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?”
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.
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:
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:
The selection is amazing:
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:
There were plenty of great desert views along the ride:
Good Shabbos from Quartzsite!