10-20-2008 Quartzsite, AZ

Posted: October 20th, 2008 under Arizona, Quartzsite.
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October 20, 2008 — We took advantage of the great Internet connection yesterday (about the only thing that I can say that was good about our room) to work on our computers — and for me, to catch up on MostlyFiction.com.


Fish fossils

Fish fossils

We moved out of the cheap motel room this morning.  Amazing how much stuff we accumulated staying in the same place for one week!  Paper plates, plastic cups, paper towels, kleenix box, toilet paper, snacks, towels, desk lamp.  Practically needed to have a yard sale just to move out!





So after our breakfast at Starbucks –Cappucino and Oatmeal — we headed west on I-10 to Phoenix and beyond.  Our goal was Quartzsite, Arizona.  This place started as just a bunch of RV owners collecting together in the desert. Carl took the Quartzsite exit by chance about 20 years ago and found that it had no gas station or anything except for one auto repair business. Everything else was RVs.  He was curious as to what it had grown into, since everything has grown, and also if this might be some place we would want to stay if we were to buy an RV.


I think this is Agate

I think this is Agate

Anyway, the drive to Phoenix was nothing new — we had just taken this road last week to pick up Carl’s Macbook.  However, I think I forgot to mention that just outside of Tucson, they grow cotton and milo.  Cotton is so pretty. We love all the care that the city takes in uniquely decorating overpasses and all the plant life that appears in the medians and alongside the walls.  This is something that you rarely see in New England.  The older part of the city is not as nicely decorated, but it is also is not plain, either.  

Interesting collection of Geodes, Crystals and Fossils

Interesting collection of Geodes, Crystals and Fossils

We still had another 90 miles to go to get to Quartzsite after we passed Phoenix.  More mountains and Sonoran desert plant life all the way.  I’m getting better a putting names to the plants — though I’m not sure I am pronouncing them correctly.



I forgot what these beauties are called!

I forgot what these beauties are called!

As expected Quartzsite had grown.  Of course, I could have told you that just from looking at our camping guide.  It’s interesting that they are now a full blown town with courthouse, schools, police department, water department, etc.  There are also some real homes, but not all that many.  This is early in the season and thus there were a lot of open lots, but my understanding is that this place will fill up with RVs over the next couple of months.  



Fossils and Geodes in the background

Fossils and Geodes in the background

The only grocery store that we saw is a “surplus” store.  Also of interest and unique is an area of Quartzsite that is officially for RV owners who want to set up shop and sell things — like an RV mall.   This is only partially filled at the moment – again its too early in the season for the full effect.


Quartzsite does have their own radio station. At least while we listened to it, it was all 50s and early 60s music.

This is probably the only “town” left in America without a Walmart, or any of the other hundreds of retail outlets that you see in every other town.  They are not immune to McDonald’s, Burger King, and Carl’s, Jr.


T Rocks in Quartzsite, Arizona

T-Rocks in Quartzsite, Arizona

Outside of an RV haven, Quartzsite is a mecca for rockhounds.  Having been a former rockhound myself… well let’s  just say that today was my day to be a kid again.  Of course, living out of the Prius meant that I could only take photos… which I’m sharing with you here.


We took 95 out of Quartzsite down to Yuma.  This road includes a “Yuma proving ground” which the military uses for training, shooting, and probably blowing up things.  I couldn’t help but think of the scene in Mr. & Mrs. Smith when the “Mrs.” is up on a mountain/hill ready to blow up the “Mr.” who’s messing around on a 4-wheeler.  Really that scene could have been shot here.

Closer to Yuma, and thus closer to the Colorado river, it suddenly turns into a large agricultural area.  After looking at the desert all day, this is a big surprise.  I’m sorry that I didn’t get any photos because the farms were so perfectly plowed.  I’m not sure what they were growing since it was freshly planted.


The T-Rocks store

The T-Rocks store

We got into Yuma after 4pm so we decided to get a hotel for the night and explore Yuma tomorrow. The hotel prices in Yuma are very high, so we decided to see what we could find on Highway 8. You know how I’ve said in the past that we look for newly built hotels, well we outdid ourselves this afternoon.  Carl said he saw a sign for a Comfort Inn on 8 and since it wasn’t in my book, I thought “this will be new.”  Too true. The hotel was still being built! Knowing that we couldn’t go back to town we decided to try a Microtel. Guess what?  It is new and clean and about half as much as a Comfort Inn.  I think we’ll stay again tomorrow night.


Tomorrow we explore Yuma.


  1. Now THIS would’ve been the place you would’ve had to drag me out of!! I’d be stuffing my pockets full and stringing them up for jewelery back in the hotel room. Just think how beautifully I’d have you and Carl decorated! 😉

    I pulled out my copy of “Cunningham’s Encylopedia of Crystals, Gems and Metal Magic” by Scott Cunningham to try and assist with the missing blanks. Hope you don’t mind ….

    The picture of Agate in my book is red-orange in color … however it is aptly named, “red-orange Agate.” So, your picture could be a variation, I suppose. But it doesn’t really look like the one in my book as yours is very yellow and purple.

    The “beauties” you couldn’t recall the name of looks to me like it could either be one of the following to:

    Carnelian, primarily worn by Eyptians to dispell anger, jealousy, depression and hatred. It is said to promote peace and harmony.

    The other possibility is Rhondochrosite, which is primarily worn to lend extra phyiscal energy and soothe emotions. Tossed into a bath, it’s de-stressing effects are said to be calming. It is also supposed to attract love, much like the Rose Quartz.

    Interesting stuff, huh???

    – Your Satelite New England Fact-Checker. 😉

    Comment by Doreen — October 22, 2008 @ 3:48 pm

  2. P.S. I couldn’t find a picture that more closely resembles your picture of Agate, so I can’t offer another possibility. :(

    Comment by Doreen — October 22, 2008 @ 3:51 pm

  3. Doreen — you are right! You would have loved it. They had a whole table able for making jewelry. I think in January they have a huge Gem and Mineral Show. If we are still in the area I would love to go to it. Did I tell you when I was in my early 30s I used to go rock hunting — had all the equipment. Never found anything of value, but some stuff of beauty. But I seem to have forgotten most of what I used to know.

    I think the “beautie” ARE Rhondochosite! Thanks!

    Comment by Judi — October 23, 2008 @ 2:33 am

  4. I do remember you telling me about rock hunting … I’ll have to put that on my Life List … however, I think THIS would be the place to do that! 😉

    Comment by Doreen — October 25, 2008 @ 11:06 pm

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