"Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset, swiftly fly the years . . ." I'm sure you remember that familiar refrain from the award winning Broadway musical "Fiddler on the Roof." Those words passed through my mind's eyes as I was extracting this week's photos for this post. As you know, I love shooting sunrises and sunsets and that's no different here in this part of the Sonoran Desert outside Quartzsite, Arizona.
Quartzsite is a small town of less than 4,000 full-time residents located on I-10 about 18 miles east of the Colorado River crossing into California and about 100 miles west of Phoenix. It's a very popular location for RVing, vandwelling and tent camping "snowbirds" who come here during the winter months to escape the colder northern climates. There is also a very large RV show here as well as a rock and mineral show (since that's what this area of the desert is noted for). Quartzsite is known as the "Rock Capital of the World."
I don't know the exact numbers, but just in driving through the area, I'd be willing to wager there are more RV pads in the RV parks than full-time homes in the area. This doesn't include the thousands and thousands who dry camp or "boondock" on the massive BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land surrounding Quartzsite. I was last through Quartzsite in April or May of 2010. This time there seems to have been some very noticeable changes in the way of some new businesses. Most notable is the Pilot and Love travel centers and a few new fast food restaurants. Unfortunately, they create a lot more light at night that may mask some of the billions of stars.
This portion of the desert is surrounded by mountains. I took the sunrise shot this morning just as the sun peeked over the eastern mountain range. It was readily visible from the side window of My McVansion since it was parked facing east. (I move the van's position a couple times during the day to provide maximum shade from the very brilliant and hot sun). The sunset shot was taken last night looking to the west (of course) over another mountain range. I love how, while sunrises and sunsets are basically the same everywhere, every location makes them totally unique. The colors, the majesty, the vastness can take one's breath away.
|Big Sky at Sunset
I've included this third photo of last nights sunset with a much wider angle lens to illustrate the "big sky" and the interplay of the clouds. If you look carefully in the sunset shots, you'll see a small (relatively) white van below the mountain and slightly to the left of center. That van is named Esmeralda and belongs to my new friend, Sylvianne, one of several friends I'm enjoying this site with including Charlene, Lois, LaVonne and Carl.
I hope you gain at least a fraction of the enjoyment from these photos that I'm having. You can't possibly gain the full impact unless you are here or have been here.