We are in a bit of shock right now. After 3 ½ weeks in the quiet, picturesque desert of Borrego Springs we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the largest RV gathering in the country known as Quartzsite.
We are at Quartzsite helping out as an exhibitor. The booth is all set up and ready to receive over 100,000 visitors for the big show geared towards RV’ers and rock collectors. The striking contrast from where we have been to where we are now is been a shock to our system. Oh where is my precious Borrego desert!
Quartzsite started with just 60 exhibitors in 1984 and has grown to a 20 acre facility housing “The Big Tent” with over 200 exhibitors. And Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama adjacent to The Big Tent sells gems and rocks along with every kind of bolt, kitchen utensil, yard art, sunglasses, walking sticks, salsa and cowboy hats. Not to mention cans of beans the size of your head.
You will even find nuts here…screw on, sugar coated and human. We were directed to our RV site by a fifty something gentleman and his dreadlock counterpart sporting a freshly rolled joint…for medicinal purposes of course.
Snugged in our
parking lot RV site just steps away from the Big Tent, we are getting cozy with our neighbors who are here to sell their wares. Such a super friendly bunch that all know each other from years past. As people have gotten to know each other through the years they meet up and park next to each other every year. That doesn’t keep them from inviting us new comers into the fold with happy hours and potlucks. I got my first high-five from this group for my backing skills while parking the RV. (I’m surprised by how few women actually drive their RV’s)
Kenny King and his daughter Kim do an amazing job at running Quartzsite. Probably one of the best run shows that we have seen. We received a dinner invitation at their temporary home right on the property for steak and lobster…yes lobster freshly caught by Kim’s fiancé the day before. We ate outside on the porch and watched an amazing sunset over the “Q” painted mountain.
Kenny’s stories of the past were amazing tails of celebrities like Willie Nelson, made and lost fortunes and his own celebrity status in small town of Quartzsite. We all laughed when he told us it is a jar to his ego when he goes back to his home in California as no one cares who he is there. He started in the RV awning business years ago and has been involved with the RV industry ever since.
This is their 32nd year at Quartzsite and it brings a huge economic boost to this small community of 3600. It is estimated that some 750,000-1,000,000 pass through this area for the winter months for the big event, plentiful sunshine and warmth.
Our environment couldn’t be more opposite of our desert solitude of the last few weeks, but the warmth of new friends made all around us couldn’t be more endearing.