Tuesday, January 22, 2008

On the desert with a few 100 thousand other RVs

We left Las Glorias on Saturday and went most of the way to the border. Sometime after dark we found a Pemex fuel plaza north of Hermosillo and pulled in there for the night. We feel pretty secure in them - they are staffed 24 hours and this one is right next to a toll booth which has 24 hour security. Sunday morning we didn't get a real early start but we were still at the US border around noon. We stopped a few miles south of the border to eat our pork chops because we were pretty sure they couldn't come into the US unless they were in our bellies.

Apparently we should have also eaten the lilies that Alicia gave us on Friday. The border jerk asked us if we had anything to declare so we ran through the stuff that we thought we needed to declare. Then he went into the bus and promptly came back out carrying the lilies (cut flowers) that Alicia had given us. He was on a major rant. Then he proceeded to shake down the whole bus and gave Marilyn several lectures about what fools we were to try to smuggle things into the US. Meanwhile I was having a wonderful visit with his partner about masonry - Marilyn thinks that was part of their game but I think she was dealing with an asshole and I wasn't. When Mr. Official finally got done with her he gave her a list of things that couldn't come into the US. Guess what - lilies are OK. Of course we didn't discover that until much later and much further down the road.

We spent Sunday night in a truck stop west of Phoenix. We've stayed there before - it has recently changed ownership but its still a good place to spend the night. It even had wi-fi which let us make some Skype calls to people we hadn't talked to for a while.

Monday morning we came the last 75 miles over to Quartzsite. Its hard to explain Quartzsite to anyone who hasn't been here before. The first time we came here we swore we would never come back but over the years it has kind of grown on us. This link just talks about the Quartzsite RV show but there is a lot more to Q than just a great big RV show. Tyson Wells is the organizer for the flea market that is running right now. The Tyson Well show focusses on stuff that RVers might buy. In addition to those two main events there are a host of minor flea markets running all over the town selling everything from bootleg CDs to polished rocks to antiques - junk in other words.

As far as numbers of RVs go I have heard all kinds of estimates of the numbers that show up every winter. Marilyn likes to say that 1,000,000 show up - it isn't 1,000,000 but it could easily be 100,000. When you come over the ridge from the east it isn't hard to see where the free parking areas in the desert are. As far as you can see to the north and south you can see little pockets of RVs sharing a chunk of desert. We're in a group of about 30 rigs, all of us Escapees members, that got together to celebrate our first year of full time RV living. About 200 yards to the north of us there are 70 Bluebird coaches from the southwest US getting together. Just east of town there were around 40 converted Eagles that got together. Across the road there are apparently nekkid people that get together each winter - its too cold for us to be over there. Its going down to 7 or 8 at night but our furnace has decided to work again so that has been pleasant. Not sure why it couldn't have worked when it was -20 in Regina in early December.

Its a great place to fix up all the little stuff that gets neglected on the bus. Today I found a supply of the little halogen bulbs that are so hard to find anywhere else so now we can get the sunshine ceiling shining again. I also found a ladder for the back of the bus - I've been looking for a used ladder for years because I didn't want to pay the price for a new one. Once I get finished mounting the ladder tomorrow I'll go up on the roof and take a better panoramic photo.

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