Quartzsite Redux

Our last day before leaving Kartchner was a busy one.  Greg finished his install, Cori/Kelly and I went looking for sand hill cranes (no luck there) and Lee and Bill had a great time at the Pima Air and Space museum.  Lee took lots of pics and may do a supplemental blog post later.  The last night I made a meatloaf dinner for everyone and then we went to see an observatory that Kelly found on trip adviser.  This small observatory holds about 17 people, but has a huge telescope and a rotating roof.  It’s free if you stay at the Butterfield RV Resort and only $2 a person if you aren’t staying there.  You need to call first thing in the morning though, and make a reservation, and I absolutely recommend you do it if you are in the area.  Lee said “This is the coolest thing we have done since being on the road,” when we finished, and those that follow our travels know that is no small statement.  The work kamper, a retired chiropractor and amateur astronomy enthusiast, was very knowledgeable and entertaining.  More importantly instead of seeing the stars on a screen we all got to step up to the telescope and look in the eyepiece.  Everyone took a turn seeing two stars in the Orion constellation, the Orion nebula, the seven sisters (my favorite), the moon, and Jupiter.  Obviously their was some down time between turns, but it went quicker than you would think and there was a lot of interesting information while you were waiting.  Although I wouldn’t say it was the coolest thing we have done, but I definitely would recommend it one evening if you are in the Benson area.

We may not have found any birds but I did buy a bag of locally grown pinto beans for $4.50!

We may not have found any birds but I did buy a bag of locally grown pinto beans for $4.50!

The observatory

The observatory.  Sorry for the quality, night shot with phone, not great

Pretty big telescope inside for the room's size

Pretty big telescope  for the room’s size

Beautiful full moon in Kartchner

Beautiful full moon in Kartchner

It was only a 5 hour drive to Quartzsite the next day, so we decided to all go separately and then make sure someone met Kelly and Bill at the front when they arrived.  Normally we would not have come back to the same area so quickly, but we wanted to be with Kelly and Bill when they experienced Quartzsite for the first time. And we had left some things undone, believe it or not, despite being in Q for a month.  We ended up driving on HWY 8 and bypassing Phoenix and I really recommend that route.  It goes right through a beautiful section of nationally protected Sonoran Desert and there wasn’t much traffic on it compared to HWY 10.  Cori and Greg took the straighter route, plus Greg drives faster, and they got to Q around 2:30.  We got there at 3pm and had just finished dumping and filling with water when Kelly and Bill arrived.   Our old spots were open again, so back we went and getting settled in was much faster the second time around.  Pam was nice enough to organize a hot dog dinner and had a huge turnout of folks for Kelly and Bill to meet which was very nice.

Travel day potluck

Travel day potluck

Harry and Vicky

Rick (in hat), Dino, Harry, Vicki, and Steve

The number 1 thing I wanted to do when we got back to Q was go on a hike with Jim and Barb.  I absolutely love their blog Jim and Barb’s RV Adventureand although we have gotten to know them better in a group setting, we really wanted to do something with just the four of us.  We had planned this hike, but other group activities kept getting in the way, so we were all committed to making this happen.  And boy am I glad we did.  Several people have hiked the Palm Canyon in the Kofa Wilderness area, but the pictures really don’t do it justice.  That’s not a slam on the photography, by the way, it’s just one of those places that’s tough to capture but takes your breath away.  Because the hike is very steep and goes through some narrow crevices these pictures were taken by me, Lee, or Jim.  The good news about this hike, which was the toughest we have done from a footing perspective, is you can drive the 8 miles right up to the canyon, then park and walk as much or as little as you want to. All the pieces of it were beautiful to me and even though touching the palms was cool and all, the views were more amazing. 

The desert leading up to the canyon was very green in late February

The desert leading up to the canyon was very green in late February

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Loved that the ocotillo's had leaves now

Loved that the ocotillo’s had leaves

Still lots of thorns in there though

Still lots of thorns in there though. Hope we get to see the flowers before we leave the desert

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The canyon

The canyon with the little windy road at the base

The view from the end of the road back to the desert

The view from the end of the road back the way we came in

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The canyon was cool in the shade and had tons of greenery

Barb previously climbed up to this ridge and saw lots of relatively fresh bighorn sheep dung

Barb previously climbed up to this ridge and saw lots of relatively fresh bighorn sheep dung

Finally we got to the spot where we could see the palms. These are the only indigenous palm trees in Arizona and many people stop at this point and turn back

Finally we got to the spot where we could see the palms (in the center crevice). These are the only indigenous palm trees in Arizona and many people stop at this point of the trail and turn back

We kept going and the views got more spectacular

We kept going and the views got more spectacular

Barb initially found this way to the palms, you have to climb up on the right hand side.

Barb initially found this way to the palms, you have to climb up on the right hand side.

Lee was great keeping up with her. I took a little longer

Lee was great keeping up with her. I took a little longer

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Finally made it

Finally made it

And a little bit farther to touch the palms, which were very big

And a little bit farther to touch the palms, which were very big.  I was breathing a sigh of relief

Thanks Barb and Jim, no way we could have done this without you guys

Thanks Barb and Jim, no way we could have done this without you guys

The way down for me was actually worse

The way down for me was actually worse

Lee once again did great

Lee once again did great

 

I held my breath a lot and scootched on my butt in several places

I held my breath and scooched on my butt in several places

The views were once again spectacular but I really wished I had my poles for the way down

The views were once again spectacular but I really wished I had my poles for the way down

Look in the bottom middle of the pic and you can see a person down there. It was a long way up, but very glad we did it

Look in the bottom middle of the pic and you can see a person down there. It was a long way up, but very glad we did it

And if that wasn’t enough dare devil activity for one day, a bunch of us went to Silly Al’s for pizza and karaoke and I actually got up and sang.  I dedicated my one karaoke song “Honey I’m Home” by Shania Twain to Red and Pam and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  I may not sing very well, but I am sassy which works very good for that song 🙂  Plus I got to sit at the end of the table with Harry and Vicki and I really enjoyed getting to know them better.  They have a great story.  Harry worked a corporate job and when they retired they went on the road.  Vicki works in quality assurance for an IT department so could work out her few remaining years on the road and she works and Harry takes care of everything else.  He plans their routes, cooks dinners, and has done work kamping stints, including one at Amazon!! I really love what they are doing and like them very much as a couple so it was great to learn more about them.  They have a blog, and although Harry doesn’t post a ton, I really like his writing style.

So we have definitely hit Q running.  Looking forward to Jo and Ben getting here this weekend to hang out as well and a big Margarita/dance party  on Saturday.  Stay tuned!!

The gang at Silly Al's

The gang at Silly Al’s

Red and Pam dancing!

Red and Pam dancing!

Me getting my karaoke on

Me getting my karaoke on

 

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12 thoughts on “Quartzsite Redux

  1. Nice to see you went up to the palms. I wish Lee would of taken pictures with the drown. I love your blog and the information you give. Also, did you ever gt your surge protecter back? How is the solar working out? Lee, needs to give a short report on that. Enjoy the rest of your time in “Q” .

    • We didn’t get it back but we bought an inline version and Lee is in the process of wiring it. He tried to use the drone but it was dark in the canyon and pretty windy so unfortunately no footage

  2. Seeing how many of you have hiked up to the palms I guess we’ll have to give it a try next year too. Looks like a fun time at Sicily Al’s!

  3. We are so happy to be here with you guys! Thanks for coming back with us!
    So glad you were able to do the hike – not sure my knees would make it but we are going to just do the drive you talked about.
    Looking forward to a great weekend!

  4. Congrats on tackling The Palms!!! Looks like a fantastic hike:o)) Bill is not real fond of heights and coined a term for scooching… “Butt Hiking” and we do it often!!! Whatever it takes to get where we want to go. Now, karaoke would scare me more than the hike;o))

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