With the ending of the Fiberglass rally in Quartzsite on the 15th, the last social gathering on my list for this winter is checked off. I could go anywhere from here, which is a very liberating feeling.
It’s already getting into the mid 80’s during the day so I could start heading north. I’ve heard Lake Havasu is nice and know people going that way. If I went west into California I could boondock near Joshua Tree National Park and get to see more of it than I was able to last year. Or I could go east and finally see those organ pipe cactus I’ve heard so much about.
So many options. Too many, really.
But there’s work and chores I’ve been putting off to attend these rallies, and if I head straight to a scenic location, the lure of sightseeing might prove too strong. Anyone who’s been a full-timer more than a year knows about the dangers of treating the lifestyle like a perpetual vacation. That’s a good way to run out of money.
Some of the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous people have moved to the town of Ehrenberg, just west of Quartzsite on the boarder with California. It’s not a very scenic place but that’s for the best when I have writing to do. I can also get my mail sent there and the Verizon signal is strong enough to do my taxes online.
So that’s where I’ve been. To get to the BLM boondocking here, you take Exit 1 off of I10 which leads into a traffic circle. Get off at the sign that says “East Frontage Road”, there’s also a sign that says it dead ends, but it doesn’t. The pavement does end shortly, continue on the dirt road for another mile and keep to the right, there’s road breaking off to the left that leads to a privately owned quarry, that’s not the BLM area it’s past that on the right. Once you come up the hill, you’re in the right place.
There’s not as much vegetation here and the mountains are distant. It’s not as pretty as Dome Rock and certainly not as neat as Saddle Mountain, but the sunrises and sunsets still wow. The ranger enforcement is notoriously lax. This area officially has a 14 day stay limit, but there are people who’ve been out here boondocking since November. I doubt I’ll be here longer than two weeks, but that is a draw for some.
Across the interstate in Ehrenberg proper, there’s a laundromat with $5 showers, a post office, and a convenience store. Just across the boarder in California is the town of Blythe which has an Albertson’s and Smart and Final for groceries plus restaurants, auto parts stores, and other essentials.
But, one special thing about this location is its proximity to the Colorado River. At Exit 1, if you take the west frontage road instead of the east, you’ll end up at a public boat landing, good for small fishing boats, kayaks, or inflatables. This past Sunday a couple of us went down with our swimsuits to get in the water.
Good thing the air temperature was so warm, because the water was cold! My grasp on western geology is somewhat limited, but I’m pretty sure the Colorado River starts up in the mountains. Here in the desert we may be getting freakishly warm weather, but at higher elevations it’s still winter. This is what I get for swimming in a river in February. This far downstream I’m pretty sure there’s agricultural runoff and other not-so-good stuff in the water, but I don’t want to think about that too much. I didn’t dunk my head under for that reason.
I’m getting this post up early so I can spend the rest of the day on taxes, woo. If it follows last year, this’ll be a two day project. Wish me luck!
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