An Early Arrival

My wife Sharan and I pulled into Quartzsite on December 24th. We didn’t know what to expect. This desert community supports just a few thousand permanent residents. However, it would soon be home to over 100,000 RVs, trailers, and vendors galore. Quartzsite is famous for hosting a huge flea market as well as gem and mineral shows. We discovered that the big influx wouldn’t occur until January. At Christmas, it was still relatively quiet.

There were a few hundred RVs around, but the campsites were sparsely populated. In fact, the RVs that were there seemed to be set in place. This community has few permanent structures. The business area consists predominantly of tents and a scattering of trailers and motor homes, which serve as both stores and dwellings. (Even the dining room of a main street restaurant is a tent).

Driving through town, we could see large empty areas with signs announcing the upcoming Quartzsite gem shows. A few of the mineral dealers were already setting up. Huge displays were visible from the road. From a moving vehicle, I could see quartz crystals a hundred feet away. That was quite an impressive display! Though I…