Sunday, January 1, 2012

Quartzsite 2012 - Early Bird Gets The Worm (Day 1)

I had the honor this week of joining my friends David Richter of Rocks & Relics and Keith Olivas of The Art of Jewelry on their annual hajj to the rock mecca of Quartzsite, AZ, and its impending Pow Wow and ancillary shows and events. My function was to be the work mule for my two friends by lifting heavy objects and carrying loads to the truck and in general being a "wing-man" to my two friends. We drove from Atascadero, CA, down to Blythe, CA, where we lodged two nights. We spent all of New Year's Day shopping in Quartzsite and part of the next day which was truncated by Dave's truck becoming full before noon. The following images I captured over the course of the two days and are shown in the order they were taken. Be sure to also check out Day Two of this adventure.

The year 2012 dawning upon the eastern margin of California at Blythe along the Colorado River.
Quintessential California Christmas desert decor at dawn on New Year's morning.
One thing to know at Quartzsite... folks sleep in and here at Desert Gardens is no exception..
Polished Burmese petrified palm trunk base.
Polished Burmese petrified palm tree root ball.
One can find plenty of petrified dinosaur bone but it is outrageously over-priced everywhere.
Some vendors had not arrived at the Desert Gardens venue.
To the left is the Tyson Wells Show and to the right is Prospector's Panorama Show & Peddler's Fair.
Creedite, fluorite, and hemimorphite all from Mexico.
There is no shortage of this and various other forms of gypsum in its many forms at Quartzite.
Botryoidal orpiment from Peru and atacamite from Australia.
Some vendors were open while others were setting up and some had not even shown up yet.
View from Prospector's Panarama venue across Kuehn Road into the Tyson Wells venue.
Erin was the cutest thing in Quartzsite. This girl rocks (figuratively and literally)!
Heat-treated amethyst cathedrals transformed into faux citrine.
The merchandising of rocks in Quartzsite reaches industrial parameters.
Few things I hate in the rock universe more than dyed agate slabs.
As the day progressed the traffic picked up as both buyers and sellers arrived along the Kuehn Road corridor.
No comment!
For those of you who don't know where Quartzsite is located this should clarify.
Santa Ana Winds blew southward down the Colorado River Valley all day bringing temperatures into the 80's.
Flag-waving, red-neck, blue collar conservatism abounds at Quartzsite.
Colorado amazonite miner Bodie Packham stands in his booth full of the beautiful mineral.
New Year's Day wound down in the Desert Gardens venue the way it began.
Get the fish & chips, NOT the mahi-mahi.
The Grubstake is my favorite dinner spot in Quartzsite.
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)


  1. Really well done Kim - I am going to try to make the end of the Pow Wow.


  2. Try to move heaven and earth to do so, Robyn!

  3. I used to go to the Quartzite rock shows as a kid. Always good times and amazing finds.

  4. Won't go back to Quartzite until the town council & sheriffs in prison!!!

  5. We are leaving Sunday night for a "5-day tour." I totally agree about the dyed agate slabs, but sometimes the kids just love them.

  6. Jim Filipek of Rock Hounds Surplus.January 9, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    Sure miss setting up at Deasert Gardens. Hope to be able to see it from the other side of the tables sometime soon.