Sundance killed a rattlesnake that was lurking outside the laundryroom door yesterday. Park management installed a sign at the park entrance warning everyone to “watch for rattlesnakes.” As more snowbirds depart, rattlesnakes, tarantulas and gila monsters appear to replace them. Clearly Storm and I must leave before we are the only humans left here.
Jane and Leyman offer to guide us on one last day trip into the Dragoon mountains before we leave. As we depart Middlemarch Road, I am still amazed that we can ride along a dirt road in the middle of nowhere, turn onto a narrow, rocky, cactus lined path and wind up gazing across incredible views. This ride climbs up to China Camp and ends with a stop at Council Rock.
North to Quartzsite
If you are not an RVer, you may never have heard of Quartzsite, AZ. Almost non-existent by this time of year, this town becomes flooded with RVs over winter. Surrounded by miles and miles of BLM managed land, a winter stay here is pretty cheap. A single $180 long term permit can be purchased to dry camp between September 15th and April 15th.
That permit is good for up to seven months camping total. Services for honey wagons, potable water and trash removal can be purchased for an additional fee. If you are interested in RV solar setups, you can definitely see a variety of them here between November and March.
In his finally repaired new RV, Jim beats us to Quartzsite and stakes out a relatively remote campsite for our 2 rigs. At this time of year, there is no fee for short term camping (less than 14 days). All we have to do is check in with the camp host, get our free permit and park where ever we think we can be happy.
Once we get the rigs settled, Jim takes us on a quick tour of Quartzsite. He describes what it would look like when thousands of RVs are here. We return to our site to stargaze at the clear, light pollution free skies. I see 2 satellites pass overhead, but not the ISS. It is not scheduled overhead here until after we leave this area.
The Drone Flies Again!
Sights near Parker, Arizona
On day two of our stay in Quartzsite, Jim guides us to see the unmarked Fisherman Intaglio near us. We then hit the dirt roads to find and enjoy lunch off the grid at the Desert Bar. This unique restaurant is at an abandoned mining site, way out in the desert. I am surprised and thrilled to run into Punkin and Keith there with a RZR group.
After a short visit with them, some excellent rock and roll music and tasty food, we follow the scenic highway to Parker and check out the Dam and sights along the Parker Dam Road Back Country Byway. In spite of the name, this Back Country Byway is a PAVED, scenic path supposedly home to wild burros. We see no burros, but discover a lot of spent burro fuel on the roads and sidewalks.