For the last couple of days I have been involved in an email exchange with a couple who are brand-new fulltimers trying to adjust to life on the road. They are currently dry camping in the desert a couple of miles north of Quartzsite, Arizona and are freaking out about being in such a different environment from that which are used to back in the Midwest.
Unfortunately, a lot of their concerns are all due to one “helpful” RVer parked next to them who is giving them all sorts of advice and warning them about all the calamities that could occur. He walks around with a big sixgun strapped to his waist, because you never know when you might stumble upon a rattlesnake, or a coyote might come into your campsite, or you might cross paths with some Mexican drug runner. He also warned them that they could be drowned in an instant if a flash flood comes up in the middle of the night, and that being parked out in the middle of nowhere like they are makes them easy pickings for any kind of thugs who come along looking for an easy score. They said they have only been there for three days and are about ready to head back to Casa Grande or Tucson, where it is “safer.”
I spent many years of my life in Arizona, a lot of it wandering the back roads, camping out in the boondocks, and exploring the back country. And yeah, I’ve seen a few rattlesnakes in my time. And lots of coyotes. And who knows, I may have crossed paths with a drug runner at some point, but he was probably in his vehicle headed to wherever he was going to drop his load off and I never noticed. As far as flash floods, I’ve seen some doozies, no question about it. That’s why I never camp in or near riverbeds. Thugs looking for an easy score? I suspect there are more of them in the big city than there are out in the middle of the desert.
So yes, any of these things can happen. Or you might get hit by a meteorite. Or taken out by a drunk driver or some nitwit going down the road texting. Anything’s possible. But every year many thousands of RVers descend on Quartzsite and the surrounding desert for what some call Woodstock for Old Farts. They shop the vendors in the Big Tent at the RV show and on every street corner in town, they hang out with their friends and shoot the bull around the campfire, they play music, tell tall tales, ride ATVs, and have a great time. And in all the years we have been publishing the Gypsy Journal, I have never heard of any of them getting killed by rattlesnakes, or coyotes, or drug runners, or flash floods.
About the worst that happens is an occasional bicycle or generator left unlocked gets pilfered. So take the normal precautions you would anywhere else – if you want to keep it, lock it up! And relax. I really don’t think you’re going to be the first Quartzsite casualties to happen.
I told these folks to find a new neighbor. Life is too short to spend a minute of it listening to fools like the fellow giving them advice, or worrying about what somebody tells you could happen. Spend those minutes enjoying life instead. I guarantee you’ll be much happier.
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Thought For The Day – Life is too short to worry about anything. Enjoy it, because the next day promises nothing. – Eric Davis