Day 5 - February 2, 1998 - Milepost 1262 - Quartzsite, AZ

(BF). While Shari sleeps late I check out the desert for bird life. New environments always offer new birds and although none are life-birds (first time seen), I find several I've only found a few times before. Anna's Hummingbirds perch patiently as I enjoy their brilliant red bibs and crowns; a Black-tailed Gnatcatcher offers variety to its Blue-gray sister I see commonly in Texas; yellow-faced Verdins flutter through the scrubs and a Rock Wren bounces on more solid ground as his call reverberates through the desert; a Crissal Thrasher with its wicked hooked bill seems plain but for its blood red feathers beneath its tail. Back at camp I unload our bicycles for today's visit of more distant flea markets. While Shari revels in everything flea market, I single out rocks and minerals and books. I delight over the crystal collections, but decide an RV is not a place to store the heavy items and pass on their purchase. But I can't pass up books. Prowling through the stacks I discover two Dean Koontz novels still missing from my collection of 29, so I shell out a buck for the paperback and 2 bits for the hardback. I can't say driving 3 days to visit a flea market, however big, was worth my purchase, but I will enjoy the read nonetheless.

(SF} I am delighted with another pretty day. We decide to bike to the booth to pick up our screen. It is ready for us but heavier and bigger than we expected. Bert puts it on his bike and rides back. His image reminds me of John Travolta in The Urban Cowboy without the bucking broncho. Bert and his bucking bike arrive safely at RTENT. We proceed to put up the screen and have a terrible time. I had seen one set up at another campsite so decide to bike there to take a look. It looks like ours but the owners are not home so I bike back still no smarter. We try once more to raise the roof and then decide we are doing something wrong. We pedal back to the four corners and ask the salesman to give us a demonstration. He and Bert put it up easily. We still do not really understand what we are doing wrong but decide to try again later. We bike down US95 which appears to be the town's main street. It is loaded with one swap meet after another. We stop at a few, buy some books and finally reach a selling area called The Main Event. It too is loaded with booths of people selling stuff. Garage sale items, antiques, T-shirts, tools, food, clothes, jewelry, plants and more RV supplies are some of the items on display. I buy a Quartzsite T-shirt and Bert buys a book and popcorn. We bike back to RTENT and again try to reassemble the screen. Still no luck. We back it into the car and drive to the EZ-up booth. The salesman and Bert easily set up the screen. I AM THE PROBLEM. The salesman watches me open and close the screen and gives me some pointers but I am not convinced I still know how. We drive back ready for a cocktail and the sunset show.


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