I can't believe it's Sunday already. This week has flown by. Have I really been here since Monday? I really do need to permanently attach my camera to me not only for taking pictures, but to help me remember what date things happen. I think I lost a couple of days.
I roll out of bed pretty early every morning and head for the open desert by 7:30 a.m. to meet up with the "dog walkers". Yes, it's pretty early for a bunch of retired people who supposedly have nothing to do. Well, we need to walk the dogs early and at least for an hour because the days are so full the poor creatures may not get another opportunity to run. Also the mornings here are beautiful. They may be a little cool (usually in the high 40's) but the air is very still and very dry and once everyone gets moving things warm up pretty fast. The sunrises are spectacular. The dogs have a blast and this particular area of the desert is pretty much Cholla free so I don't have to worry about thorns in Sadie's paws and there are no burros for her to chase.
Usually, the Quartzsite ralley has an official host coordinating all of the activities, but this year no one stepped up to volunteer ahead of time. However, Judy stepped up and volunteered to be the host once everyone gathered and was really good at delegating leaders for activities and generating ideas for activities. So, this year's rally has been "make it up as you go along". In fact there have been so many suggestions for activities and plans that it is difficult to chose! Thank you Judy.
Thursday, seventeen very hardy WINs carpooled a few miles up the road towards Bouse and hiked around the hills. I had been on this hike last year and remembered parts of it, but there is constant change in the desert so the hike seemed pretty fresh and new. The almost 5 mile round trip was beautiful. Also this was my first time since my surgery in November that I have really had an opportunity to get out and hike in terrain that was a little challenging, i.e. rocky and hilly. I did fine and am ready and eager for longer and more challenging hikes.
The morning light makes the cholla shine but don't let the beauty fool. Those thorns can latch on to you and hurt!
The desert is very lush in this area. This saguaro is very fat and healthy looking.
We are heading up the ravine towards the saddle and then over the ridge.
Break time. We made it up and over the saddle.
King of the mountain!
Friday we had an old fashioned ice cream social. Other RV groups such as the Escapee Solos, the LOWs (loners on wheels) and singles interested in our WIN group were invited...emmm. dragged off the street (?) The WINs need new members. There was a great turn out. I heard that at least 150 paper bowls had been purchased for the ocassion and all had been used . Wow!
Friday evening presented several opportunities for dancing and the New Christy Ministrels were playing at the QIA (Quartzsite Improvement Association). I lucked out and was invited to go and see the New Christy Minstrels. What a great show! They sang lots of old familiar tunes and cracked lots of jokes. The house was packed and the audience was rolling on the floor with laughter. The two plus hour show went by way too fast. Concerts like this would costs $40.00 plus in the big city but our price of $12.00 was a bargain for the outstanding entertainment. Maybe it was so enjoyable because the New Christy Minstrels are my contemporaries. They'll be back next year and if I'm around I'd love to see them again.
We had been planning a kayaking trip for several days and either the weather had been too windy or some other activity caused too much of a conflict. Saturday, the wind was calm and there were no other conflicts so we loaded up 15 kayaks and put on warm kayaking attire (no swim suit weather quit yet) and headed over towards Blythe to put in at the Mayflower Park on the Colorado River. The day was perfect! No wind. Not too hot (light weight jackets were perfect). Our approximate 7 mile float down the river was heaven!
Can we get another kayak on?
TheWINs are innovative in hauling the kayaks to the launch
Mayflower launching area. The drivers took the trucks to the take out and another WIN is shuttling them back. We are waiting for them to return.
I'm so happy to get back on the water.
Max and Judy enjoying the Colorado river
A great day to be on the Colorado river
Take out marina.
Apparently, no stay in Quartzsite is complete without a trip out to the Desert Bar 35 miles north of Quartzsite and 6 miles east of Parker. I was in Quartzsite last year but the Desert Bar was not on my priority list of things to do so I didn't go there. This year, I didn't have any conflicts(although I was tempted to go to the big RV show which is the main draw for this time of year) and decided to go and see what all the hype was about. The Desert Bar is located in the Buckskin Mountains on land that used to be an old mining camp called the Nellie E. The real name of the bar is the Nellie E Saloon. Copper was originally mined here.
There are two routes to the bar. You can travel on the paved road most of the way and then turn on a dirt road and drive for a few miles before arriving at the bar. This is the preferred way. The second route is to drive on a paved road and come in the "back way" on a 4X4 road. The 4X4 road is about 6 miles and would take about an hour. One hour for six miles!? I was all set to go 4 wheeling and take the back route until I heard the reports from the scouting crew. They had made a test run and the reports were pretty grime. One comment was if you want to risk damage to a fender or a flat tire then it would be a fun drive. NOT! So, I took the easy way out and carpooled on the paved road.
The back way into the Desert Bar. It doesn't look that bad from my vantage point at the bar.
The place is amazing. It's only open on weekends. In fact, I got the impressions if you ventured there during the week you might be in danger. The guy likes his privacy and only opens on weekends to support his passion for building green. The compound is out in the middle of nowhere and is completely self contained and self sustaining via solar panels and generators. Off the grid. The structures are made from mostly recycled materials which are used very creatively. The owner is constantly adding and changing.
The church is made of solid steel.
Old fire hoses are used for parking lines
The residence with cooling towers. I would love to see the inside of the residence.
One of several outdoor patios and deck areas next to cooling tower. Water is put on the fiber pads towards the top and the breeze pushes hrough the pads and the cool air is drawn down from the towers, sort of like a swamp cooler .
Signs are made of recycled metal. The white bags in the background
are full of recyclable trash.
Horseshoe cactus made of old horseshoes
A great band plays every weekend. Some WINS are enjoying dancing.
The menu is simple. The price is reasonable..but no cheese...ever!? Thanks goodness there is beer and soda available.
Great view from the ladies room.
Oops caught! One of the guys wanted to see what all the hype was about in the ladies room. The sinks are pretty unique and so is the view. Note the "fancy" waste paper baskets.
No, this is not a piece of modern art..well maybe it is, but it is
the entry into the ladies room made of old steel.
Rest room back wall is natural rock and the stall doors are very heavy steel.
A large crowd of WINs enjoy the band and dancing.