Quiet Spot Not Far From Quartzsite--2 Weeks Free
We couldn't hold off checking out the find, so "over the hill," we went, looking for the 'Painted Desert.' Well, admittedly, Mike doesn't get out a whole lot, but it was truthfully a whole different place. Sure, there were plenty of the familiar ocotillo, saguaro, cholla, and Palo Verde, but the feel of the place was entirely different. Maybe it's a change from the "flat" of the LaPaz Valley environ to something a little more rugged, seasoned with a topography that just seems a long way from civilization.
Where is this promised land? Well, take Highway 95 north out of downtown Quartzsite to milepost 12. Here you'll find the Plomosa Road, and one of the ever-popular BLM "short term" areas. But instead of pulling in and immediately dropping the hook with the rest of the big snowbird crowds, keep the RPMs up as you travel east along the blacktop, clear on out of the 14-day short term area, and on "over the hill." Once you make it over the pass, you'll feel the difference, believe us.
By my reckoning (with a little help from a DeLorme GPS unit) the western edge of the next 14-day free camping area begins in the neighborhood of N33.49.4195 by W114.3.5437, give or take. You'll see the BLM signs indicating available camping, and on both sides of the road are inviting offshoot roads that can lead you way "off in the brush." Is it quiet? Does the President wish he could run for another term? Heavenly day, it's so quiet that this old bird could clearly hear the ringing in his ears, until finally (blessedly) a little breeze puffed up and rattled the ocotillos.
When we went through the Plomosa Short Term area on the western side of the pass, there were plenty of folks already marking their wintering territory, but on the eastern side, we saw maybe four rigs in an area of many, many square miles. Will that wide open space continue as wide open? Don't know. Never been before. But you can be assured that when the folks on the Quartzsite side are shoehorning space for their solar panels, there'll still be plenty of room for coyotes to prowl around the rigs on the Bouse side. Just do us a favor: Don't tell Mike we told you so.