Quartzsite, Arizona

The next stop on our sweep through the south took us to Quartzite, a little town out in the desert of Arizona, to spend a week with Josh’s grandparents. Now, usually I’d write about where Quartzite is located, what it’s known for, and what we did there, but I wanted to do something different this time. During our adventures, Josh and I often consider what life would be like if the places we visit were our permanent home. This time around I had a vision of life that was so vivid I had to write it out as a story. So I did. This fictional piece describing our life in Quartzite has been sitting on my desktop ever since we left, but now it’s time to set it free. Enjoy!

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Way out in the desert of Arizona, among the cacti and jack rabbits, you’ll find a little road called Winters. Turn right onto Winters and drive down a ways. You should see a neighborhood of RVs. These are the snow birds and most of them are our friends. The ones who aren’t are simply the ones we haven’t met yet.

Keep on driving, past the 38 footer with the saguaro garden, and then past Jose’s house (he decided to stay full time and made himself that beautiful house of his). We’re the lot on the right with the cactus sculptures made of horse shoes. My grandpa made those. He put solar lights on ’em so they shine at night. If you pass the lot with Mark’s trailer sittin’ on three wheels, you’ve gone too far. Grandpa’s gonna get him fixed up soon, but for now he’s SOL.

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Any-old-way, turn into the lot with the cactus sculptures and go all the way to the back of the lot. Grandpa’s got this whole property, but he shares the space with his friends. His RV is up front. Grandma will probably see you comin’ and give you a wave. Then you’ll pass Sue and Dan’s rig. They’re from Montana. I’ve been to their house a few times. It’s the kind of landscape that leaves you without words. Next up is Joe and Marlean’s. They’re from Wyoming and have been traveling with the gramps for years. They almost didn’t come this year, I’m so glad they did though. They always have the best stories.

Finally, down at the end, right before the wash, is our trailer. It isn’t much, especially next to all of the big RVs in the area, but it is home and more than enough space for our simple needs. The kitchen is fully stocked with a small oven, four burner stove, sink, and microwave. There isn’t a lot of counter space, but who needs it anyway. The nearby VFW serves great food at even better prices. It’s all volunteer, you know. They work for tips only. You don’t have to be a member. Anyone can eat there. We particularly like to go on Thursdays, that’s $1 taco night. I get four tacos and two margaritas for only $8. Can’t beat that!

Around 8:30 in the morning a collection of us, we’re all friends you know, walk to town for breakfast. We like the walk. It’s a nice opportunity to chat and to keep active. Today we walked to the RV sales lot to load up on their free pancake special. You get two free pancakes, sometimes four depending on how the cook feels that day, and all the free coffee you can drink. They have free juice too, but I don’t like it much. The coffee’s better.

While we were there, we went ahead and looked around a bit. It is nice to see some of the new models coming out. My favorite of the day was a Winnabego C-Class. I know it is a little small, but it has everything we could need, plus some. We also checked out the vendors in the nearby lot. All sorts of vendors, but mostly rock vendors. Rocks are a big deal here. You can find just about any kind of rock you want.

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If the weather is nice, which most of the time it is, we’ll get some work done. We’ve got plenty of hobbies to keep us busy. Josh tip taps away on that computer of his in front of the window. It overlooks the wash, the desert, and the foothills off in the distance. Can’t find any better view than that for miles. He should be able to come up with all sorts of creative ideas with a view like that. I’m filling up my afternoon reading a great book. It’s hard to find a good book, but when I find one, that’s all I want to do with my time.

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We’ll meet back up with our friends around 3:30 for dinner. Most places start serving dinner at 4:00, so meeting at 3:30 gives us plenty of time to walk over and get a good table. The service isn’t always great. It’s seniors serving seniors most of the time, but that suits us just fine. We’re in no hurry. Life is easy here.

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Although the story is mostly fictional and written in my pretend Quartzite voice, most of the events and all of the pictures are real. We had a great time visiting the grandparents and getting to see what life is like with the retired folk in their winter homes. We went to nearly every breakfast and dinner place in town, shopped for RVs, wandered the vendor booths, and even had ourselves a BBQ for Jen’s birthday. Despite the slower pace of life, our week went by in a flash, and then it was time to get back on the road and on to our next stop.


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