Cresting the hill we saw signs of the invasion! RV’s dotted the desert terrain like cattle grazing in a field. Some clumped together, several “circled wagons” around firewood pyramids and others camped on secluded mini-hilltops. Motorhomes, fifth wheels and trailers, old and new, created an eclectic neighborhood from fancy coaches to dusty road warriors in a BLM area that usually plays host to a few lonely RV’s.
Every January, the small, rustic town of Quartzite, AZ off Interstate 10 just east of the California border draws droves of rock hounds and RV’ers to premier rock and gem shows and the Quartzite Sports, Vacation & RV Show. We passed by the dusty, desolate town several times travelling between Phoenix and California and couldn’t imagine it swelling from 3,000 residents to 1 million+ visitors over a short 10 days. So, we took a Toad trip to check it out. Crawling through the town streets we inched our way to the Big Tent, site of the RV show, and entered the free 25 acre parking lot, complete with spaces chalked in the dirt. Relaxed chaos ensued as pedestrians leisurely crossed in front of cars and vehicles kicked up dust wheeling up and down lanes like ants.
Vendors filled the Big Tent and surrounding Midway offering wares from jewelry to kitchen gadgets, LED lights, RV accessories, campgrounds, and on-site RV repair and maintenance. Vacant town lots and parking areas morphed into RV campsites, flea markets and concession stands. Storefronts flying sun bleached flags beckoned shoppers to enter. But there was something else….something more to this gathering….almost like a pilgrimage to be with fellow RV’ers, share war stories, kickback by a warm campfire, party and revel in the freewheeling life. Just being there seemed to be the motto of the day. Our short, one day visit only gave us a peek into the whole experience. For more information visit www.quartzitervshow.com