Quartzsite, Yuma, and Why Arizona

01 Driving thru the desertWe headed out to the Arizona desert in mid-January, after our wonderful 2-1/2 month visit with family.  Our first stop was in Quartzsite for the big annual RV Rally.  The entire desert is covered in RVs.

01 Quartzsite BLM

It’s an enormous party and many RVs are clustered together in wagon circles.  You can shop til you drop, with aisle after aisle of vendors in the big tent set up for the rally, as well as acres of flea market style booths set up all over town.We walked through the big tent and bought a few little things, but we were more in the mood to just veg out in the desert.

02 Quartzsite Dome Rock BLM

We haven’t been living in the RV since Oct. 31, so we enjoyed just getting back into the lifestyle.  The only social contact we had was with Brenda and Hector of Island Girl Walkabout blog.  We were very much looking forward to getting to know them better after meeting them briefly last year.  We got together a couple of times over the weekend and we had such a great time!  I wish I’d taken some pictures!  Here is a picture of the 4 of us out to dinner that I snagged off of their blog.  They are so much fun and we can’t wait to meet up with them again.  Hector is an AMAZING photographer.  If you’ve never seen their blog, you should check it out.

Hector and Brenda


We headed down to Yuma to checkout the boondocking on BLM land off of Ogilby Road that Nina of Wheeling It blog wrote about.  We were out in the middle of wide open nowhere and we loved it.

03 Yuma Ogilby Road BLM-51We vegged out some more, hiked a little bit, enjoyed a few happy hour campfires, and got to watch our favorite TV shows.  Yep, you heard that right.  We caved in and signed up for Direct TV.  So now it doesn’t matter how far off the grid we camp, we can still watch the morning news shows with our coffee, and never miss another episode of Big Bang Theory.  AND we absolutely love our new solar panels which generate enough power to let us enjoy not having to worry about running the generator at all.

03 Yuma Ogilby Road BLM-2805 Yuma-Ogilby Rd BLM-American Girl Mine-4106 Yuma Ogilby Road BLM-34Lucy says “Let’s go for a nice long hike to the American Girl Mine Pit.  I’ve got my red boots on and I’m ready to go!”

07 Yuma Ogilby Road BLM-5008 Yuma Ogilby Road BLM-4909 Yuma-Ogilby Rd BLM-American Girl Mine-09

Yuma-Ogilby Rd BLM-American Girl Mine-18We spent a week on Ogilby Road, then went in to one of the RV Resorts in Yuma for 3 days (for free).  They were giving out coupons for this resort when we were walking through the big tent in Quartzsite.  No strings attached.  It was great!  It gave us the opportunity to leave Lucy in an air conditioned RV while we made a day trip over to Los Algodones, Mexico, to do a little shopping.  With a full hook-up site, I was able to do all my laundry and also take nice long showers.  We had Royal Flush come out and give our black tank a proper cleaning.  Then Papi and crew showed up to wash our car and RV for $45.  So we were all clean and shiny and ready to head back out to the dusty wilderness.

Next stop, Why, in southern Arizona.  This was another free BLM site we found on the Wheeling It blog.

23 Why BLM Campsite-02

The town of Why is a little blip on the map, but the nearby town of Ajo actually has some interesting touring.  We took a drive out to the old copper mine pit which was what supported this entire town for over 100 years.

12 Ajo Copper Mine Town-12

Every single ring of this pit had railroad track on it when it was operational.  We heard a lot of interesting stories from the curator of the Copper Mine Museum, an old fella that worked in the pit for many years.

13 Ajo Copper Mine Town-14

11Ajo Copper Mine Town-09

I couldn’t believe our luck that we were in town for the Annual Old Time Fiddlers Contest!  And it wasn’t just a local thing.  I heard introductions of Contestants that came from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado.  I’m sure there were other states represented, but those were just some of the ones I remember.  We heard amazing fiddling from young and old, men and women.  The oldest fiddler was 89 years old!  and good!  I got some great video.

17 Old Time Fiddlers Contest-10

14 Old Time Fiddlers Contest-0915 Old Time Fiddlers Contest-0216 Old Time Fiddlers Contest-12

We were camped only a couple of miles from the entrance to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.  We drove 20 miles through the park to the Visitor Center, then hiked to the Twin Peaks campground.  Then we drove the scenic 21-mile dirt road around the Diablo Mtns.  It was so beautiful.  We picked up the scenic drive guide and stopped at each numbered pull-out to read the paragraph about what we were seeing. 28 cactus species live here in the monument.  I am now a cactus expert.

This is an Organ Pipe Cactus…18 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument-Canon-26

19 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument-Canon-1420 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument-Canon-31

We brought a picnic lunch and stopped at this ramada to devour it.  It was a perfect day.21 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument-Canon-16I don’t know how he does it.  Ouch!22 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument-24

We enjoyed our visit to Why and now we’re ready to move on.10 Why AZ BLM campsite-06