Saturday, February 17, 2018

Solo Scamping is Dangerous - maybe

I moved the trailer from Roadrunner to Dome Rock on Saturday in preparation for the Fiberglass Gathering that would officially start the following Friday. There were over 40 eggs already settled in when I arrived.

The area where we normally center the gathering was still filled with sunblockers so the majority of the folks picked out places on the upper level which didn't look like the upper level when photographed from the back side.

I got all settled in and squared away in preparation for BJ and Turk's return.

Sometimes it seems that nothing changes in Q except that the buildings get older

but that's really not true. Some of the buildings are falling down. One of these buildings had a roof on it when I blogged about it a couple years ago. Now some walls have fallen and both buildings are fenced off.

The sunsets can be good, but the sunrises are better as you look across the wide valley.

Without a drone, there isn't a viewpoint where you can get a view of the whole group. When this picture was taken, BJ and I walked around the area and counted 99 fiberglass trailers, excluding the four other stick-built trailers that joined the group.

Meanwhile, the black eye is getting better. It's too long a story, but it's the Scamp's fault.

It's been fun touching base with lots of friends. Next stop is Yuma for a major geocaching event.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Desert Wandering

I really enjoy this area around Quartzsite. The desert is more open with expansive views. In most cases, there's just enough slope to provide 20 mile views.

One morning I hiked most of the way up Dome Rock to check on the cache I have there. A friend had reported a Did Not Find which made me think it was gone, but it was right where I'd left it, and the log had been signed the day before, but had not yet been reported on line. If it had been logged on line the day before, I might have gotten lazy, but once again the views were worth it.

Sometimes the sides of the washes are just steep enough to cause problems for the truck. I've ended up with a couple 3 to 4 mile hikes as a result. Quite nice as long as it's early before the low 80's temps arrive.

There are claim corner markers everywhere around here. Some don't seem to be terribly well documented,

while others are very obvious and clearly stated.

Almost all of the dirt roads have series of caches near them, usually hanging in something with thorns, but once in a while just dropped in a Suspicious Pile of Rocks (SPOR.)

I've seen quite a few dead saguaro. Most of them look like they may have had some sort of disease. There's been very little rain (even less than usual) this year, so most of the plant life is pretty dormant.

Typically the caches are located in places that seem rather obvious to experienced cachers.

Lots of the caches are created from a spent 12 gauge shotgun shell sleeved over a 20 gauge shotgun shell with a strip of paper for the log inside. It's rather amazing how well they disappear into the foliage - yes, the cache is in the larger picture.

Besides caches and mines, occasionally I'd come across other reminders that someone else had been there, like the government

or a rancher. This was the only sign of ranching I spotted. The corral is old but has been well maintained leaving me to wonder is someone is still grazing in the area.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

SKP Geocachers

Once the 'Big Tent' show was over, it was time to gather with other members of the Escapees RV Club's Geocaching Birds of a Feather group. Escapees are known as SKP to those in the know. We've enjoyed their hospitality in their parks in the northwest as well as the Geocaching BOF.

There were 49 rigs with 87 individuals registered for the four day rally. The group varied from people with years of experience and thousands of caches found to people who had just heard of geocaching and got their first finds during the week. We'd talk about geocaching tips, tricks, and techniques in the morning and go geocaching in the afternoons.

A couple dozen of us went out for a night cache which might have been easier if we'd waiting until it was darker.
They also had prepared a tour around town that required finding unique things or places such as this pink camel.

You never know what you're going to find out in the desert. Must have forgotten to take some water on his hike.

Last year I was caught a bit unprepared so I made up for it this year and fixed two dishes for the potluck.

I managed the contents and the timing pretty well. The beef stew looked good,

as did the apple crisp.

I didn't get a picture of the 'after' version of the apple crisp, but that pot looked the same as the beef stew pot. Apparently I won't have to think about what to fix next year - more of the same.

After four days with the SKP folks, the sun set on the geocaching rally and it was time to move again, to yet another Quartzsite location.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Plomosa Road

Quartzsite is either one of those places you 'get,' or you don't 'get it' at all! A little town in the middle of the desert that attracts many thousands of RVers during the winter. We parked at the Plomosa Road area initially. It's the furthest north of town and one of the least crowded spots during the "Big Tent" event. We were there for over a week and the only close neighbor we had was a Fiberglas friend that we were excited to see.

There are lots of trails and roads through the desert that lead to interesting places or perhaps lead nowhere!

Our first afternoon, while wandering around the area, we visited the Bouse Fisherman intaglio. Since intaglio are large, ground level mosaic, it is difficult to get photos.

This photo was taken by a paragliding pilot.

This is the first time that we've attended the opening day of the week long "Big Tent" event. Some claim it is the largest RV show in the world but that doesn't seem reasonable to me. I must admit, the first day parking was a zoo. We got there about 40 minutes early and used the vast majority just to find a parking place that required 4WD.

I ended up back at the tent a couple other times as well. Always crowded, and always reminded me of a carnival. More stuff that wasn't related to RVs than stuff that was.

We did manage to find a couple flexible reading lamps for Jeff's rig.

Across the road, in the swap meet area, I finally located the TPMS that Jeff wanted. No special deal except for the shipping cost. At least it wasn't MORE expensive here like some of the stuff in the tent!

My favorite part about Quartzsite is wandering the roads through the desert. Sometimes the signs aren't particularly helpful.

Some may have been helpful at one time but are unreadable now. (I found another copy of this sign at the end of the road that was still sorta readable - Sunshine Marble Mine, LLC.)

Some signs are clear, readable, and meant to be ignored!

Geocaches are numerous throughout the area, often times close to the road, assuming the road is good enough for the geobuggy to travel.

The desert around here is very firm, with lots of creosote and these little thorny things. This one was the tallest I found at about 6". Many are just an inch or two high and leave your shoe full of thorns if you don't watch where you're walking.

Other geocaches require that you watch where you're reaching!

I was fortunate to pick up four First to Find caches one morning. This was the last of them for me,

just as the sun was coming up.

The land may be sparse, but the sunsets are fabulous!