19/2003
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 2:56 am    Post subject: Week 10: ending 1/19/2003 Reply with quote

Week 10: ending January 19, 2003

We leave Pecos Wal-Mart bright and early amidst a heavy cover of fog. We wanted to fill-up our diesel at the Flying J Truckstop around the corner, which we had seen the night previous, but could not find it! Believe us when we say it is not easy to turn around 38 feet of motorhome towing another twenty feet of Tahoe! We finally find the Flying J, fuel up and pull into the truckstop rest area. The fog is too dense to continue driving. We doze for a couple of hours until the fog lifts. Just down the street is the Stardust Motel and Restaurant. Joan orders the salad bar and buffet (how novel). Ron orders the Green Chile Cheese Chopped Steak. Joan orders the Green Chile (chili). It is chock full of tender beef chunks and strangely flavorful green chili peppers. Not at all spicy, it is tasty. We would definitely order it again, although the Stardust probably won’t see us again anytime soon. On the road again.
We pull into the El Paso Wal-Mart SuperCenter a few hours later. We have not made that much progress towards Quartzsite, AZ, but we are tired and in need of groceries. El Paso is home for the night.

To make a looong story short, we drive 550 miles in one day. Rather, Ron drove and Joan navigated. Joan’s task was easy: stay on I-10, get off exit 17 and turn east. Midday, Ron decides we can make it all the way to Quartzsite in one day. We call 88 shades RV Park: they can fit us in a day early. The office closes at 4 pm, but the manager lives across the street and will keep her eye out for the Happie Camper. Ron kept a pretty steady speed with the limit as it progressed from 65 to 70 to 75 mph from Texas to New Mexico to Arizona. The last 150- 200 miles were tough: Phoenix rush-hour traffic is widespread and slow and the driving into the setting sun is brutal. We pull into 88 Shades around 7:30 pm. The management staff is very accommodating and rearranges sites to give us a pull-thru. We are wired but tired and finally call it a night.

We have to change sites by noon and pull in alongside fellow New Englanders, a diesel Winnebago Journey from Connecticut. A native Quartzsite resident knocks on our door almost as soon as we have plugged in and asks if we want our stainless steel wheels polished. He shows us our Conn. neighbor’s wheels as testimony to his workmanship. We agree.
We meet our neighbors, who laugh at our introduction to Quartzsite artistry. John & Mary have been in Quartzsite for 3 weeks and are planning to go the FMCA RV Rally on Thursday like we are. They are also first-timers for an FMCA Rally. They negotiated $5 per polished wheel. We agreed to pay the full amount stated, $35. We should have known, everything is negotiable!

Bright and early, the two New England busses depart for the Main Event, about two miles from our campground. Every type of RV imaginable is on the road or on the side of the road, with tents galore of every size squeezed in-between. Quartzsite is one giant flea market. In a way, it is a flea market nightmare. There seems little rhyme or reason to the setup. People setup shop in front of restaurants, other shops, empty parking lots using anything from handwritten signs to printed banners and even neon signs to advertise their wares. It is mind-boggling and not all what we expected.
We get assigned our spot in the rocky sand, alongside John & Mary. Both busses have preordered electric hookups for our pets (John & Mary have two cats that are leash-trained. We, of course, have Jake.)

The rally and seminars do not start until Saturday. Mary tells us to find the red & white tent down the street for the RV Show. Down the street in Quartzsite is a misleading statement. While in search of the red & white tent, we visited a couple of solar panel shops, a couple open-air RV dealers and an RV supply house. Although we have grown to love our Allegro Bus, RVers always like to see what is new and we are no exception. We are especially intrigued by a line called the See Ya by Alfa, which boasts 7 foot 6 inch ceilings and ENORMOUS storage inside and outside of the coach.

By the end of the day, we find the RV Show, but it does not open until Saturday. There are plenty of small tents surrounding the RV Show, offering rocks and gemstones, some magnificent amethyst cathedrals (at 1/10 of the price charged in Provincetown!), clothing of all types, tools galore, real & fake antiques, food and junk. It is like a hodge podge of the Big E, Brimfield and neighborhood yard sales combined. We manage to leave buying only a cup of coffee and a couple of delicious homemade sugar-free oatmeal raisin cookies.

Sunsets in Arizona are breath-taking! Totally different from those we marveled at in Key West and in the Everglades. Arizona sunsets are BROAD in color, scope and length. The colors are deep turquoises, deeper violets and brilliant fuchsias. The southwestern part of Arizona is void of tall buildings, so the sky seems to go on forever. And the sunsets seem to last forever, starting around 5:30 pm and still streaking the indigo-hued skies at 7:30 pm. This is one of the reasons we are in the Happie Camper, to view such natural beauty in person.

Ron has been feeling poorly and thinks he has developed sinus allergies, in Arizona, of all places, where people travel to cure their sinus conditions! (We later learn that there is an unusually high pollen count for this time of year and people are also complaining of the excessive dust of the fairgrounds.) We make it to the first seminar, for first-timers and non-chapter members. Ron inquires about Angel Bus, but no has heard of them.

Today is Ron’s birthday, but he decides to postpone any celebration to a later date. We eat in and head outside for a sunset hot air balloon ascent and 7:30 pm fireworks display. The fireworks elicit a few ooohs and aaahs. Only one of the hot air balloons actually ascend into the now midnight sky, but it is quite a sight to see.

Check it out…. HERE!

This is one of the highlights of our Quartzsite stay.

We spend half a day at the RV Show, learning a lot about solar panels and picking up info on Alaska RV caravans. The show is jam-packed but we do not really understand the attraction. There are a lot of RVs on display outside the show, but otherwise we have seen more at the January Boston RV Show. Our neighbors, John & Mary, agree.
We head “home” to take care of Jake and partake in the ice cream social. We bypass the evening’s live entertainment to rest up.

Last edited by Ron on Fri May 14, 2010 5:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 8:47 am    Post subject: A nice dream Reply with quote

I was thinking of you when I saw this:
It may be out of reach now, but after you win the lottery you can buy one in every color. Laughing
Enjoy the southwest!
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