For most of the year, Quartzsite, AZ is a sleepy town in the Sonoran desert, the ground a uniform platform of desert pavement, baked over the millenia to a dark, burned patina. Cacti grow here, but nothing else can take the lack of water and the year-long sun. The animals that call this place home are mostly nocturnal, coming out in the night when the temperatures have dropped dramatically -- a 40 degree variation from day to night is not uncommon.
And then January comes.
Senior RVers descend on Quartzsite for the biggest party of the year. The landscape becomes dotted with hundreds of thousands of RVs, parked helter-skelter on Bureau of Land Management land where there are no hookups, no responsibilities, and very few rules.
Senior men, most of whom one may assume are balding on top, wear visor caps adorned with long strands of fake fur on the top. Cars and RVs clog the roadways, and off-road vehicles are zipping everywhere, driving with abandon whether off-road or on. Bands and karaoke fill night-time entertainment needs for some, but others watch the sun go down as they gather with friends around the bonfire. Between the shows and the flea markets, everything you might want or need is for sale: RV supplies, gems and minerals, animal skulls and their assorted body parts, flags, vitamins, biker paraphernalia, waterless cookware, bamboo blankets ("only $30, and they are better than cotton because cotton is made of protein and bacteria can grow in them" .... er, what?), 12-hour lipstick, 30-second salsa, coolers that stay cold for 5 days, swords, and the last nail file you will ever need. Plus, they have the nicest hang out area for the dump workers I have ever seen.
Here are some of those images from Quartzsite:
The rally with the Escapees Solo group has ended, and the trip down the alphabet -- from Q (Quartzsite) to Y (Yuma) is underway. Quartzsite has been fun, but spring break for seniors must now come to an end. See you all next year!