I first heard about this place from a crusty old ex-truck-driving woman who was working as the campground host up at Mount Charleston, along with her husband. They would stay up at Mt. Charleston all summer, then take their RV down to Quartzsite in the winter. There’s a lot of BLM (government-owned) land down there, which means you can camp out for free on it — as long as you move your campsite every 10 days or so.
Thousands and thousands of “snowbirds” take their RVs down to Quartzsite every January for this ginormous swap meet — I mean, like a million people congregate down there in the desert to sell junk and swap shit. It’s incredible. I wandered around in my favorite Mrs. Roper caftan, with a big old Cuba Libre, and it was better than Burning Man!!
There’s also a super cool funky old used bookstore in town that’s run by a dedicated, leathery nudist named Paul Winer, who wears nothing but a leather penis pouch on a thong. He is wiry, bearded and fabulous — and he also performs as a boogie-woogie pianist by the name of Sweet Pie! He has the sweetest, most gentle disposition of anyone I’ve ever met. If you go down there….tell him I said hi 🙂
That desert is full of kooks. There’s also a really cool greasy-spoon-type restaurant called something like the Quartzsite Yacht Club…which is all nautical-themed and shiplike, in the middle of the desert. The food isn’t that great — I actually prefer Silly Al’s Pizza, across the street.
Either way… I love this town! MANY more photos and info here.
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