Quartzsite is working out, so far. There’s not much nightlife, which is to say, there’s virtually none. I’ve been told that some restaurants close down at 7 p.m. because everyone eats early. So last night I hung out at Jim Breitinger’s trailer over in the flea market area. Jim is a full-time Airstreamer who travels around selling meteorites, jewelry, and rocks. (We last saw him in Denver, and previously in Vermont.)
A few of the other rock dealers came over for dinner. On the right in this photo (with the lanyard around his neck) is Jose, who sold Emma a meteorite back in Denver last fall. The people who travel around selling beads, rock, jewelry, gems, and other things always have interesting stories to tell, so it was a pretty lively night.
Sleeping here in La Posa West LTVA was peaceful. The Interstate is less than a mile away, so it can be heard, but not through closed windows. The only real noise was generators running for a couple of hours starting around sunset. The town of Quartzsite is along the north side of I-10, and the largest LTVAs are along the south side, so there’s no city lights or traffic to speak of over here.
One nice thing about boondocking in the desert is that there’s no problem getting a good position for solar gain. The trailer is oriented so that the curbside gets hit squarely with the early morning sun, which warms the trailer in the morning and lessens my need for the furnace. The solar panels really kick in after 9 a.m. and there’s nothing to obstruct getting the maximum gain all day. If my panels tilted I could generate more power than I need, but since they are flat-mounted I can only get about 25 amp-hours per day, which means I need to watch my power consumption (see solar report below).
View from Q Mountain. La Posa LTVA to the right.
Near La Posa West and the highway frontage road (Kuehn Rd) is “Q Mountain”. It’s a hill with a giant white “Q” painted on it. You can drive up to the base of the hill if you have 4WD and climb it in about five minutes for a nice view of the area. In the photo above, if you follow the torn scrap of flag straight to the right, you can just barely see a speck of silver. That’s me. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)
There are tons of RVs being sold here, most of which didn’t interest me. But this one did. It’s a Casita knock-off called an “Oliver“. Actually, calling it a knock-off is somewhat unfair. It’s actually a huge improvement. I toured them and was more impressed with it than any other RV I’ve ever seen (barring Airstreams, of course). It has a double-wall insulated fiberglass shell, aluminum frame, big holding tanks, electric levelers, beautiful appointments, and so many bells & whistles I can’t even list them. They cost almost as much as an equivalent length Airstream at about $26k, but my initial impression was that they are worth the price.
Solar report: at 8 a.m., power consumed was 46 amps. At 4 p.m., solar gained was 25 amps, for a net of -21 amps. Given that I had full sun all day, I now know my daily budget. I did a lot of work on the laptop today, so I’ll have to compensate for that drain by keeping the furnace set low. Last night I kept it at 52 degrees, with an extra blanket on the bed, and was comfortable. I can’t wait to get that catalytic heater installed in March!