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Old 02-20-2009, 09:58 PM   #1
Manual Garcia O'Kely
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Default Quartzsite/Quartzfest

Don't know if anyone went down this year. I did, but it turned out to be a bit of a mistake - I was improperly prepared by failing to ask good questions...like "are there any sort of toilets there" for which the answer is a resounding NO. Bummer.

A couple of the pay locations near the site have pit toilets but basically the federal lands are intended for the self-contained.

The camping is very ad-hoc - essentially it's a large open area and if you can drive to it, someone has probably camped on it. Fires are not a problem, although most people seem to go inside with darkness - these are the ones with large campers and many of whom live there all winter.

And boy, do some people get out of hand! I mean that in a good way for the most part. I saw one Amateur camp that had a portable room 2x bigger than their rig, which was not small either.

Roofs of large RV's completely covered with solar panels, several of the 400 watt wind generators as well.

The weather? It was awsome for the 3rd week in January, I got a tan, did some operating portable. I was solo since it was a radio trip.

The shopping was a mixed bag - I got one day of shopping in and did not get everywhere. Just south of 10. But it was interesting. I got a lot of good rocks for the XYL's projects, as requested.

So, provided you are willing and able to go self-contained, it's worth a trip at least once, although it's a dusty, tree less place. The stars were bright as a reading light.

Surprisingly, I saw no yayhoos, no loud drunks or brawls, no gunfire [THAT surprised me]. It's a pretty well contained place considering you are camping with about 200,000 of your best friends. Apparently they are going to have a WalMart not to far away next year.
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:29 AM   #2
wa8yxm
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Default Travel in Quartsite

If you have a 4x4 (and even if you don't going north) there is a back road, dirt, not even gravel, more like an old wagon trail, that will get you TO the event

I've done it both ways in a front wheel drive but do not suggest it

you have to be careful but you can get there

Then take SR-95 back south

Saves about 2 hours in travel time or so it seems when you are in the SR-95 parking lot


On the map it shows 'Old Yuma Road" as I recall
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Old 02-28-2009, 01:20 AM   #3
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Also went mid January for the first time and had a great time.

(2) other ham friends invited us (Dick M. & SCVJeff WA6EQU) and formed a U-shaped parking area with the MH's. After we spent (4) days, we left and I believe (2) more friends took our place and they continued to have fun I heard.

In the center we cooked and had (3) different fires going at the same time, propane bottle, open wood pit and some type of circular chimney looking thing that actually put out a lot of heat. Believe me we needed heat!

During the day activities included installing an additional solar panel, roof top on WA6EQU MH and other maintenance activities.

GEO Caching seems to be real popular, as these guys were off into the desert digging and burying something for others to find.

MGO is right, middle of the desert (btw, we were approx. a mile east of 95 along Plomosa Rd., south from there along a natural wash) with others parked all over.

Very good crowd, telescopes, some strange looking RV's, MH clubs and of course off road vehicles.

Other days spent in "town" wherever that actually is under the big tent and some smaller tents with endless stuff to ponder whether you needed it or not.

Self containment is the key, again as MGO has stated, but there's always the place down on US95, I believe called the "Pit Stop" (and if not I apologize but it would be a good name) where the RV's pull in from either direction and the guys working there dump your tanks, fill the water, top off propane, throw some money at them and you're back in action for another few days.

Sorry for the long post, but this was a lot of fun and plan on returning.
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:50 AM   #4
Dizzy-Dick
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Default Permits?

Just wondering, do you need permits to camp there? I was told one time that you need a permit from the BLM to camp on any of their land. Is that true and if it is where do you get the permits?

I have never been to Quartsite, but have been close a couple of times. I go to the ghost town of Stanton when the GPAA has their "common gold dig". Always have enjoyed the area up that way, noth of Wikenburg and off the main road at Congress.

73's,
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Old 06-04-2009, 09:49 AM   #5
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You do need a sticker to camp on the BLM land, at least where I park (Not sure about where the hams park, I park with www.rvforum.net) I think the ham gathering area is free

Of course the sticker also gets me access to the one and only BLM dump station
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Old 06-04-2009, 04:37 PM   #6
Manual Garcia O'Kely
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzy-Dick View Post
Just wondering, do you need permits to camp there? I was told one time that you need a permit from the BLM to camp on any of their land. Is that true and if it is where do you get the permits?

I have never been to Quartsite, but have been close a couple of times. I go to the ghost town of Stanton when the GPAA has their "common gold dig". Always have enjoyed the area up that way, noth of Wikenburg and off the main road at Congress.

73's,
There are several BLM areas that are fee areas, this gives you access to their water and trash service, a couple of outhouses and the poop dump. You buy either a weekly pass or an annual pass for these areas.

But, just south of MP 99 is an open area with no services at all, but the limit is 14 days.
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Old 06-04-2009, 06:23 PM   #7
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Default Got to try it sometime

Thans for the info. Got to try it sometime. Is it mostly crowded (I heard that at times there is a million people there) in Jan. and Feb.? Maybe March or April would be better. Yeh, I knnow, it gets hot starting in March.

73's and TNX for the info,
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:32 PM   #8
Manual Garcia O'Kely
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzy-Dick View Post
Thans for the info. Got to try it sometime. Is it mostly crowded (I heard that at times there is a million people there) in Jan. and Feb.? Maybe March or April would be better. Yeh, I knnow, it gets hot starting in March.

73's and TNX for the info,
I'm TOLD that there are roughly 200,000 people in the area for the winter. I don't know if that's true or not, but damn there's a lot of people there so it would not surprise me.

They are opening either a costco or walmart near Quartzsite IIRC.
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:44 AM   #9
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Kind of fun, here are less than 1,000 people there year round (Way less in fact)

And as you said hundreds of thousands in January.... The poor police department is all I (A retired police dispatcher) can say
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Old 06-05-2009, 09:50 AM   #10
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Opps. duplicate
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Old 06-05-2009, 06:44 PM   #11
Manual Garcia O'Kely
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It's probably worth a couple of days just for the flea market if you go during Jan/Feb during the 'fest. Esp. if you are into rocks.

The weather was great when I was there - warm and sunny and just enough breeze to keep the air moving a bit. I got the start of a winter tan.

BTW, there was a guy with a shower trailer - I think it was $5 for a nice hot shower, which was nice after 3 days.
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:45 AM   #12
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IF you are wanting a shower.... The north side of the freeway, East of SR-95, there is a laundromat. He's got showers.. Nice HOT showers. He provides towels (I do not recall if he provides soap and shampoo but I got those in my bag anyway) but it is nice. Very nice

Bring a clean bathrobe or house coat and you could, in theory, change into those, pop your cloths in the washer, Shower while they "Shower" and when all done, change into the same cloths you wore in... only clean
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