Our Quest to Quartzsite Pow Wow 2019
Daniel and I had been planning and talking for a year to attend the 2019 Quartzite Pow Wow. We flew into Tucson on Wednesday January 16. We stayed in Tucson Wednesday night and traveled the next morning to Quartzsite. Quartzsite is approximately 241 miles northwest of Tucson. We were fortunate and our travel accommodations was a 39 foot Kountry Star Coach. With my Father as the designated driver I can tell you it’s the only way to travel. There are several benefits of taking a RV to this destination, since Quartzsite has a population of 3,677, there are barely any options for staying in the town of Quartzsite. Also, the RV has unlimited storage space for hauling treasures.
As we pulled up to the Pow Wow, it was almost overwhelming. There are rows upon rows of vendors out in the open. Hint One: Do not start looking at vendor tables first. Go to the center of the Pow Wow to the building and get a show guide, this is very helpful information to identify vendor specialties and help keep track of vendors you would like to visit a second time. Not following hint one I blazed a trail to vendor spot 552E & 553E with Daniel in tow, I could not get my bearings, and Daniel and I could not agree on left and right, and there wasn’t vendor numbers on the tables, ugh how do we navigate the 534 vendor in attendance?
Hint two: The vendor numbers are on white disc on the ground at the corner of each vendor space. Once we found the where the numbers were located, we made a bee line straight to my favorite gemstone and favorite mine owner Philip Stevenson and Walt Harrison the Rockhounds that discovered the Dead Camel Jasper Claim.
We talked to Philip and Walt and looked through what seemed tons and tons of rough and slabs and picked out our selection. We picked up a beautiful green slab called Springtime Jasper, which is backpacked out because of the location of the vein.
Daniel ended up dragging me away, seeing we had only visited 1 vendor and had 533 vendors left to talk to and visit. We decided to head to the building and work outward, this is where we found the great show guide with a handy and fun word search, concession stand with excellent meals and homemade pies and the Quartzsite Road Runner Gem & Mineral Club display cases along with vendor display cases. The layout of the building was unique in the club/vendor cases were in the center of the building with premium vendor space around the outside.
We spent the night at a local RV park and planned our day two at Quartzsite. We read through the show guide and identified the remaining vendors that we wanted to visit. One thing was definitely obvious, we found wonderful green color for our own 2019 Gem and Mineral stone. We found so many new gemstones. Hint Three: Figure out the best way to keep your new finds identified. We did a fairly good job at this, but I think our next trip to Quartzsite we will use zip lock bags for small slabs and larger gallon bags for large rough and mark with a sharpie or china marker.
Day two we completed our Pow Wow vendor visits and traveled about 2 miles down the road to Desert Gardens. Talk about massive rock collections. We discovered this is where the big boys with Slab saws play. At Desert Gardens they don’t mess around. Tons upon tons of every gemstone you can imagine is present there. This is where instead of tables of slab and rough, they have 55 gallon barrels of each gemstone type. All the rock at Desert Gardens was top quality including finding triple A grade Petersite. Due to the massive size of the gemstones our purchases were much smaller.
Hint Four: Make sure you eat at Silly Al’s Pizza in Quartzsite. The atmosphere is wonderful and the pizza is hand tossed in the kitchen. It was some of the best pizza we had ever eaten.
We headed back to Tucson and stayed a few more days. If you make a trip to Tucson add to your visit list Arizona Lapidary and Kent’s Tools Jewelry and Lapidary tools and supply.