Quartzsite, AZ- World's largest swap meet (1 Viewer)

Cardboard

I'm a d-bag and got banned.
Banned
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
520
besides being the worlds largest collection of crap for sale, this place always ends up being a hub for travelers in the winter months. Lots of things to do and see, but more importantly, WORK!
just about anyone can show up during this swap meet and find 10-20$/hr work, setting up and tearing down booths, wrapping stones, moving shit, whatever...
With a bus load of people, would be an awesome stop to replenish resources, a few days of 15-20 people working their asses off, and the bus could walk away with a few thousand dollars.
 
Click here to buy one of our amazing custom bandanas!

gangleri

Lurker
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
36
I was in Quartzite this past January during the Gem Show. Its true that theres a ton of cool junk around (if I'd had money I might have bought one of the awesome knives they had for sale in the tents). There were a ton of cool dirty kids hanging about, some from the rainbow crowd, some crusty punks, and a good amount of older hobos. Theres an awesome free feeding every day down the street from where the main show tents are. I heard from some of the kids there that if you want some work, or some of the better work, you gotta show up a bit in advance of the actual show. I met quite a few folks who showed up on day one and couldn't find anything.

The camping around here is awesome. Theres some truly fantastic desert to explore, and plenty of good crater-looking spots and washes to camp in (careful not to get washed out), big enough to have a big group and a hoedown.

The whole place is really strange and interesting during the gem show.
 

gangleri

Lurker
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
36
Just imagine a giant cloud of RVs around an interstate in the middle of the desert and you'll be about there. There are one or two streets and a couple of buildings too, but about the time of the show they'll be lost in the sea of tents and campers.
 

Angela

Wandering But Not Lost Yet
Joined
May 25, 2008
Messages
417
Current Location
Housedup
Yeah I googled it and man there are no fuckin trees,
Yeah, there's no fuckin anything. Quartzsite is a snowbird town, when the trailers leave there's nothing left except for those couple of buildings and that's it. Very seasonal kind of town, more so even than Slab City. It becomes a ghost town after April and even in the winter months I use to like to avoid it. The only time that it's semi welcoming of travelers like us is during the swap meets, otherwise those follks with their fancy RV's/Trailers are far too quick to call the cops on dirty kids and anything else that's not a retired snowbird.
 

panik

Lurker
Joined
Jun 24, 2007
Messages
79
Website
www.facebook.com
god I was there for like 4 months or so this winter...my dog had nine puppies so I was kind of stuck. I got there waaaay too early because my dumb ass thought it'd be easier to get work that way. I walked around that town for days trying to find work and by the time it actually started rolling in, BAM, dog gives birth. so I was stuck out in the desert babysitting pups and couldn't do much. I was there in 2007/8 and it was a little better, this year most of the people who came into town were soooo lame.
anyway enough bitching, basically everyone including the vendors told me quartzsite is getting worse every year, a lot of vendors and stuff didn't show up or aren't planning to next year because it's going to shit I guess.
it was fun camping out, staying drunk(nothing else to do!!!), having fires every night and whatnot but the desert landscape and climate are just not my cup of tea. i'll take mountains and trees, please.
onna side note though, if you roll into there with some money, you can roll out with tons of neat stuff. heh.
 

bryanpaul

Rambler
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Messages
1,187
Age
37
Current Location
eastern shore of Maryland
we had a tough time gittin work there this year.......heard it was the slowest year ever.....but, if youve never been its worth checkin out .....lots of rainbowy type folk there....
 
OP
Cardboard

Cardboard

I'm a d-bag and got banned.
Banned
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
520
I'm not sure what sort of "hard time" people had getting work. I got dropped off in the middle of January, so getting kind of late for the swap meet. I was taking off a shirt and putting it in my bag, before even walking anywhere, and some guy came and told me he had work for me, 10$ an hour, 6 hours, 2 nights in a row. I guess I might have just been lucky, but I could have had work the whole time I was there.
And even without money, the kickdowns were abundant, and groundscores too.
Plus it's super easy to wrap stones, or tie hemp or whatever, and lots of vendors are looking for people to do grunt work like that. usually 1-2 dollars for a wrap, which takes less than 5 minutes, and 4-5 dollars for hemp, which is like 20-30 minutes.
From kickdowns alone, I could have been running my own stand with hemp and silver wrapped jewelry, and made a lot more, but I wasn't really in the mood to be so busy.
Definitely not the place to go if you don't like the desert, but I loved my stay there.
 

oldmanLee

Newbie
Joined
Sep 7, 2009
Messages
296
Current Location
Richmond,Va.
Okay,folks,just spotted this post being read by a guest(who ever you are,Bushmills and beer on me),and would like to put out a request for info,any and all,on the swapmeet.Give me your good,your bad,and your ugly,I want it all!PULEEEZZZE!!!!!!!!!
If ever there was a place to pull into with a portable machine shop on wheels,Blind Willie Johnson wailing on the homebuilt cd player,with my head shaved down to a footlong scalplock,a half a case of Bushmill's and enough sodawater to soften the edge,THIS IS IT!
 

bote

Newbie
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
594
Current Location
where you live?
I've never worked at quartzite, but I have worked the Tucson gem show which is apparently somewhat similar in terms of work availability, a lot of the same people work both, and in the past couple years it's really dried up a lot, buyers and vendors not able/wanting to travel so much because of the economy. I know a lot of the snowbirds who usually come south are not rolling around in their big rv's so much... But Lee, that image alone is worth doing it for, and if there's no bushmills, there's definitely keystone.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Donations go towards paying our monthly server fees, adding new features to the website, and occasionally putting a burrito in Matt's mouth.

Total amount
$40.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $40.00 of $50.00
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $40.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully his will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $40.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $40.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.

Latest Status Updates

The user account self-delete system is back online.
siid wrote on raincheck's profile.
gang goin dummy bitch yiiizzzZzzzzZz love u :👽:

Trains in 2017: 0
2018: 1
2019: 32 and counting
croc wrote on bowldog's profile.
Love ur profile pic. She looks so sultry peeking thru the trees
dumpsternavel wrote on Rhubarb Dwyer's profile.
So clevar
The only good part about the ER is the BE that comes before-hand! :p
forgot how fast people'll throw the first blow in the street
got complacent having only sparred with friends recently.
was socked in the head,
only managed to block the second blow or so
before being knocked to the ground

(to be fair, knocking us off our feet isn't hard when we require a cane or smth to support ourselves most days)
Currently in Louisiana , I'm off the road. Had Hep C an liver cancer. Don't ever forget to be free from the man you have to leave it all behind, each an every time.
Still....in Jax if any kids about
Stuck on paper in idaho, missing the woods and my DK fam