Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quartzsite AZ

All hooked up we left Santee CA in our review mirrors and traveled 8 East climbing to 4,100 ft in elevation to cross the Cuyamaca Mountains.  Now when you crest the mountain top and see windmills you grip the steering wheel a bit tighter, Mark didn't feel any wind but I sure did.

At a 6% grade it is a long climb and once on top you drop a 1,000ft and then back up again a couple of times before you then drop down at a 6% grade, what a roller coaster but the views are awesome. 

Once again on level ground before leaving CA we pass through the Imperial Sand Dunes B.L.M. Area which are popular with 4 Wheelers and dune buggies.  Then Yuma AZ which is rich in agriculture, broccoli and lettuce.  It's kind of strange because one side of the highway is desert and the other is fertile with green crops, amazing what water and tending to the dirt can produce.  North on 95 through the Proving Grounds and then...
We rolled into the show grounds for the "Big Tent", spoke with the owners and were hired, starting on Monday.  The show grounds back up to the La Posa West which is a long term camping area so we decided to stay there as we could walk to work.  $20 for two weeks and access to dump and water.

                                                    The view out of my picture window.

Our friends Jimmy and John were in Yuma so on their way back to Wickenburg they came to Quartzsite and stayed for a few days.  We went to Silly Al's for lunch, you can't come to Quartzsite without going there for really good pizza.  There are alot of campers here but there will be tons more once the show opens.  We showed Jimmy and John where the Big Tent will be, it is 600 x 100 ft and the workers were busy laying carpet, hopefully they will have it all done before we start work.

We wandered around town and then went to Beer Bellies Adult Day Care for some refreshing beverages. 

Me, Mark, John, Bob & Randee (our neighbors) and Jimmy. 

On Saturday Sharel and Bob Spears came down from Wickenburg to visit as they had never been to Quartzsite before.  This morning was the first of many troubles during our stay.  We woke up to the surge protector clicking like crazy, great just great.  After a new GFI breaker and completely removing the surge protector it was discovered that our plug into the generator was bad so we were now down to 20amp instead of 30amp, can't use the fireplace on 20amp.  Anyway, after the morning issues we all loaded up and headed to the Desert Solar Bar outside of Parker, AZ.  This place is only open on Sat & Sun from noon to 6pm.  It is completely run on solar and is 5 miles off the main highway and you really need a high clearance vehicle to get there.  This is a popular destination with 4 wheelers and is a pretty cool place.  It was an old mining camp in the day and the owner now just keeps adding on to it.  For more info go to

On Sunday the girls check out some vendors and the guys did guy stuff.  We were getting dry throat so we head over to Beer Bellies for adult beverages and who did we run into but the guys.

It was wonderful to spend time with our friends and we look forward to spending a month with them when we get done here.

We started work on Monday, our job will be trash removal on the midway once the show starts.  So now we are all busy getting ready for the big tent to go up.  The tent company was busy getting the center pole supports together then covering them with the tent.  It took them 3 days of work before it could go up.

We stayed busy laying carpet for the port a potties and vendors on the midway which is outside of the tent.

The weather turned very cold at night with temps in the teens and remember we are boondocking.  We had to run the furnace to stay warm at night and the generator wasn't running long enough to charge the batteries.  I don't know all the technical stuff about charging batteries and then inverting that energy.  We would have been fine if we were only staying for a few days, but a month is going to be a challenge.  We wanted to get an Empire brick heater but were waiting for the show to see if we could get a deal.  The one we found in town was sold when we went back so we just bundled up in more clothes and dealt with it.  On Thursday morning we woke up to a very cold camper, we thought we were out of gas so Mark switched tanks but nothing...well damn.  We had to go to work so we checked on it at lunch and things were fine.  The only thing we could figure is it was so cold and the wind was blowing right into the propane compartment so it must have froze the regulator.  That night we wrapped a blanket around the tanks and regulator and never had another problem.  Anyway Thursday was a horrible day with winds gusting at 35-40mph, the dust was terrible and it was really cold.  They couldn't put up the tent because of the winds.  My sinuses started bothering me last Sunday but today was the kicker, both Mark and I were having trouble.

You can't really see the mountains because of the dust flying around.  Now back home it is 80 degrees, whats up with that!

Friday was a completely different day and the tent went up.

We had the weekend off and took care of chores to prepare for 2 weeks of 10 hour days.  The weather started to warm up but it was still chilly at night. 
Back at work there was decorating to be done, tables and chairs to be delivered to vendor booths, trash cans to be put out, signs to be put up, carpet to be double taped and the list goes on. 

 Now our battery situation was becoming a problem.  The whole reason we were working was to earn the money to get solar this summer.  We will have 4 batteries and they need to be bought all at the same time.  If we bought 2 now then we would have to buy 4 more when we get the solar.  So Mark came up with the idea to take 2 batteries out of the golf cart to put in the rig.  The batteries in the rig were shot and wouldn't take a charge with a charger, dang.  He took 2 more from the golf cart to put on the charger at work, loaded them in the truck, jumped in and the truck won't start, well damn.  Batteries have not been our friends.
Wednesday the vendors started to roll in and get setup.  It was exciting to see all the activity.

So now our job really begins, TRASH.  Empty trash cans, replace the bag, pick up tons of boxes and then take it to the dumpster and do it all over again for 10 hours a day.  One thing that I have to mention is the fact that 85% of the stuff sold at the show comes from China or Taiwan, that is really sad.

Our ride for the next 2 weeks.

Now to put on a show like this there are many jobs to be filled.  Traffic control, gate greeters, water truck to keep down the dust,  port a potty cleaning, honey wagon, shipping and receiving, problem solving, security and of course trash.  Everyone did a great job and things ran smoothly, but the dust sucked.  The show opened on Saturday and runs for 8 days.  On Saturday Jimmy and John drove down from Wickenburg to check out the show, that was a nice surprize!  We met them at Silly Al's after we got off work, thanks again we had a great time.  Mark and I made friends with several vendors which made the job fun along with some perks such as food.  Considering we only had 30 mins for lunch it was nice to get a free meal from the vendors and not have to go home.  Keep the trash cans empty and they will hook you up!  During all of this we would run home to start the generator in the afternoon to keep the batteries charged, remember the frig runs on propane but you still need the battery power.  We really had some nice neighbors and they had no problem with our generator as they knew we were having difficulties.  Generators are expected when you are boonducking and they can be run from 6am til 10pm.  One of our neighbors was Rob from Canada, he would have a fire every night and we could enjoy it with him watching the sunsets.  As a matter of fact he cooked us dinner one night.  The reason I tell you about him is that there are good people in the world and then there can be bad people.  Well unfortunately Rob pulled out and 5 rigs pulled in his spot.  After the 2nd day of the new neighbors arrival around 2pm we came home to turn on the generator, same thing we have been doing for several days.  Well when we got home that night there was a note placed on it.  Basically it said "We wish you would consider a quieter generator and does it have to run all day, the neighborhood".  Both of us were so pissed, Mark yelled out "If anybody has a problem with my generator they need to come talk to me".  He left to get fuel and I walked over to the new folks in the hood and asked them if they put the note on my generator, they said yes.  I tried to explain to them our situation and that we were working 10 hr days and I had a frig full of food.  Well this *^%$# told me that I should move and I told her she could move as I have been in this spot for 3 weeks.  I wasn't going to get into a pissing match with her so I just walked away.  Man some of these people think they own the desert, sad very sad.  These folks stayed 4 days and when they moved they left some plastic flowers by the generator and then grabed the plug that goes into the generator and pulled up on it trying to break it.  They did do harm to the plug and the receptacle but we were able to make adjustments and still use it.  Can you believe the never of some people, they better look out as karma is going to bite them good one day, again sad very sad.
I took these pictures from the top of the rig.
                                                                    Good neighbors.



I am sure you all have either had the horrible cold/flu crud or know somebody that has.  It is awful stuff and I came down with it and thought I was surely going to die.  The last two days of the show I didn't work, I couldn't get out of the bed, slept for 2 days and finally the fever broke. The congestion and coughing is terrible and you feel so weak.  We were suppose to work another week as the craft show started Wednesday and then the car show finished up on Sunday.  Mark started to feel bad on Monday.  When we got hired the pay was to be under the table well over the weekend there was rumor that we all were going to get 1099's, so on Monday we met with the bosses and the rumor was true.  Asked if they could up the pay to cover the taxes but the answer was "no".  So we quit along with another couple who had worked there for 4 years and one other person.  It actually worked out for us as Mark couldn't have worked, he slept for 2 days.  This stuff is really bad.
We ended up buying our heater at the Gambler in town and they were suppose to come to install it on Tuesday but when they found out we were on BLM land they couldn't do it.  So we made plans to have it done Thursday on our way out of town.  We will never be cold again! 

We removed the stove and they tapped into the gas line.

Ran it behind the back of the cabinets.

And out the cabinet next to the fireplace. 
                                   It works great and is so much more efficient than the furnace.

We ended up boondocking for a month, made the money for our solar, got our heater, dealt with dust, meet some really nice folks, got sick and were part of a huge show but we are now headed to Wickenburg to our friends and full hookups

Thanks for following and make it a great day.