by Neal Johns
Quartzsite never changes, Quartzsite is always different! This year there was a bigger crowd in Quartzsite than usual overall, while many of the usual DE suspects and hanger-on¹s did not show up at our campsite. Marian and I, along with ex-brother-in-law Bill (Willie) Young, from Whidbey Island, WA, got there Wednesday afternoon. When I married Marian, somehow I forgot to tell her about all my weird ex-relatives. Heh, heh, heh.
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Quartzsite Shop-a-Thon and Day Trips
January 22-26, 2009
The following are the names were gathered of those who were in and out of camp while we were there: Bob & Shirley Bolin; Lou & Pat Carfield; Bill & Barbara Gossett; Sunny & Jean Hansen; Charles Hughes; Jim & Jeanne Jacobs; Neal & Marian Johns w/Feliz and Blue; Ed & Maxine Manes; Marilyn Martin w/Solace; Michael Martin; Homer Meek; Dan Messersmith w/Buddy; Carl & Nancy Noah; Dick & Connie Taylor w/Sassy; Donald Sweinhart & Betty Wallin w/Molly and Dan & Rose (whose last name was unfortunately not recorded).
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by Bob & Marilyn Martin
We left early, but at San Bernardino we lost the motorhome transmission. Thanks to our cell phone, Neal, a giant tow truck, and our Toyota pickup camper we made it to camp by 5:00 p.m.
Dick Taylor with Mighty Mouse, Nancy Woodside, Doug Nunn, with Sidney & Murphy, Bill Ott, Dan Messersmith with Spiker, Pete and Bonnie Panattoni, Bob and Betty Oliver with Suki, Bob and Shirley Bolin, Dwight Stroud, Ed and Maxine Manes were all there in the Happy Hour circle, but not waiting for us! OH WELL!
We took a vote on what to do on Saturday, and shopping won! Ann Marie Nelson and rock-hound-friend Brenda Nelson found the blue flashing light about 2:00 a.m.
Saturday, Ed Manes, at my request, led the group off to the Main Event, so I could get some cough drops to see if Shirley Bolin's cough solution would work for me. Back at the Main Event we heard from Wendy and Steve Mathison with Donna and Mike Davis who were at Tyson Wells where someone had said that we were. OH WELL! Nancy, Doug, Ann Marie and Brenda went to meet them. Some of us went to see the RC airplane demonstration. All had straggled back to camp by 4:00 p.m. except Ann Marie and Brenda who didn't arrive until dark. There were enough hors d'oeuvres to keep all contented along with the normal getting up to date with the happenings of friends not recently seen. Ed won first place in the ugly hat contest with his humorous original creation.
The camp was quiet, and cold by 8:00 p.m. A few of us snuggled up to the good campfire thanks to Bill Ott and Bob Oliver. Not much later Dario walked into camp to see if anyone was still up. Nope!
Sunday The Good Friends were having a big breakfast and invited us to follow Dick Taylor to Swansea and environs. We passed so the Olivers, Manes, Bolins, Panattonis, and Dan and Dwight in Dan's Jeep left camp following us to explore a road east of Dripping Springs. I missed a left fork, and we arrived at Dripping Springs, which was not on my agenda. Turns out most had not been there so it was not a disaster. We backtracked and found the correct canyon. Great place! A cabin at Apache Chief mine was open, there were two unopened bottles of champagne, emergency supplies, and a bunch of rockhounds poking around the area. For a while the road followed a ridge for several miles. Great views! We tried twice to get south to Budweiser Spring but ran into the wildlife preserve which had closed the road. Very frustrating as the road was clearly visible beyond the sign which was what the 15' map showed. Net result was we headed back to camp.
Dan decided that work beckoned so hooked up his miniature trailer and headed home. Happy Hour commenced, and it quickly brought in Chuck and Jeanice Kalbach. Later when the campfire was going, Delmer and Karen Ross stopped by on their way back to Coon Hollow from a run.
Monday was a shopping day at Tyson Wells. Nancy, Doug, and Ann Marie shopped until about noon and then headed home. We have become so expert that we had completed Tyson Wells and the Prospectors' Panorama by noon.
Back in camp we welcomed Bob, Sue and Toby Jaussaud with Charles and Mary Hughes tagging along. They were soon off to Tyson Wells to try and catch up. Dario had moved his motorhome down to join us and brought friends Marcy Morrison and David, along with Fred Cooper.
There were plenty of yum-yums at Happy Hour. Then there was a major campfire with a log that took two people to move.
Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. we headed to Clouds. The main purpose was to have the good barbecue beef there. Even so, we saw most folks carrying a load of packages. After lunch the shopping continued in spite of some sprinkles. By 4:00 p.m. most were back and Tom and Liz Taylor came by to join us at another groaning table.
Wednesday guided by the Bolins we were off to tour the Cibola Wildlife Refuge to see the migrating birds. There were more Canadian Geese than you could count, deer (not a bird) Herons, Egrets, Kestrels and more. Then crossing the Colorado River to California 95 we went south to stop at a petroglyph site
The next stop was the main purpose of the trip which was to have lunch at the world famous Chretin's Mexican Restaurant (485 S. 15th Avenue, 520-782-1291) in Yuma. The food was excellent, and we all stuffed ourselves!
The Bolins then took us to see some ground figures (intaglios) just west of Yuma. From there some went to a wildlife overview via Betty's Kitchen, and others headed back to camp. This was a great, if windy, day. Many thanks, Bolins.
Thursday, leaving Jaussauds and Manes in charge of welcoming any late comers, we reluctantly headed home. Thanks to all who pinch-hitted for us, this was another good outing.