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Quartzsite, AZ, January 15-Feb 2, 2004

On January 15 we began our first trip of the new year, planning 3 weeks in the lower Colorado River Valley. We planned for a week in Needles, 2 days in Quartzsite just to dabble in the "experience" and then a week in the Yuma area. As it turned out, we stayed much longer than planned in Quartzsite, so the Yuma plans were scrapped.
On the way to Needles, we stopped at the Exotic Feline Breeding Center in Rosamond. They specialize in many lesser-known endangered cat species, so we saw several we had not previously seen. Here are a number of pictures:
The six days we spent in Needles were somewhat of a bust. A cold north wind blew every day except the day we left, and made us wonder why we had come to the desert. We did circle up through Bullhead City and Laughlin, but didn't see much to interest us. On Friday, we took a jaunt down to Lake Havasu City, where Holly swam with the ducks in the channel downstream from the London Bridge.
Then it was on to quartzsite. We had reservations for two days at a full hookup RV park in town, and planned to see things and head south to Yuma. Instead the weather was quite nice most of the time, so we moved a mile south of town into one of the BLM Long Term Visitor Areas.

Quartzsite is a huge flea market (someone said it is a place where you can buy anything you will never need) surrounded by land where you can camp for anywhere from a little to free. The area we were in is $30 for anything up to 14 days, with water, garbage, and dump available. Even had the Phoenix newspaper delivered every morning, courtesy of one of the many RV dealers who set up shop for this event.
Quartzsite
One morning we climbed this hill, which we call "the Q hill" because their is a white-painted Q on the other side. It is south of Quartzsite, and about 1/2 mile west of our parking spot. I took the panorama below from the peak. It covers about 270 degrees, with the left edge looking west along I-10 towards Blythe and the right edge looking south along US95 toward Yuma. As with all these thumbnails, click for the "really big picture." The Q Hill
Quartzsite Panorama
A telephoto shot of our parking area shows how wide-open everything is. Rules are that you must be more than 15 feet from your neighbors, but typically the only time people are close at all are when they are with someone they know, or parked much closer to town where the density bunches up. In this picture our coach is at the right-center, mostly behind the bush. Our friends John and Jean Watson are in the Allegro Bus with the Jeep Wrangler behind it at left center. The fore-shortening effect of extreme telephoto makes it look like they are near the people nearer, but they are actually further from them than they are from us. Our parking space in Quartzsite
After 8 days in Quartzsite we proceeded straight home, stopping just two nights. We plan to be home the rest of February, leaving for the southwest again at the end of the first week of March.

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