Dome Rock, Quartzsite, Arizona

Friday, November 8

The crew and I leave our overnight camp on Box Canyon Road under sunny, clear skies.  Interstate 10 takes us eastward about 75 miles to Blythe.  We enter Arizona and a few miles past Blythe, we exit to a Flying J plaza.  I want Bridget and Spike to have a chance to walk around a bit and do their business before I search for our next camp.

The two of them can be really annoying.

When we arrive at a new camp area, they yip and squeal and bark and hop around inside the Perfect Tow Vehicle.  It’s very distracting while trying to find a level spot, gauge where the sun rises and sets, look for OHV tracks to avoid, figure whether vehicles are likely to drive by, and all the other items on my mental checklist for choosing a site.  Okay, getting ahead of myself . . . We’re at Flying J . . . .

I park in the open area where truckers sleep in their rigs. 

Spike and Bridget always get very intense because the variety and number of messages left by other canines is quite captivating.  Their business done, I toss them back into the PTV and open up my laptop.  I can depend on the air card showing at least three bars without putting up the antenna while parked at a Flying J.  You can pay a few dollars to use their WiFi, but I don’t need that.

A quick check of the blog and we’re back on the road.

At another exit I see motor homes, truck campers, vans, and tents parked in a clear section of dirt right along the interstate.  I don’t understand why people do that.  The traffic noise would drive me nuts.  Anyway . . . to each his own.

It’s still morning when I take the exit marked “Dome Rock Road.”

Very few campers are parked on this Bureau of Land Management area a few miles west of Quartzsite.  I drive down one of the many roads of rocks and dust.  Campsites are plentiful as marked by fire rings.  I pass a Class A motorhome and make sure I am far beyond it before choosing our campsite.

1-DSC01387Bridget and Spike are nuts to be let out so they can explore their new home, but they aren’t as bad as they would’ve been without the pit stop beforehand.

Our campsite is in a large, open, flat area.

The vegetation is creosote bushes with two saguaro cacti in view.  What we lose in pretty landscaping, I gain in being able to watch from the windows where Spike will wander in all 360 degrees around the Best Little Trailer.

I’m always pleasantly surprised how an ordinary campsite can become quite livable and enjoyable, once camp is completely set up.

1-DSC01386It’s very warm here.

In mid-afternoon it feels like we’re in the nineties.  However, all I have to do is put the lounger in the shade and it feels like we’re in the seventies.  A gentle breeze passes over us as I read and the crew relaxes in their beds on the ground next to me.

Inside the Best Little Trailer, the three large windows and open door allow a cooling breeze throughout.  It’s remarkable how comfortable it is.  I say that because a short walk in the desert here and I soon find myself running out of steam with two pooped puppies wanting to go home.

I can hear the traffic on the interstate.

It’s a constant sound and not loud, so it isn’t jarring, and I’m mostly unaware of it.  That’s saying a lot because I’m noise-sensitive.  After dark, when the desert temperatures drop, I lock the door and shut all the windows.  Not only does that keep us comfortable all night long, it blocks the sound of the interstate.

I lie in bed looking up at the stars.

Hmm . . . We’re down to our last jug of drinking water.  Tomorrow we’ll drive into Quartzsite, find the grocery, fill up gallon jugs with water, and scope out the town.



Here are a few samples of recent purchases by readers of this blog:

Essential Formulas Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics, Original Formula
Thermos Nissan Thermal Cookware
Natural Balance Canned Cat Food, Salmon and Green Pea Recipe
Flexi Explore Retractable Belt Dog Leash, 26-Feet Long, Supports up to 110-PoundPorsche Black Crest Logo Cap, Official Licensed
Cleanwaste GO anywhere Waste Kit (50-Kits)


Two months before the crew and I started our vagabond life, Spike completed his co-pilot training.  I posted a report on June 12, 2011.

“Photo Essay: Co-Pilot Training”

This entry was posted in Simple living. Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Dome Rock, Quartzsite, Arizona

  1. Ladybug says:

    Whoo-hoo! Sue’s ready to party in Quartzsite!

  2. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Hi Sue….Quartzsite is on my list….I love your pics on the previous post. Over 100 comments on the post kept me busy reading. Sure delighted when I read E2s post. Gives me great hope for the future. Enjoy your stay at Quartzsite. I predict the million mark for Dec. 21st (my daughters birthday). Other daughters B-day is the 28th but someone chose that already. Hugs to the crew….saved a good pic of them on this I pad

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Val,

      I was delighted and relieved to hear from E2. She’s a remarkable woman.

      I enjoy the comments, too. It’s great to have a discussion with level-headed people.

  3. kgdan says:

    We camped there last February–right where you are. We arrived just after a Casita gathering where there were over 80 Casitas. When we arrived there were about 10 still there and we had a wonderful time visiting around the campfire. There is a LOVE’s station just down the road east where you can get water. There will probably be some ATV traffic but we thought they were far away enough not to be bothersome . We did have to register with the host even tho it is free camping for 14 days. The skies there at night are spectacular!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, kgdan,

      I can’t believe I drove right by the Love’s station and never gave it a thought that I could probably get water there. Well, yes, I can believe it.

      There are a few ATVs and dirt bikes here. It’s hard to go anywhere without them.

      Not only are the night skies spectacular, so is sunrise. I took some pics of the sky this morning.

  4. Kim says:

    Pooped puppies are the best puppies!

    Speaking of truckers and the dogs that love them, one day I’d like to publish a coffee-table book about the interesting pairings that you see on the road.

    It absolutely cracks me up to see a scowling beefy semi-driver walking his sweet little companion. He’s 6’2″ and trailing after an itty bitty pomeranian princess.

    • DeAnne in TN says:

      That would be an awesome book. I once knew a 25 year gunnery sergeant in the USMC. He drove a huge four-wheel drive pickup and a was owned by Pomeranian that rode in his lap named Bear. That dog went with him everywhere.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kim,

      There’s certainly enough material for a book. I’ve seen several big men walking teensy dogs at truck stops. And I also see teensy women walking big dogs . . .

  5. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Yay, You and the crew are back in the zone and Timber says hi ,,,,,,Rusty :~)

  6. John says:

    Welcome back to Arizona!

  7. Colleen says:

    We are heading your way on Monday. We are in Tucson heading home to Tehachapi. 90 degrees here today. As long as our chairs were in the shade we were quite comfortable. We will go north at Quartzsite towards Needles in an effort to miss Interstate 10 through Indio. Hope it is a good option. We are getting very familiar with truck stops, always a good option while pulling the 5th wheel. We know we will always be able to fit. We visited Saguaro National Park today. My first time seeing these awesome cacti in their natural setting. Truly lovely.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Colleen,

      Good idea to avoid Interstate 10 going through Indio. Well, not I can say I’ve done it . . . and I won’t do it again if I can help it.

      I don’t know what it is about the saguaro. They add something — whimsy? magic? grace? — to the desert landscape.

      I haven’t driven the route north of Big Q to Needles and beyond. I hope it is a good alternative route. Have a safe journey!

  8. Chuck Hajek says:

    Hi Sue!
    You remember that area! Looks like you are up the hill a little from where we all gathered. That good RV place is right down the road if u need anything that Amazon doesn’t have Enjoy Dome Rock, it’s a healthy little climb with a nice view and the weather oughta’ be aperfect! Radar and Doogie say ruff, ruff!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chuck,

      Ahem… Amazon has everything, you know. 🙂

      Yeah, the weather is great! I remind myself that it’s November. I still have flashbacks to my childhood freezing my knees off in northern NY.

      Hello to the canine beach bums!

  9. Mick'nTN says:

    Ah, very early arrival in AZ. Do I sense secret plans for winter adventures? Of course it couldn’t be anything social with our favorite Hermit. LOL

  10. Jean and Skip says:

    Hi Sue,

    we are at dome rock too, Skip said he saw a van drive by that looked like yours drive by.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      If Skip saw a van that looked like ours, then he saw the PTV because no other van looks quite like it!

      Gee, where’d all this cloud cover come from . . .

  11. Linda Sand says:

    I prefer Blythe to Quartzsite for grocery shopping. If you are going to be there any length of time you might want to check out both. But Sweet Darlene’s in Q is my favorite eatery in the area. Not that you asked or anything. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      If I can get to a good grocery in Blythe without too much traffic, I might try it. My pantry is well stocked at the moment. The last time I saw good prices –can’t remember where– I bought a load of non-perishables.

      • Bill & Ann says:

        There is water in Blythe also at a park on the east side of I10. Pretty good water. We saw several people, other than ourselves, filling up there. At least it was free last year.

  12. Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

    Love the flying j’s.

    Spike and Bridget are just excited about their new site. How funny is that? They don’t care about YOUR chores/routine to set up the site! All they are saying is…. “ya done this a god zillion times already can’t you do it any faster so we can explore”. Silly how they’ve got us trained.

    Next thing you know….they are going to request a rotisserie chicken for dinner!

    Enjoy your stay!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      I bought a package of ground turkey, cooked it up, and portioned it into ziploc bags. That’s their treat these days. Boy, do they love it! Spike actually showed a little GRATITUDE.

  13. Rob says:

    During our 2 months in Quartzsite last year we went to Walmart in Parker (30+ miles) for a big trip and did day to day shopping at the Quartzsite General Store. I liked their meat counter!

    Watching Quartzsite build up to the big RV show and shrink down was neat….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rob,

      Ah yes, I made a trip to the General Store and saw the meat counter. I guess hordes of people coming here with their BBQ grills translates into lots of meat sales.

  14. Ahhh, love your new location! Glad you have a few saguaro. The crew have a great playground. Enjoy!

    I get such a kick out reading how you “toss” the crew back into the PTV. I have this imagine of their little bodies flying through the backseat…haha!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John and Pam,

      Toss is what I do. They fly onto the bench seat. It’s kind of like throwing pumpkins into a truck.

  15. Alan Rabe says:

    Alright were in Quartzsite, Wonderful area. Great photo opps. If your up to it I have a photo assignment/challenge. I am sure you know where Palm Canyon is in the Kofa peaks, it is a big spot well marked with campgrounds and such. Well that isn’t the challenge, It is the start. About a mile south of Palm canyon around the peak is a little tiny canyon, I doubt your map will show it but it is called Hidden Canyon. if you have access to a 7.5 degree topo map it is on it. The entrance is a small slot in the side of the peak, It will turn to the left and then the right. Anyway along the way there are fields of teddy bear cholla as well as saguaros everywhere. When I was last there there was one giant saguaro that had fallen and all that was left was the bones. No pressure but I think you might enjoy it.
    Now a real challenge is finding the cemetery at the KOFA gold mine. HeHe.

    In any case just Enjoy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alan,

      I’ve heard of the palms in Kofa. If I go there and see them, great. I’m not goal-oriented when the crew and I walk the desert. I like to wander with no set destination. If I see teddy bear cholla, I steer the crew somewhere else.

      I remember seeing a giant saguaro that had been toppled over by some rube on an ATV. That was near Ajo. A heart-breaking sight.

      Thanks, Alan… We will enjoy . . .

      • Bill & Ann says:

        We will be hosting at the base of Palm Canyon starting in December. We will be leading occasional tours up into the canyon in addition to other duties. Stop by and say hello. We were in the areal last year and really enjoyed exploring the canyons. Beautiful.

  16. We had so much fun the few years ago we all gathered there at Dome Rock! We met Jim and Carol with their world-famous cat Jerry, Bill and Ann, Clete and his wife Chris, Rosemary and her hubby and more folks than our now I can remember names for! You weren’t showing your “hermit” side as much then! LOL! That’s when you bought your now famous leather hat! (love it bythe way) Fun times in Quartzsite!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      Oh, I was in touch with my hermit self. I camped on the outskirts and skipped the breakfast outing.

      It was great to meet all those good people though. I remember Chuck introducing me … “She has this blog . . .”

      I almost walked off without the hat, remember?

  17. Your new site looks and sounds very serene. Aaahh. Relaxation. I also like visiting with folks who live in that region and sometimes with the snow-birds too. If the heat can be tolerated with shade and breezes, it’s a little bit of Heaven. Enjoy and let the kids enjoy too.
    I’m still looking for my lost (or stolen) kitty. The RV owner here says he thinks the stolen action may have happened. If that’s true I hope whomever gives him a good home; he’s an exceptional cat.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary-Pat,

      I’m so sorry about your cat. It’s tough not knowing for sure. Sometimes well-intentioned people assume an animal is lost when it’s only out exploring.

  18. AZ Jim says:

    As a full time certified permanent Zonie I welcome you back to our chunk of land. Mi Casa es su Casa.

  19. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    The Casita Rally at Dome Rock just outside of Quartzsite is Feb 8, 9, and 10 2014. Last season there was a couple of 25 foot Big Foot trailers there and I got to go in and see them both. I felt like a Munchkin as there was so much room and the queen island bed in the rear was to die for. First thing I’m gonna do if I strike it rich with my trusty metal detector is buy one of these monsters…second is get me a 3/4 ton Dodge diesel to pull it with. I’ll have a permanent smile on my face for months. Welcome Home Sue and Crew YEE HAW.

  20. Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

    Every year I am struck by how hot the sun is in the desert. When I walk in mid-morning, I repeatedly go from hot to cold to hot to cold, depending on hitting the shade. It has been warmer than normal here this year. Temps in the 80s instead of the 70s. Now if only it would stay this way all winter.

  21. Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

    According to your little map up there, you are camped in the median of I-10. No wonder you are hearing a little traffic noise. LOL

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That little map is a PITA. I wish I could move the pointer. It only goes by an address which is hard to give when boondocking.

      • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

        Between that and putting you in the middle of lakes, it does provide an occasional giggle with the information of approximately where you are.

  22. Cari in North Texas says:

    Hello again, Sue! I’ve been MIA the past week or so fighting bronchitis and working. I finally went to the doctor and got some antibiotics and an inhaler (new treatment for me) and it worked really well. I’ve been catching up on your posts the past few days – seems I missed a very thought-provoking discussion on the roles of the sexes 🙂 I have my own opinion on whether men should “help” women, but I’ll leave that for the next time.

    This site looks quite peaceful and serene. As a flatlander Texan, I always enjoy seeing the mountains and hills in your photos. And the temperature where you are looks quite inviting. We have an Arctic cold front supposed to come through tomorrow night thru Wed with our first hard freeze predicted. Not looking forward to that!

  23. RVSue,
    I just found your website as it was mentioned in a comment by a reader of Bob Wells site. I really like your style of writing, it’s….luxuriously economical… are the words I choose. A few well chosen words mixed with beautiful photography. I admire your singularity as well. Your blog is all that most others are not. No lengthy rhetoric, no sermons, just the best of what’s in the southwest to experience. I wish I was as at peace with being alone as you are. You are my newest bookmark, I expect to return often.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Curtis! Welcome to my blog!

      As long as we’re talking about writing, you do know how to pack a lot of lovely compliments into a succinct comment. Thank you. Your feedback is helpful as well as flattering. I try to keep my blog on the track you describe.

      “At peace with being alone” . . . I guess it’s something that one can develop. I’ve always been at peace by myself, as far back as my earliest memories. A few readers have written that they never thought they’d enjoy camping alone away from people. When they tried it, they loved it.

      Best wishes to you. Thanks for bookmarking my blog. I’m glad you’re with us!

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