2008 Trip Reports - Quartzsite
By Neal Johns
Willie (Bill) Young and I arrived Wednesday afternoon and had the usual campsite all to ourselves. Willie boy is my ex-brother-in-law and was taking the place of Marian, who stayed home with a cold. Willie is a poor substitute for my current wife and has hairy legs to boot, but he has been flying down from Washington State for several years to get his desert fix.
I turned on my truck emergency blinkers to guide any lost-in-the-dark Desert Explorers into the camp but it was little help to Sunny and Jean Hansen who didn’t use his new GPS and was stumped by the big words in the directions. They finally made it by calling a psychic on their cell phone. The next night the neighbors 100 yards away thought we might be in trouble and came over to check on the flashing lights. My faith is humanity has been restored. We thanked them and stopped by their motorhome the next morning to thank them again.
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When we got back from shopping, we returned to camp for a big surprise! Very big, indeed; an EarthRoamer was parked there! You have to see an EarthRoamer to believe it. 22 inch tires holding up 16,000 pounds of four wheel drive camper with everything inside you could ever dream for including a full Ham radio setup and 510 watts of solar panels and a Jeep towed behind. The decor was late Bellagio; I slunk back to my pop-up and cried. For those who have a little loose change in their bank, check out www.earthroamer.com . The very nice couple that the EarthRoamer had seduced was Nancy and Carl Noah. One of their good friends was Malcolm Roode’s brother and he told them about the Desert Explorers.
The next day we (the Hansen’s, the Roode’s, Homer Meek, the Noah’s, Bob Oliver and Willie Boy and I decided to follow Sunny and Jean Hansen around while they checked out some petroglyph sites. Two were duds unless you count the great desert scenery we passed by. The third was the jackpot: southwest of Quartzsite at the end of some “interesting” two track roads was Tule Spring. The road ended a mile or so from the spring but there were petros near where we parked. The weather was great and all enjoyed their “Desert Fix”.
Saturday was the Big Day. I had promised Jim Watson a trip to Dripping Springs if he showed up. He did show up and off the same crew went through the BLM campground to take the back way to Dripping Springs that takes you over the dreaded Waterfall. The entry canyon had been severely washed out in 2006 and was still interesting (You readers know what “interesting” means but it was a bit of a shock for the several people who had not been there before). Nancy Noah drove the completely stock, low slung Jeep like a pro. There is a rumor (I am starting it here) that husband Carl had his eyes closed. He sure was quite on the CB for a Ham. :-) I freaked Malcolm out by putting the Tilt’n Hilton in Low, Low, Grunt (a 4.7:1 extra gearbox) and whining up and over the waterfall. He said it sounded like an electric motor.
The Dripping Springs newbies were stunned by the beauty of the area when we came over the rise and saw the glowing Teddy Bear Cactus garden set in a rough mountain cove. Even the cold stone in my chest where normal people have a heart beat a little faster. I showed everyone where the old arrastra was and how one of the ground smooth sidewall stones was placed in the rebuilt miners hut by an unknowing re-builder. Sunny and Jean led everyone on a petro tour and was thrilled because they had never been there before.
For more pictures and a different perspective, check out the Noah’s website:
http://ncnoah.com/ You will see them in person soon because they joined the Museum and subscribed to the DE Newsletter! (I have no doubt they were impressed with me – one way or another :-).
A Quartzsite mystery: Jim Proffitt showed up, disappeared, and was never seen again! I’ll bet he finds his way to the Rendezvous, though. See you all there.