Day 140: Apache Junction, Day 3

After last night’s poker games ending around 11pm, we got off to a late start.  We played horseshoes at the clubhouse:

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In the afternoon we did some letterboxing.  We added another four letterbox stamps to our book.  He we are during the hunt:

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I took the kids to the pool tonight, and they made it to bed at a more reasonable hour.  Tomorrow we say goodbye to Grandpa Glenn and Edna and once again hit the road.

Day 139: Apache Junction, Day 2

I found this when I woke up.  I think our daughter is trying to tell us something…

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…So Grandpa Glenn took us to a local pond:

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I took our daughter for a walk around the pond.  She fed the birds:

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Our kids went swimming, and later everyone played horseshoes and putted…

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…While I rode to Tortilla Flats and back.  I took the same 40ish mile route we drove yesterday:

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The road is in pretty bad shape, but there were great views on the way back as the sun set:

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This guy’s hoping for dinner:

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Tonight, Edna taught us how to play poker.  We had a great time!

Day 138: Apache Junction, Day 1

This morning, Grandpa Glenn and Edna took all of us up to Tortilla Flats.  The route was steep and had plenty of sharp curves.  We stopped on the way to look out at Canyon Lake, which like Lake Mead is a canyon held back by a dam:

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Torilla Butte overlooks Tortilla Flats:

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It’s a tourist trap type of place:

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The restaurant’s walls are covered in patron’s dollar bills:

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Cute sign for sale in the gift shop:

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Our son tested the bar stools, which are saddles:

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On the way back, we were treated to some nice views of the Superstition Mountains:

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We stopped a Goldfield, a recreated mining town where every storefront is a gift shop:

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Horseshoe art:

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Our last stop was the Superstition Mountain Museum:

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We looked at a model of a gold mill.  A full size mill stands in the background:

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This mill has twenty 900-pound stamps that are raised and dropped by the camshaft-like drive system.  The stamps crush the rock which allows the gold to be extracted:

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Here’s a horse powered well driller:

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Another warm and beautiful day in Arizona!

Day 137: Quartzsite, AZ to Apache Junction, AZ

We are heading out this morning from our weekend BLM dispersed camping area called “Hi Jolly”.  There aren’t many folks here this time of year:

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We stopped at Gem World on the way out of town.  It’s a large store with a selection of gemstones, rocks, and all the tools and accessories needed to make jewelry:

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Quartzsite takes its camel heritage very seriously:

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On the way to Apache Junction, we stopped at a Love’s truck stop to dump tanks.  The kids showered in the RV before we dumped.  I don’t think we fit in here:

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Gotta love Arizona gas prices:

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We will be spending a few days in front of Grandpa Glenn and Edna’s house with them and Tricia’s sister and Stephen in Apache Junction, AZ.

Day 135: Center of the (RVing) world

After a good night’s sleep dispersed camping north of town, we decided to head into Quartzsite proper.

At this point I should mention that Quartzsite is a town of about 3,500 people. Every winter, 300,000 RVs come to stay on BLM land around Quartzsite to visit the rock and mineral shows as well as the hundreds of vendors that set up to support this temporary metropolis.

We’ve arrived about a month early, so there are only a few thousand RVs on public land outside of town.  We dropped by the library to check out some books.  Residency isn’t required to get a card here, and the application includes the question “where are you camping?”

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We visited one of the vendor spaces south of town.  Right now there are two rows of vendors on each side of the road, but the side that is depth-limited by the interstate is laid out for rows “A” through “Y”.  I’ve been told that it takes 3 days to see it all when all the vendors have arrived.

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Here’s what it looks like when it’s all set up.  This is an empty field for most of the year.  Note the RVs stretching towards the horizon in the top of the image:

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The biggest show at Quartzsite is a rock and gem show, so a number of rock vendors were already set up.  Thin sections of rock were backlit by the sun:

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The selection is amazing:

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In the afternoon, I went for a ride and passed the tomb of Hi Jolly.  His real name was Hadji Ali, but Americans couldn’t be bothered with that so they called him Hi Jolly.  Ali, a camel driver, was brought to the US by the Army in the mid-1800s to test the use of camels as pack animals in the Desert Southwest.  He became famous enough that there’s a folk song about him.  My ride took me by his gravesite in Quartzsite:

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There were plenty of great desert views along the ride:

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Good Shabbos from Quartzsite!