What a Day

It froze here overnight.  Without electricity it’s a little more challenging to keep warm and be conservative with our fuel, but we managed ok.  It warmed up to almost 70 this afternoon.
Quartzsite is a very interesting place.  In the summer the population is somewhere around 3,000 people but in the winter it explodes up to 1,000,000 at times.  There are several big shows, rock & gem shows, craft shows, flea markets, swapmeets, a pow wow, a car show, and a rock & roll classic car show, all going on at the same time more or less.  There are also several RV sales lots.

We started out the day early, browsing one of the market areas.  This one included a large rock show.  I’m not at all interested in rocks, but apparently a lot of other people are.

Morning shopping at Tyson Wells Market Square
The “museum” at the rock & gem show.

More rocks

P.P. Moose.  look closely
We finished with that and drove down the road a little ways, there was another flea market area.  We discovered across the highway was another flea market, and down the street from that another one, and all along main street was flea market, it was everywhere.  And almost everyone who comes here to sell or to shop arrives in an RV.  There are RV parks all around the town, as well as the free boondock areas.  It’s kinda fun just to sit and watch all the RVs come and go.
There is a local celebrity, Paul Winer, an accomplished blues musician and cartoonist, who has owned the local book store for the last 20 years.  He is a very nice and very friendly guy.  He is a nudist and wears only a crocheted “sock” over his privates.  But it was chilly today so he wore his sweater.  There were about 10 customers in the store when he decided to sing and play a few songs for us on his piano.  He is glad to pose for pictures, I chose not to pose with him.

Paul Winer

Paul’s Bookstore
We heard about Hi Jolly’s Tomb and went to the local cemetery to see it.  In 1856 Jefferson Davis imported 70 camels here along with a Syrian caretaker, Hadji Ali.  His American masters called him Hi Jolly.  The idea was to use the camels to transport freight and people across the desert Southwest.  It may have been successful had it not been for the Civil war, and Jefferson Davis changing jobs, and without his support the project was abandoned.  The camels were set free to fend for themselves in the desert near Quartzsite.  The last reported sighting of a camel near Quartzsite was in 1942.
Hi Jolly died in 1902.  The locals were so fond of him that they built a special pyramid tomb, made of petrified wood and quartz.  It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 
Hi Jolly Tomb
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