I wanted to swing by Quartzite AZ which is an interesting part of the RV culture. In the winter the town of 5000 year round residents swells to as many as 500,000 people as RV’s by the thousands descend on the town to enjoy cheap sunshine and parking.
I took my time leaving in the morning as I wanted the rush hour traffic in Las Vegas to settle before setting off. The drive was an uneventful 200 miles thru the Mojave desert. While the landscape was desert there are subtle differences. The valleys between the mountains are generally much wider, and on this drive the sage brush is gone and you begin to see various types of cactus. I really enjoy driving thru the desert as you realize how harsh and tough an environment it is.
I arrived around lunch time and the town was busy, but I missed the biggest week of the year by one day. Once a year there is a RV show under a giant tent in the desert that is supposed to be the biggest in the country. During that week an estimated 500,000 people attend the show. Thousands of RV’s park in the BLM land surrounding the town. Today driving from Las Vegas to Quartzite I easily passed a couple of hundred RV’s heading home from Quartzite.
I did a quick driving tour of the town and then headed over to the giant tent as there were a lot vendors set up there even though the show was over. I ended up in a giant flea market. I walked over to see the giant tent and imagined 500,000 people swarming it last week. I took a turn thru the flea market but could not find anything I needed so I decided to head out of town.
When I got to Scout I realized that Arizona is on Mountain Time in the winter so it was an hour later than I thought so I decided to find a place locally. Leaving town I saw a BLM office surrounded by several hundred RV’s so I pulled in there. When I went in the office they told me it would be $40 for a week, I asked if they had a nightly fee, but it was one week or nothing for this site. As I was walking out the volunteer told me that if I went up the road five miles I would see a bunch of RV’s parked on BLM land and that site was free for up to 14 days. So tonight I am parked up with several hundred other RV’s for free about 7 miles from Quartzite.