Friday, January 17, 2014

Q, Music and Friends

We had an extra week between leaving Mesa and our reservations in Lake Havasu City.  We ended up spending three days at Saddle Mountain RV Park in Tonopah and then headed to Quartzsite for the rest of the week.  Quartzsite is a winter haven for RVers, where thousands gather on free or very cheap government land to boondock.  When we hit the road seven years ago I imagined we would spend a lot of time "off the grid" camped along beautiful mountain streams.  This is not what I imagined.  We have done it a couple of times, but not very often.  As for the dry camping at Q it is a been there done that experience and if it weren't for seeing friends, it's not something we will do for extended periods of times.  We like full hook ups.
Coming down I-10 in to Quartzsite you can see the many white roofs of Rvs. 
On our first night in Q we went to a show at the QIA where we ran into Stella and Don whom we previously met at Betty's.  I had my Betty's shirt on and you can't believe how many people stopped me to say they have been there.  The lady is a legend.
The entertainment that evening was the New Christy Minstrels, who are celebrating their 53rd year.  Center is Randy Sparks, a founding member.  It was a great show and it was fun hearing all those old songs.
One of those great desert sunsets.
We were there too early for the official Escapees Happy Hour, but we did enjoy the campfire with a few other early arrivals.  The weather was the best we have experienced on any of our desert visits.
We did a short day trip and hike with Ron and Linda to the Palm Canyon area of the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge.  The refuge is over 665,000 acres of desert and mountains.  The trail was a little rough and a bit steep, but the view was fantastic.
The hike took us several hundred feet above the valley.  This is looking 30 miles across the La Posa Plains to the Dome Rock Mountains.  As an Easterner I am always amazed at how far you can see when you are in the West.
Our goal was the palm trees in Palm Canyon.  These are the only native palms in Arizona.  There are a couple of theories, but no one is really sure how they got here. One theory is they remain from the glacial period and the other is that they grew from seeds dropped by birds.   There are only about 200 native trees in this one narrow, steep little canyon. 
Another thing I never get used to is the spectacular blue sky.  What a contrast with the brown desert, a few green trees and the big blue sky.  We did see a few cacti that were starting to bloom.
More friends with a Betty's connection.  In the spring of 2010 we met Omer and Sylvia in Abbeville and then took them up on their offer to stay at their place in Nova Scotia on our way to Newfoundland.  Then two years ago when we were in Q we saw them again.  We went to the same spot where they had been camping and sure enough they were there again.
Omer is a wonderful guitar player and he and Sylvia sure sing a sweet duet.   They attend jam sessions six days a week while they are in Quartzsite.  We went to one of the jams and had a fun afternoon of music.  There were over 30 musicians who took their turn at the main mike.  Sylvia accompanied Omer singing a song we may adopt as ours, This Old Town.  It was great seeing them and we send our congratulations as they celebrated their 50th anniversary this past summer.
We had a couple more Class of 07 mates stop by for a nice happy hour.  Here are Marty, Linda, Ron and Trish.  We have crossed paths with them several times during our years on the road.  It is always great seeing friends and we enjoyed our time in the desert.

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