THE “PERFECT STORM” IN PERFECT WEATHER
By Monique & Barry Zander, the Never-Bored RVers
Our first two parts of this brief continuing saga were posted Wednesday. Time to share more experiences at the awesome Quartzsite show:
PART III – SPENDING TIME AND $$$
Yesterday morning our neighbor Dean from Sun City, who I had only exchanged about 20 words with Tuesday, knocked on our door to invite us to take a few bags of succulent oranges and grapefruits he had brought from home. That camaraderie is one of the things we like best about being here in Quartzsite, Arizona.
When we left you last, we were wandering the aisles of the Quartzsite RV expo, plus gem & mineral booths, plus the acres of flea market.
After busting the budget Tuesday on items that were on our list of things we
knew we need for our travels over the next two years, on Wednesday we took a very careful approach. We had listed more items that we wanted to consider – and once again, ohmygod, we made 10 purchases which sent our credit card into shock.
But they are items we consider necessary, like a very good water filtration system, collapsible buckets and a plate the grinds garlic into a paste. Hundreds of dollars rolled off our plastic. Oh, well. We’ll worry about it when the bill arrives.
The best entertainment of the day is the young man hawking window-cleaning squeegees. We didn’t buy one, but we stayed among the crowd for 20 minutes enjoying his patter. If you want to be a salesman, this is the guy you want to emulate. He handed Monique the squeegee pole twice as an inducement to buy. When we didn’t, he was still smiling.
Why do so many RVers come to Quartzsite? From our observations, there are three reasons: 1) very good prices on just about anything you could need; 2) a great place to find things you didn’t think you needed until you got here, and 3) the fun of being with so many like-minded people, both in the big tent and in the campgrounds. It’s really a blast!
PART IV – THE ECONOMY HERE IS BOOMING
Since we are good friends with Ken and Carole Adams, Adventure Caravan wagonmasters on our Alaska trip over the summer, we asked them to tell us the truth: “How’s it going this year?” They are in a good spot to know, since their booth is the first one most people see when entering the big tent from the west.
They said the crowds are better than they’ve seen in years, and they indicated that people are buying. We were surprised to learn that their Copper Canyon trip to Mexico has been getting better-than-expected interest.
With ink still in my veins from years as a reporter, I looked for a few more opinions about the show. After buying an “induction cooking surface” at a booth, I asked the veteran booth vendor about her impression of the first days. We had just purchased the last stove they brought to Quartzsite, and they had another three days to go. Things were going well for them. “Why,” I asked.
“We are calling it ‘the perfect storm,’” she said. People are buying, especially the large number of Canadians who showed up this year to take advantage of a good exchange rate.
We stopped for a Walla-Walla Burger, whatever that is, and sat across from a Canadian couple visiting for the first time. They were blown away by the spectacle and enjoying the show. Interestingly, they also mentioned that they usually go to Mexico for the winter but passed it up this year. They heard from their circle of friends who visit Mexico each winter that it’s going as well as usual – no problems.
Today’s tips for future Quartzsite visitors: The free refuse station on U.S. 95N is only open Sunday through Wednesday, so Wednesday we
dropped a bag of trash into the bin. That is, in itself, another experience but not too bad. — I was warned to bring my lunch when I go to the post office. We normally have our mail forwarded but I’m a bit leery about getting it here. — We’re still amazed at the incredible hordes of people here and the continuing stream of RVs leaving and coming throughout the day – Bring cash. It helps in negotiating, and two of the three ATMs weren’t working when we needed one – negotiating (wheelin’ & dealin’) is all part of the process:
“I like y0ur whatchamacallit, but I don’t know. The guy on Aisle 3 has it for $10 less.”
“What if I throw in an extra 6 ounce bottle for the same price?”
“You got yourself a deal, my friend.” Not all, but many of the vendors are focused on moving product. Most will do what it takes to get the business.
In answer to questions from readers yesterday, it’s very pet-friendly around here. People walk the aisles with their dogs on leashes or in baskets. We see people riding bikes from the campgrounds to the show; don’t know where they park them, but it’s probably no problem. John, the 1,500-count sheet man, is in the back of Aisle 1. Verizon folks, including at the library in town, are just as annoyed as us AT&Ters about internet reception.
Next edition we’ll share more experiences with you, plus introduce you to the town of Quartzsite and more about the show.
More information at http://www.quartzsitervshow.com/
© All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved
From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.