Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It's a Hard Job, but Somebody's Got to Do It

I wore sandals today. And shorts. And a tank top. And I got a wee bit pink from the sun today. And yes, I wore sunscreen. Just thought I would let you know, that's all.

I just knew I had to write something tonight if for no other reason than to get Mr. Reader's Oasis in all his glory off my front page. His wife makes him little "socks" and ties them on with little ribbons so the socks don't fall off. Just wanted to share that bit of information with you. That's all.

Anyway - we're still here in Quartzsite and enjoying the wonderful blue sky, sunshine and warm weather.
Here's where Quartzsite is - see it under that green star down there just west of Phoenix?

Last year there were over a million people that came through here during the winter season to attend what is supposed to be the world's largest rock, gem and mineral show. There's lots of other things going on here than rocks, but you get the idea. As I mentioned in a previous post, there's only one hotel/motel in the little town, so you have to bring your own digs - namely some kind of an RV. There are so many RVs in the area that they're parked all over all the BLM land that surrounds Quartzsite. You just pull up out in the desert, pick the bush you like the best and park. It's called dry camping or boondocking. You have to be able to exist without any of the comforts of home - like electricity and sewer and water. See how the rigs are camped wherever in the desert?

We're very self-sufficient and can go for a little over a week before we have to find a dump and a water source. We've got solar panels on the roof that charge lots of batteries that generate our electricity. So we can watch TV at night, turn on lights, run the microwave - you know - really roughing it.
Here's one of the vending areas that deal in rocks, gems and chunks of minerals. I didn't know anything about rocks before I came to here. Not that I know a lot now, but more than before. And I've found some of the most beautiful Australian opals here in the last years. I love the blue/green sparkle that they have. I had some made into a watchband and I get a lot of compliments on it.
A few nights ago we went out to dinner at the Quartzsite Yacht Club. Yes, I said yachts in the middle of the desert. It's a certified yacht club and you can buy a membership here that will allow you into many different yacht clubs in the United States. We haven't gotten that exclusive yet - we just go to eat their great fish dinners.

Then, in the center of town there's a grave and memorial to Hadji Ali - a camel herder in the area around the mid 1800s. The Government in all its wisdom decided in 1856 that they would use camels to transport people and goods across the deserts of the Southwest. Of course if you have camels you have to have a camel herder and Hadji Ali was brought to America. The Americans couldn't pronounce his name so he was eventually called Hi Jolly. The Civil War came along and the government turned its interests to other things and dropped the project. The camels were turned loose to fend for themselves outside of Quartzsite, and supposedly you can still see, on occasion, some of their descendants roaming the deserts.

We're truly enjoying the warm weather here. Winter average highs are in their 60s and low 70s, nights in the high 40s and low 50s. But just think of the contrast - in July the days commonly reach 110+. One year we stayed here until April and it was getting pretty warm by then for us Northerners. I'll take a little more moderation even if I have to move around the country to find it.

Otherwise, the days are busy sitting in a lawnchair in the morning drinking coffee. Doing a bit of shopping in the afternoon. Coming back to the campsite about 4 o'clock, starting a bonfire, having a toddy or two and then grilling something for supper.

It's a hard job, but somebody's got to do it, you know.


Carolyn said...

The ast paragraph sounds like heaven to me. My camping urges are getting out of control. We have at least a month or two before we dare try. Have a cup of coffee for me!

Marge said...

Yup, this retirement is a lot harder than a lot of people think! We were forced to attend the potluck dinner again last night, and now tonight it's hamburgers at the VFW. When does it ever end?

We're having cold evenings (at least the Floridians think 27 is cold!) and 50's during the days. It's supposed to be warmer next week.

Keep on having fun!

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