Into the Desert

As soon as we rolled into Quartzsite I remembered it. We’d stayed there for more than a week two years ago and spent hours exploring the desert at Scaddan Wash where we camped. It was our first real experience of boondocking and I loved it. Coming from a farm on the big flat of Alberta, it’s tough to be sandwiched into an RV park and restricted to peeing on one small patch of earth designated for that purpose. The plethora of canine odour that rises out of the sand is pretty enticing, at first, but even I have to admit the place rather stinks. That was life in Las Vegas.

Walking at Plomosa Road BLM

Our first night in Quartzsite we stayed in an RV park right in town and I was a little concerned. What about the desert camping? But, after only one night, and a day of having the trailer at Solar Bill’s, we were out at Plomosa Road BLM – room to breathe, freedom to pee on any bush or rock I chose, and even some off-leash time around camp. When we arrived there were some other trailers and motorhomes in the area but as the week progressed there were hundreds, maybe even a thousand – something to do with a big RV show in a monstrous tent. Didn’t get to see it – didn’t really want to.

Palm Canyon

I was quite content with the things we dogs did get in on – a hike to Palm Canyon, another hike at Buckskin Mountain, and daily walking around the Plomosa Road camping area which is more than two miles long and at least half a mile wide. There was one thing about the desert I had forgotten about though, and it wasn’t a happy remembrance…sore feet. Quartzsite is a rocky place, and the rocks are not smooth like the stones we have at home. I’d try to follow vehicle tracks where it was slightly more dusty and less rocky, but after day two I didn’t want to go for walks much anymore. It was then they put my boots on me. They’re made for snow but also provide some protection from the rocks. A bit embarrassing to have to wear them, yes, but I couldn’t help skipping along just a little that morning, my feet much happier. Not sure what Chico’s feet are made of, but obviously tougher stuff than mine.

Hiking at Buckskin Mountain

Cooling our feet in the Colorado River after a hike.

On Wednesday night I heard Teresa and Nollind discussing a day to leave Plomosa and they decided on Friday the 24th of January. The next morning, as soon as they were up, there was talk and activity uncharacteristic of relaxing mornings in camp. Something about the black water tank being full?

So, with the sun barely cresting the hills to the east we were hitched up, legs up, packed up and on our way, with a pit stop at the aptly named “Pit Stop” in Quartzsite to dump the waste water tanks and fill with fresh. California here we come…one day early.

Leaving Plomosa

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