I'm a little slow with my report, but I made my final destination on Thanksgiving, and found "the tribe". For those of you that don't know, I'm doing my thesis research on solo female RVers and vandwellers. So while my ultimate destination is the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) in Quartzsite, my final physical destination was Ehrenberg, AZ, 17 miles west of Quartzsite. There, on BLM land the 14 day rule is in effect, but not enforced.
So, many RVers that are going to the two week RTR come to Ehrenberg first to meet, celebrate the holidays and anticipate the event.
I rolled in on Thanksgiving and was delighted to find a warm welcome and an amazing potluck. Turkey, ham, yams, two types of stuffing, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, the salad I brought, a two layer lemon cake, rolls and butter, cornbread, sweet potato pie, cherry pie, peach pie, whipped cream - and maraschino cherries soaked in everclear - being passed around. And, almost all of the dinner had been cooked in Jim's collection of solar ovens.
There's a fluid group here - while less women than men (all solo except for one couple) the agreement is that over the last three years the numbers of women vs men are equal "out here". Most of us are older - at 51 I'm almost the youngest. The youngest is a Native American woman who is 38. We seem to be a collection of hippies, retirees and those on disability. Although it crosses all borders. One woman is in a brand new Sprinter Coachman, and others are in vans older than my rig, their cars, and vintage trailers.
The desert is much more beautiful than I expected from YouTube videos. Yes, there are rocks, "trap" spiders, tarantulas, ATVs, and coyotes. But, there is also internet, plenty of sun for my solar, and a stray Irish Afghan Wolfhound that spooks the late hours (and the woman in the Coachman hopes to adopt), firepits, and hours of friendly company and conversation. We seem to all be refugees from normal (or feel we are), but somehow together, we are normal. There has been a like-mindedness and wishing for peace that has engendered a sense of community and safety that I find rare.
Curtis (who brought the cherries) was a technician for Chrysler for 30 years (aka Dodge) and he's suggested I try a 3-way fuel filter that returns the vapor back to the gas tank, putting the electric pump back in ... or as I've heard one time before, just be done with my problem and replace the carb with fuel injection. Several of the guys have been working on my bike lock (I've lost the key and darn if I didn't hook it up to the ladder WELL) and while no success yet, I don't think I'll have to call a locksmith. Other's have more pressing issues - generators and solar panels that aren't working or flat tires with stubborn lug nuts.
Hope everyone had as lovely a Thanksgiving as I did and more reports soon!