Quartzsite, Third Day

On Saturday the Trekkers had their own none-too-serious flea market. Most of the stuff was free—especially books. A dangerous place for a bookaholic like me. I helped myself to some cruising guides to Mexico and a couple of grapefruit. There was also free conversation and I did not get to stroll all three dozen tables before they were packed up. I did get into the three coaches that were for sale. Anyone interested in getting into this life, let me know. If your budget is between $18,000 and $80,000, I can point your toward some nice units that come with a friendly, supportive community.

Yesterday a couple of the Trek gurus stopped by because they heard I had some problems with my coach’s systems. They heard right, my furnace hasn’t worked for weeks and my electrical system is more complex than a 1040. I have spent hours on these problems doing all things I know to do: reading manuals, testing, jiggling connections, ever less gentle taps in strategic places, and burning incense.

It took Ken and Dick about five minutes to zero in on a bad switch on my furnace. And another five minutes to find an Inverter switch in the ON position that is supposed to be OFF. Counter-intuitive, eh? Dick tried three times to explain to me they it worked that way. Hopeless. If come away from this rally with nothing but Ken and Dick’s phone numbers, I will have turned a tidy profit.

Last night was windy. The Jolly Swag was rocking and rolling and creaking and groaning like a tramp schooner in a poor anchorage. My coach whistled and wheezed like the Ghost of Christmas Past. I know the desert and the Plains States get winds that gust up to gale force that can go on for days. Not the sort of thing I am used to driving this barn.

I have yet to get over to the big tent and flea market. I was intimidated by the stories of people so crushed together their arms were pinned to their sides. The Trek Village is about four miles from the action. There is a continuous traffic jam and the simplest way to get there may be to walk. Walking is good and it will prevent me from buying anything heavier than the change and paper money I have to trade with. The Trekkers are thinning out on this morning of the third day of a three-day rally, about a third have departed. Some to visit grandchildren, some up the road to a ham radio rally that begins this afternoon. Some have been here 5-6 days and some, like me, will stay on for several days. There is a lot of hugging that goes on with these folks who have only seen each other but a few times—and those visits a year apart. Judging by the number of free facials the dogs were handing out, they will miss their Trekkin’ friends as well.

6 Responses to Quartzsite, Third Day

  1. Colleen Rae says:

    Wonderful descriptions, Al. Describe Ken and Dick as if they were characters in your book. What would they most likely carry in their pockets? Screwdriver? WD-40?
    Love that line about the dogs giving facials. YOu are quite a writer.

  2. Someone called my name: Flea market. I once needed a Corningware lid of a certain size, saw it at a booth and asked how much. $7, he said. Bargaining proved fruitless. I walked away and encountered a man who said he had watched me bargain and volunteered to do better for me. Sure, I said. He went over to the booth, chatted, handed over money, picked up the lid, and walked back to me. “I got it for $7,” he said proudly. I wonder how he would have managed in Rome’s Monte Verde flea market. I had a boyfriend who went there and bought back his own tires. Al, while your arms are flattened to your sides, be sure your money is in your mouth.

  3. You got me laughing with the “burning incense”. I imagined you sitting in the lotus position while the coach filled with sweat healing fumes.

    Your posts are introducing me to a part of America I had no knowledge of. Thanks.

  4. Dave L: says:

    I’m not big on flea markets but liked the bit about hugging.

  5. Karl Baeck says:

    Hi Al

    Get narration. I love the human interest stories. All we need now is some
    pictures. Maybe an ongoing map.

    All the best, Karl

  6. Karl Baeck says:

    Hi Al

    Great narration. I love the human interest stories. All we need now is some
    pictures. Maybe an ongoing map.

    All the best, Karl

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