After a week of decompressing, actually more like drying out after 3 months in Oregon (hey, we can shut the bathroom door again!), we made the trek to Quartzsite Arizona for the annual RV show. I think I might have mentioned we are heading to Rockport Texas for a hosting spot and the timing looked to be working out durn near perfectly. It wasn't.
We hit flood repairs, construction, accidents and just plain stupid drivers. Added to that stress was the actual condition of the road. I could not believe people actually commute on the concrete or paved highway that frankly was rougher than some gravel roads we've been on. The only thing missing was the thrown rocks – oops, spoke too soon, looks like we'll have a chip to repair as well. What started out as a planned four hour no stress trip turned out to be a six hour ordeal – one I hope never to repeat.
I'm pretty sure it was the drive that played the biggest part in a case of a very dark mood that I struggled with during most of our stay at Quartzsite. Formed on those rough roads and heavy traffic that was I-10 in and around Los Angeles, the mood was then firmly established by the total frustration in finding the location of the Xscaper Convergence and then as a total neophyte trying to determine what protocol, if any, is used to find parking other than the every man for himself approach. In retrospect, this was the first meeting of this type so there were bound to be growing pains (such as trying to do a seminar alongside the interstate) but as one who was stuck out in the hinterlands it was not a pleasant time. We skipped the 2nd day altogether feeling as outsiders to some sort of pre-established clique.
No matter, we came to Quartzsite for other reasons too.
Quartzsite is a town and among RV'ers a rather unique happening. Initially unbeknownst to us, we had arrived a full day before the grand opening. Serendipitous is what I call it as this early arrival allowed us to walk the flea market area and visit other points amid comparably small crowds. Not just a little strip mall sized thing, this was acres of trinkets, souvenirs, parts and food spots. The grandkids are in for a few treats once we get to a place to mail them and I sort of stumbled upon a few myself. Unfortunately nothing we experienced prepared us for what occurred the next day – the official opening of The Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show.
We arrived about a half hour before the official opening and attendance was what you would expect in an average well attended county fair. By opening the crowd had doubled. Every hour it seemingly doubled again and I'm sure whatever figure I used I would probably still be underestimating the mass of humanity stuffed into the main tent.
There was the lotion to relieve pain, oils to make you healthier,, blender displays and I swear, almost every Ronco product, gadget, and kitchen helper sold “As Seen on TV”. Oh, and there were a few RV booths for trinkets. You certainly could outfit an RV fully with what was available just in the big tent and you might even be able to build one from scratch if you combined with all the booths surrounding.
We must have spent the better part of four hours looking at rigs, touring the tents and sampling some of the food. We didn't get much but by the end of it all I found I had overcome my dark mood. I mean really, how could anyone stay down with a sunset like this.
Next stop: Deming, NM by way of Phoenix, Tucson and a few choice stops along the way