Sunday Jan. 20
view from on top of our 5er looking northwest toward the Big Tent.
If you have not been there
yet, go the Big
Tent web site and look at the Aerial
Photos links to see shots of the whole area and an overview of Tyson
Wells and and Rice Ranch.
Happy hour in our site...
It was time for a Margarita. Saturday afternoon while listing to Prairie
Home Companion. We stayed out till after dark and had a big fire. I sure
like the XM radio (on the left table) to have music all night and CNN news
anytime. It even receives a satellite signal under the canopy above the
Looking toward Tyson Wells
Looking toward Rice Ranch
One way to avoid the congestion
is to stay on I-10 and go to the east exit. The west exit is jamed up with
traffic at all times.
Looking south from the interstate.
The Big Tent upper right.
Now if you are looking for
someone, put up a sign in the BLM along the roads.
Looking west in Rice Ranch.
All the cars on the right got tickets...
Looking east toward Rice
This is how you get your
water in the BLM
We have not been to the BIG
Show yet waiting for the crowds to die down a bit. It is wall to wall people
and you can't see anything that way. We sat around at the guard station
on the picnic table today and had fun with BLM volunteers Larry, Phyllis,
Bob and Sandy. They were busy registering new arrivals, and trying
to keep everyone happy campers. You would not believe all the different
kinds of people who show up at the entrance station. People watching at
its best. It's nice to be a part of things and know people and have
an idea what makes this place tick.
When we do go to the big
show we will get pictures of everything and get the tour posted. As you
can tell the push of people is huge, and as visitors for the whole season
we like the locals sit back and wait. The Big show is for ten days and
in mid week I will be able to drive and park right on the grounds, and
inside can interact with the booths and ask questions, and get answers,
without being pushed along with the lava flow of people. Let alone get
pictures that are not just of peoples backs.
Monday Jan. 21
We went to the Big Show late
in the day today about 2:30 PM. The crush of people was less, so we could
get around and take some pictures without them being just filled with people.
So now the BIG SHOW. If you are up north in the cold just sit back and
enjoy the Big Show.
First off had to sign up
the the door prize.
The BBQ sure smelled good.
Doggie gets to ride.
This is the center isle,
there are two outer rows of booths also.
They had a couple of park
models to show in a development in Brenda, AZ. BUT take a close look
at this picture.
The furnace is the same
one you get in an RV. Can you imagine heating a park model
with an RV type forced air furnace. If they can't put in a small regular
efficient unit I would not buy it. I asked the salesperson what that
was all about, and she said they didn't come with a furnace. I walked her
over to show her the unit they had installed. She didn't have a clue
but said she would ask about it. I told her thousands of RVers were walking
by and laughing at them when they see the RV furnance.
Now trying to get the hell
out of there and get back to the BLM. At least we were going in the right
Got a call from the Chevy
dealer today that my new tires had come in and we can go up to Parker on
Wed. and get my bald ones relpaced. I will be a happy camper with new tires.
A last shot from the show...
The tail spins, I can get into that... They had many more types of
Wednesday Jan. 23
was one of those days.
got up early and headed off to Parker to the Chevy dealer for 6 new tires
for the PU. We got there at about 9 AM and they were to mount the new tires
and do a front end alignment. It went down hill from there. When
it go to be past noon we started to wonder how things were going and Terry
walked out back to the shop and they had three tires mounted. What was
that all about. Next tires, about one an hour. As we started keeping track.
When at 4 they tell us they are going to take it over to start the front
end alignment. YES started. So at 6 PM you read correct. It
took them 9 hours to put on 6 tires and do a front end alignment. I would
walk out through the sales floor from time to time as it got later and
each salesperson, when asking how I was doing, I would tell them.
They went and got the assistant manager and she went back to kick butt.
Little good that did. When they were closing the shop, and turning
out the lights I raised hell again that they still had my truck. One of
the salespersons walked by, that knew what we were going through, and asked
if "What did you bring in, an eighteen wheeler". The second time he said
that, I lit into him. The service manager earler as a joke, brought
us pillows. I told him what we needed was a motel. So when
done, I got the tires, for the tire price $165 plus tax and that was it.
(GoodYear SilentArmour) A new line of tires just out of the factory that
we had to wait three months for to get our size 215/85/16. SO no
labor fees to mount, balance, or the alignment. They wrote off $175.80
as goodwill. We got back to Q after dark so I had to get a flashlight to
take a look at my new tires. Now posting and having a late happy
hour. I gave them the business as they told me they would meet or beat
the GoodYear dealers price. They did that by $5 bucks on each tire but,
it took them 9 hours to do it. Will I go back and have them do other work
in the future. Yes. Mainly because when I need breaks worked on, they will
credit me for $85, the inspection charge I paid them, when I had
them check them out as they were making noise, to make sure they
didn't need to be reworked just yet. Now that is cool.
can keep me as a customer if when they screw up big time, admit it, and
try to make it right. We all mess up don't we? I have mellowed, as happy
hour is going well.
Saturday Jan. 26
The weekend in Q.
sent a couple from Canada over who are camped next to them. They were looking
for a generator (had looked at the Big Show at a new one) and Bob told
them we had a used one for sale so they walked over and we had a nice time
talking to them. What friendly people. We came to a deal and they
got a Honda 2000 and an Alarm
It unit to use with it. We trust they will be happy with the Honda.
We only sold it as we got a Honda 3000 as we needed a larger unit as we
were here early when we needed AC.
got late to cook... so we went to Grubstake for their (all you can
eat) Fish Fry...
you want fish or seafood in Q this is the place. HUGE portions.
"WHAT HAPPENS AT THE GRUBSTAKE, STAYS AT THE GRUBSTAKE"
The slogan is just like
a city in the desert a little further north of here... I think..
Overview from a goggle search... Company
Information: The Grubstake Social Club in Quartzsite, Arizona, has received
international acclaim from well traveled beer drinkers for its fine selection
of beers, good food and social ambiance. On the annual list of 'best beer
joints' Grubstake also offers a hearty selection of favorite American food,
including char broiled burgers and steaks, hot and cold sandwiches, salads,
poultry and seafood. Good eating and drinking in a friendly Tavern
were busy, but we got in, and in about 5 min. sat next to some people who
were venders at the Q shows, and we had great conversations with
them. It was a fun time, and we exchanged blog links. Reflexology Crystalsandsonline.com
of their group was selling beads at the shows.,
and had an Environmental Degree from some 14 years ago, and said he was
"Ahead of the Trend" and wished Al Gore had outspoken much earlier.
noticed the traffic going north on HW 95 was backed up at about 10 AM (should
I say when I got up). They were going to the Big Show for the last weekend
it is open. Terry had headed off to the rock club where he was rebuilding
storage cabinets and counter tops. I worked on some of my other web
sites all day. Adding mouse overs to the menus and updating content. (www.cwa7102.org)
was some what overcast, so in mid afternoon, I kicked in the generator.
I set it up to pump 70 amps into the AGM's. Didn't take long to bring the
charge back up.
Terry came home covered in sawdust and I told him to take it off
outside. After he started to strip, I said NO. (No
Pictures here of that strip show) He pealed
off his clothes over a rug inside.
we are about ready for a cast iron dutch oven of beef stew, slow cooking
in the oven. As we look for something good to watch on TV to eat by.
weather forecast sez it is going to rain on our parade... here in
Q on Sunday .. the last day of the Big Show.
OK with us as we are ready to just veg and watch it rain ... ALL
the few sprinkles it might do. When they say rain in Q we hold out our
hands and count the drops and see if they can go past what our fingers
Monday Jan. 28
was rain and more rain as the short timers in the BLM were pulling out
big time. The Big Tent show was over and that meant it was time to get
the hell out of Dodge I mean Quartzsite. Oh sure they have a craft
show for a few days and then a car show. But that is not a big draw. Mostly
the pots and pan booths are still there selling over priced pans.
went to the Pow Wow rock show at the I
have been updating the www.hitchitch.com
site adding new sites and separating pages so they will download faster.
We just think putting the pictures of the people who share their adventures
make it nicer if we can get a glimpse of them in their link. Trying to
keep the pics size very small.
have also been consumed updating (or should I say a major revision)
another site I do. www.cwa7102.org
my old union. It started out as a volunteer thing, and turned into a for
fee thing. Contract time is coming up in Aug. 2008 and the BIG issue will
be Health Ins. for current and retired members (as in I and Terry as my
dependent). This is a top issue in the upcoming elections also.
We currently have good coverage (no out of pocket each month except, copays
for office visits and drugs) (Qwest) but that could change with a
new contract for the Communication Workers of America. I will be 61 at
time of contract talks so need a few more years till I reach 65. Terry
is several years younger so we shall see if we get a president who cares
about the middle class.
of RVers who camped close by in the area came over to say so long
as they were heading home. People are so friendly. We didn't know them
but just being next to them for a few days is kind of a bond when in the
so time to get to bed as it is 10:40 PM and past time to shut the gen.
Tuesday Jan. 29
the Quartzsite Times
above to go there)
busier than ever
an old adage about the Quartzsite "season" that if you are in a hurry,
you don't want to be here when it's going on. People who have been visiting
this area at this time of year in the past have become accustomed to the
craziness and great fun that can be had.
are used to the long lines at the post office, gas stations, restaurants,
grocery stores and other retail stores. For anyone new to the area and
seeing it for the first time, it can be overwhelming and sometimes frustrating
but most people take it in good humor once they know what Quartzsite is
past weekend was considered to be the peak of the season and the busiest
weekend of the year in Quartzsite. The Quartzsite Business Chamber reported
that they have had hundreds of people coming in each day for information
and they have received many phone calls asking about the town and what
is going on and what dates the shows are happening on. Many new visitors
are looking for things to do around the whole area and many are just amazed
at what is here during these winter months.
annual PowWow had huge crowds on opening day, as did Tyson Wells Sell-a-Rama.
Rice Ranch, and Prospectors Panarama were also very busy, and you could
hardly walk through the Big Tent for the annual Sports Vacation and RV
Show, as usual.
the most traffic was at the center of town, things were still very busy
at the west end at Main Event, Main St. Traders and Desert Gardens. Thousands
of people walked through all the swap meets and most vendors have been
having a great season. It is not over yet.
is still much more coming up for visitors to Quartzsite. There will be
a huge Hobby, Craft and Gem show opening at the Big Tent on Hwy 95 S from
Jan. 30-Feb. 3. Tyson Wells will also host an Arts and Crafts show from
Feb. 1-10. On Feb. 2 and 3, the annual Rock and Roll Classic Car Show will
also be featured in the Big Tent.
that the PowWow is over for this year, the Q.I.A. will be back to its normal
activities. They will be presenting a special gospel concert starring the
Blackwood Brothers on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in the main hall for a donation
of $5 per person. On Feb. 5, there will be a night of musical comedy at
the Q.I.A. at 7 p.m. in the main hall. This is a fund-raiser for the Gem
and Mineral Club and a donation of $2 per person is asked. This has always
been a great night full of fun every year.
are craft shows at the Q.I.A, Senior Citizens Center and some RV Parks
every month, dances, bingo and music jams all over town. The annual ATV
parade is coming up on Feb. 9, with a pancake breakfast before the parade
put on by the firefighters at the fire station on Tyson Dr. The pancake
breakfast starts at 7 a.m. and the parade starts at noon. Applications
for the parade sign-up can be picked up at Town Hall and the Quartzsite
Business Chamber office.
sure to check out the library for their schedule of classes, programs and
visiting authors doing book signings. The Historical Society is also offering
field trips from the museum to some of the historical sights in the county.
can also go four-wheeling around the desert, or take an ultralight flight
over it. There are still lots of things to see and do and, of course, there
are always the swap meets with their hundreds of vendors displaying some
of the most unique things you will find as you shop 'til you drop!
local paper can say anything but you need to ask around to see if this
year was as big as in the past. In our view it was huge but it only lasted
for 14 days instead of months as in years past. It started out small and
the RVs poured in for the Big Tent show and when that was over they moved
out just as fast. Are we upset people are moving on? No. We can drive around
town again without the traffic. Would you believe many who spend the winter
season here don't even go to the Big Show. They have been there and done
that. Or they go and do a fast walk through to see if anything has
changed from years past. When done they say... Just like last year...
they go back to their RV sites and get on with life.
it must be successful as we see many of those 14 day visitors lugging stuff
out with arms full. If they have the money to spend go for it.
on to February and a slower life in Q. Nicer as in warmer weather, no traffic,
restaurants with no lines, Oh and no lines at the post office. We will
know the rush is over when the RV dealers start moving their stock back
to whereever it came from.
Wednesday Jan. 30
Terry was to go in to the
rock club and fill in for another instructor who got sick. But last night
Terry himself came down with a cold/flu type thing so he even had to call
people and say he wouldn't be going in also. I told him the students would
rather miss a day than catch a cold or the flu from the instructor! He
stayed in bed all day and slept most of the time. I went to Dollar Store
and bought a bunch of cold and flu meds. We had flu shots so hope he can
get over it quickly.
the QIA POW WOW was going on (last week) is when some of the members make
improvements to the rock club building as it is closed during this time.
Terry drew out the design plans and then went to Blythe, CA for a PU load
of lumber to build a host of new cabinets for the club. He is good at all
this stuff. (Hint.. during the summer
he does home repairs and improvments.)
He and others built whole sections of cabinets and counters from scratch.
WOW in just a few days or so.
Terry cutting wood.
Lunch break at the rock
club.. They went over and brought back food from the QIA event as
they severed thousands of great meals.
Pictures of the POW WOW Jem
and Mineral Show held January 23 - 27
This first above picture
by Cate Mueller from the QIA
These pics were of the Rock
Club booths. By of Tad Riste