Saturday, January 23, 2010

Storm in Quartzsite

On Thursday, Jan. 21, the storms that had been bombarding California reached Quartzsite where I was parked. I didn't attempt to photograph during the storm which set a record for rainfall in a 24 hour period and was accompanied by high winds. 50 mph blasts rocked the rigs. At least one gust hit 62 mph.

But just before the sun went down, the rain stopped and a little bit of sun poked under the clouds on the mountains to our west. I went out and got the photo above. That morning I walked across that wash.

By the following morning, although the clouds were still thick and we had some light showers, the wash dried enough for me to cross it. This saquaro had been standing the day before. Now the rushing water had washed around the roots loosening it so the high wind could topple it. That is my motorhome behind it. The photo on the left shows the dry wash before the main part of the storm hit. The saguaro is standing

To the immediate right is a photo of Tom Doerr who took the arial photos in my previous blog. Although the skies were getting dark the morning this was taken, it was calm and he was able to make one last flight. Here he is landing
As the storm broke up, we had great cloud formations. The 5th wheel belongs to friends Sylvia and Jack Dohollow.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Quartzsite, Arizona

arial photos by Tom Doerr

My friend, Nancy, refers to Quartzsite as the "Woodstock of the Geriatric Set." A little harsh perhaps as most of us are grey haired but hardly infirm. Still, this is a gathering spot for Rvers in the middle of winter. The small town swells as 80,000 or so RVs pull into the town and surrounding BLM areas.
Our group is known as the Boomers and we are a bit younger, overall, than the population of town. The photo above shows our gathering from the air. One of our members, Tom Doerr, flies an ultralight and photographs. This is his image. I know it is a small reproduction in the blog, but my rig is near the front. At the very bottom edge, a little right of center you can see a bus conversion and pickup. Just above it is my white Toyota and my motorhome. I am not being anti-social; those of us who don't run generators tend to park on the north side of the wash where it is quieter. But we walk over regularly to join the others.

Our group is at the very edge of the allowed camping area. The main congestion is the faint white speckled area you see in front of the mountains in the photo on the right.
I am off the the right of the main gathering, where you see two white specs fairly close together so that they almost look merged from this angle and distance.
Unfortuately, to fit it on my blog, I have to downsize. We have a couple 8 X 12 copies posted at our gathering and you can really see the full scene.

My reaction, on our initial 1994 visit, was that it was awful. It was way too crowded and flea markets are not my thing. But over the years I feel drawn to return. It is a place to see all the folks I haven't seen for a year or often more. It is a place to meet new people, get acquainted with people I have heard about, read about, but not met face to face. It, like Woodstock, is an experience.
Before Quartzsite I spent two weeks in Tucson. I parked at Myrna's house. She and I met at Glacier, driving the red "jammer" buses. She is adventuresome, a world traveler withgood knowledge of social, political, natural and human history. Being with her is always a pleasure. She came out to Ajo, to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day before I went to Tucson.

We began Weight Watchers together. I've talked about losing the extra pounds for a long time and have tried on my own. This was the right thing to do. And doing it with someone, long enough to establish some new patterns was ideal. Telling all of you about it in my blog will be another incentive to keep it up.
I saw RV friends who now live in Tucson: Judy, Chuck and Nan, DeAnna and Al, Dorthea and Mike. I spend a great day visiting with my cousin, Sharon.

I stopped for a couple days in Tonopah, AZ to soak in the wonderful hot mineral water, in old tubs under a palo verde tree.

The January\February issue of Escapees Magazine features my photo, from Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone, on the cover. I'll have an article in the next issue. If you want to see the cover check , click on the center circle labelled "wannabes," then click on "EducationKnowledge" followed by "magazine" Much to my surprise I discovered they have put another of my photos on the cover of their annual directory. I expect my next mail bag will contain my extra proof sheets as well as a check.