Monday, February 4, 2019

Our Week in Quartzsite at RTR (AZ)

Margaret and I attended our first Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) this year. It was again held in Quartzsite, Arizona. After a four-hour drive, we arrived late Friday, January 11, its second day. Our backcountry drive through Borrego Springs, past the Salton Sea, Glamis, and lots of farmland was much more peaceful and interesting than taking the interstate.

Community Bulletin Boards
Because of the government shutdown, no individual permits were being issued, but there was an informal sign-in to get an idea of the visitor count. (It was several thousand this year!) The next morning we kind of had to chase down where the sign-in table was located, but that was the only snafu that affected us personally. We parked way out in the music (noise) area, which also served as the generator users’ area.

The Burning Van
My Keepsake Button

The Clouds Were Surreally Beautiful
Although we loved our camping site, it turned out to be a very long walk to the stage area up front (an approximately two-hour round trip walk, including signing in). Neither Margaret nor I was up to toting our chairs all that way and back to attend any seminars. Besides, some of those seminars have been published online to view. (Yay!) Also, we had been watching YouTube videos before we went, so we were already familiar with many of the topics being presented. Anyway, we played it a little simpler this time, mainly scoping out the setups and enjoying the free and safe camping. We have our chance next year to be a little more involved if we choose.

Margaret's Roadtrek and the Plomosa Mountains
Everyone we spoke with was friendly and helpful; and during our eight-night stay, it was never excessively noisy, even though we were in the music (noise) area. We also had very few problems with smoke from campfires; fresh air is always a treat, and it's especially important for Margaret because of her breathing issues. The weather for us was to our liking: mainly in the 60s during the day and the 40's in the evening. There was a day or so of rain, which meant that the day's events had to be canceled; but we didn't mind staying put inside the Roadtrek and enjoying the snug coziness of being in it with the rain (and lightning and thunder!) performing for us outside. (Being avid readers, this was no hardship for us whatsoever.)

We were well prepared with ample water, food, clothing, supplies, and previously downloaded entertainment. We had a decent T-Mobile signal for talk and text; but with many thousands of other users in the area utilizing the cell towers, data speeds often bogged down to less than a trickle. Still, it was better than nothing; and we managed just fine.

Margaret had wanted to take a different route back home via Box Canyon, but she luckily happened to see a video showing the massive flood damage that occurred three months previously, with no repairs as of yet. Hopefully, we'll be able to go that route next year, although I imagine the cost to repair all that damage is not very high on the list of California road repairs needed. So it might be a long wait, unfortunately.
Therefore, since the Box Canyon route was unavailable, Plan B was to drive the same backcountry route home that we came in on, so as to limit our interstate travel to only about the first twenty miles. We both prefer traveling with less traffic at slower speeds through scenery compared to dealing with the tension of high-speed interstate travel. The speed limit on I-10 in Arizona is 75 MPH, and you know that means people were driving even faster than that.

We're already hoping to attend both RTRs next year. (A separate Women’s RTR is held just prior to the regular open RTR each year.) In the meantime, I can revisit this beautiful area in my mind and in the photographs and video I captured while camping there.
The Sunsets Were Singularly Stunning
 Our first full day at RTR 2019 (12 Jan) by Virginia.
[If you have trouble viewing this embedded movie, 
you may view it directly on YouTube here:]

NOTE: Clicking on the photos in the post will open them in a larger view (recommended!). If you want to see more photos of the beautiful places we've shared, we have them in this Flickr Collection: Over the Hill Sisters Photo Collection.

1 comment:

Mary Jo said...

Sounds like you and Margaret had a wonderful time I loved the sunset picture,