hard freeze flushes me out to Q-town

For the second time in a few days I woke up to temps in the teens. It was 25F inside the van and the water system froze (no damage). From past experience the van is about 9F warmer in the morning after a cold night, so I’m guessing it was 16F.

I vowed to start breaking camp as soon as the sun came up. I did it, but picking up freezing metal stuff is unpleasant. :-( After doing that, making/drinking coffee, walking the dog and making breakfast I pulled out of the site; about 1.5 hours after sunrise the van said the outside temp was 21F. Yeah, good call moving out.

wintering plan

I want to use Quartzsite as a wintering base. Quartzsite has easy/free trash disposal at the dump, cheap water at the RV depot ($2 tank fill!), and good cell coverage.

The issue is that you can’t stay in any 25mi radius more than 14 days without a 28 day break in between. The simplest way to make this work is to have a three-spot rotation: Quartzsite, Kofa, Lake Havasu or something. A four-spot rotation (add Ehrenberg?) makes the timing less critical.

With this in mind I was thinking about starting this rotation in Havasu as that would be the first one I would come to. But I was unfamiliar with the area and ended up driving past making mental notes while glancing at the BLM overlay on the US Public Lands app. I was going the limit but locals were up my butt, making sudden turn-offs onto dirt roads impractical. At least I know where the spots are now and can return to them.

So I ended up in Quartzsite before I knew it. No biggie. I rolled into the relatively-empty Plomosa Rd BLM spot; I think it’s underpopulated because it’s further out of town. I am writing this in shorts and t-shirt. 77F is 56F warmer than when I pulled away from the dry lake this morning. It’s further south and ~2k’ lower in altitude, so 7F warmer for that reason alone. Hoping to see very few freezes here around Q.

3-4 site circuit or LTVA

There’s another option, the La Posa Long Term Visitor Area. No more 14d limit; you can stay until spring if you want (too hot then). It costs $180 but there is water, trash, and flush toilets.

BUT check out this LTVA Covid update:

Toilets may be unavailable in many locations. > > Bring your own supplies such as trash bags, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. > > Pack out your trash—trash removal services may be unavailable. > >

It’s not specific, but does suggest the possibility that all the benefits except 14d+ camping might not be available. My thoughts for now are to hang at Plomosa a few days before making any decisions.

The Imperial LTVA across the border is supopsed to have coin-op showers. If they did and they were open that would seal the deal. I hear that feature is closed, too. :-(

camp host

One has to sign in with the camp host in the BLM areas around Q-town. They give you a form to stick to the inside of the windshield.

You can tell when the host is working because they run the flag up the flagpole; no flag == no host. The flag is down so I found a spot with a view of the flagpole. When s/he returns (Sat? Mon?) I’ll do the paperwork. It’s a holiday weekend so who knows. It’s a pretty laid-back deal in the most regular of times.