From Ehrenberg to Yuma
12.14.2016 - 01.29.2017
There is a gem of an RV park in Ehrenberg, AZ. While almost every other RV park nearby looks depressing and run-down, River Breeze RV Resort features paved streets, trees and even grass! There's a small playground and park next to a private boat ramp on the Colorado River. All the sites are well-kept and the staff is friendly and helpful. We liked it so much, we stayed here from 12/14/16 - 1/10/17, almost a month! It was a very quiet New Year's Eve.
Ehrenberg turned out to be perfectly positioned for a number of day trips. Groceries, supplies and services are available just across the river in Blythe, and Quartzsite is just 20 miles away. We even drove up to Parker, AZ one day and had lunch at the casino there. It was fun to be in a casino environment again!
From our "base camp" in Ehrenberg, we made several excursions into Quartzsite, AZ. The highlight of one of our visits to Quartzsite was to learn about Hi Jolly.
It's hilarious to me that soldiers of the day transformed the Syrian fellow's name from Haiji Ali to Hi Jolly. Can you imagine if that happened today?
Hi Jolly's tomb is one of the main tourist attractions in Quartzsite. In fact, the AZ Department of Transportation just spent almost $367,000 for signage to point the way to his pyramid tomb.
Quartzsite holds several large events each January which draw thousands of RVers each winter. Some people like to attend the Rock & Gem show. We wanted to be there for the Big Tent show, and to meet up with other full-time RVers.
We moved from Ehrenberg to Quartzsite on 1/10/17 and set up camp at Roger's 1/2 Acre Lazy Daze Homeless Camp: an informal gathering of other Lazy Daze owners. It was quite a treat to see so many other Lazy Daze rigs. The people we met there were friendly and welcoming.
We also wanted to meet more campers who like to boondock or dry camp. We found the Escapees Boondocker camp on Plomosa Road. They are a great bunch of like-minded travelers, so we joined the Escapees and look forward to meeting up with them again in the near future.
There is a carnival atmosphere in Quartzsite this time of year. Vendors come from all over to sell their wares to the Snowbirds who winter in the Great Southwest.
The Big Tent finally opened on Saturday, January 21. The 3 aisles inside were lined with vendors for everything from Sham-Wows to LED lights to work-camping opportunities. We got a show discount on our Escapee membership, and were able to find the few things we expected to buy in Quartzsite.
Overall, we were underwhelmed by the Quartzsite experience. The town was too crowded and it was hard to find a real deal. We found better prices in Yuma on a lot of things. Going to Quartzsite for the Big Tent show had been on our itinerary ever since we began planning our RV adventures. I'm glad we finally got to see it and I was just as happy to leave. Two weeks in Quartzsite is enough!
On Thursday 1/26 we headed south on Hwy 95 toward Yuma, AZ. It was a beautiful day to travel and the scenery was magnificent. We stopped to have lunch at the Yuma Proving Ground. Their display was impressive.
In Yuma, we stayed 3 nights (1/26-29) at Blue Sky Ranch RV Park, an older campground formerly called Arizona Sands.
The sites are VERY narrow and not designed to accommodate slide-outs. We came back from running errands one day to find a slide-out and sewer hose intruding into our campsite. We expected to park our car here. Luckily, the park wasn't full and we were allowed to park our car on the other side of our rig.
That's not the only complaint we have about Blue Sky Ranch. Some amenities and landscaping have been added and/or improved. Yet there are signs of deferred maintenance. Several washing machines were out-of-order...
...and faulty wire repair seems to be a low priority. The electric pedestal at our site was incorrectly wired, as were several of the pedestals near ours. One neighbor said this had been a known problem for some time and the only time the wiring is repaired is when someone complains. During the time we were there, the only pedestals that were repaired were ours and that of another camper who complained.
There are plenty of other RV parks in Yuma. I would not recommend staying at Blue Sky Ranch. We were glad to leave.
We didn't really want to travel far on a Sunday because there's always more traffic when everyone is trying to get back home from the weekend. So, we decided to camp on a BLM parcel just north of Yuma for a night. That's where I'll pick up the story next time when I write about Flying @ The Salton Sea & Fireworks!
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