And then have the place be somewhat of a let down? Unable to 'live up' to your expectations?
Well, that's how I feel about Quartzsite. We have been planning to attend an event here for at least two years, and now that we are actually here it is somewhat disappointing. Problem is I can't quite put my finger on what I was expecting. Somehow I expected the event to be bigger, more organized, and less commercial.
As promised, the Quartzsite Happening is huge. Literally miles and miles of stuff for sale. There is a huge 'big top' type tent, with tons of exhibitors displaying their wares inside. Way too crowded in these aisles; so packed you felt like a salmon swimming upstream (or at least what I imagine a salmon swimming upstream might feel like). And everything is for sale, with lots of duplication. I mean, how many people can make a living giving cooking demonstrations in order to sell pots & pans? How many booths of "Sham Wow" or "Sham Wow" clones do you really need? Or t-shirts booths selling 3 t-shirts for $12?
And almost all of the vendors have that same glazed (& dusty) look on their faces. Many will spend at least two weeks and some up to four weeks sitting in their booths day after day, trying to separate RV'ers from their money. Watching this mass of humanity stroll by their booth, many without ever making eye contact with the booth personnel. I'm just glad they don't allow people working here to carry guns or someone would have gone 'postal' by now...
Way too many people. And then, because RV'ers tend to be a little on the older side of life, well, there are a few older people using all kinds of devices to help them get around: canes, walking sticks, hiking poles, however the most prevalent devices are those little electric carts.
You know the ones: small handlebars, quiet electric motors, four small wheels (usually white for some reason) and a big comfortable seat. No little bicycle seats here, no sirree. Big seats. And the most common accessory? A basket or two, some of which are downright massive.
Driven by more women than men, watch out if some free piece of literature or free food sample comes into view of one of these drivers. If you're lucky they'll simply stop in the middle of the aisle, blocking all progress in both directions, asking people to 'hand' them whatever it is that caught their eye.
If you are unlucky, they'll throw that cart into reverse faster than you say "I want two free samples" and run you down. I know some of you think I am exaggerating. Why you would think such thoughts are beyond me, why my middle name is practically 'conservative'. Far be it from me to exaggerate.
In fact, today I saw some lady on one of those carts throw that baby into reverse, gun the motor to back up for something that caught her eye, and in the progress she ran over the women walking behind her. Never so much as an "I'm sorry" or a "Get the heck out of the way". Nope, she practically knocked this lady down, grabbed whatever had caught her eye and then she motored off, in search of the next 'must have' item/freebie.
I'm serious, I steer clear of anyone, male or female, on one of those devices. We can only hope there is someone who loves them and drives them around rather than lets them get behind the wheel of a car/RV.
That said, this show is huge. MLA lasted about half the day; I'm sure she would have lasted longer except we had to park in the next county... MLA was tired before we even arrived at the big tent.
This afternoon I went back up by myself to drop off our Blue-Ox tow bar for a tune-up. Tow bars connect the car to the RV. Blue-Ox makes one of the best in the business however after just less than one year of use, this tow bar has a little too much slack in the pivoting head. For $25 Blue OX will perform a tune-up, packing grease into the needed areas, replace shims, etc that apparently wear out over time. I'll pick it up tomorrow afternoon and hopefully she'll be good for another year and/or 15,000 miles.
As I've already said, it's amazing to see all of these RV's camping out in the desert. There are very few campgrounds with connections; most are sold out to the vendors who are here for most of January. The rest of us camp out in the desert, enjoying just about everything the desert has to offer except the dust kicked up by our fellow travellers. Dust permeates everything. Our red CR-V looks gray; you have to wash the front windshield with the wipers before every trip.
Oh well, we are having a great time. There are about a dozen fellow Tiffin owners here with a few leaving and a few taking their place every day. Right around sunset someone will start a fire in the fire ring and people bring their chairs and drinks over, form a very loose circle and enjoy each other's company. Lots of nice people, many like MLA & I are travelling full-time or close to full time.
As most people have told us you have to experience Quartzsite at least once; just like everyone should experience an electrical shock by sticking your finger or something metal into an electrical socket, at least once...