Monday, February 12, 2018

Laundry, gold, and a bit of history

February 11 (Sunday)
We were off to town by 8AM this morning. It was laundry day and we've been told to get to the Main Street Laundry early to ensure washing machines are available. The place opens at 6 AM, so yes, arriving at 8:15 was 'late', but it was Sunday and we expected it to be relatively quiet. Well, it wasn't, but we did fins a full bank of machines not in use so we loaded three washers and then headed to the attached restaurant for breakfast. So this is were everyone is. The parking lot was full and it didn't seem to be many folks i the laundry area but here they were having breakfast!

Service was pretty quick and we were out of there and back to our washing machines just as they finished the last spin cycle. We found two working dryers and loaded them up with clothes and quarters. It seemed like every ones wash was finished at the same time as there wasn't one free dryer by the time we had ours loaded. There are about 40 dryers, of which a half dozen were out of order.

Lots of commercial size dryers. .25/6.5 minutes

Lots of washing machines. $1.75/load.

Some brand new fancy washers. $3.50/load.

It was shoulder to shoulder there for a bit. When Cheryl tried to open one of the dryer doors the combination of the person next to us crowding her and the big door of the commercial dryers....she opened the door and hit her lip. Ouch! We managed to get the rest of the laundry done without further incident or injury and we were out of there. That will hold us until we get to Mesa.

The next street behind the laundry was the Quartzite Improvement Association building (the QIA) and they were hosting the Gold Show. We popped over to see the displays. Lots of vendors selling stuff, most unrelated to gold. Inside there were lots of vendors selling everything to with gold. Much of it was mining type equipment. Metal detectors, sluice boxes, powered washers, trips to the gold fields of Alaska. Lots of cool stuff. The metal detectors were very interesting to me. I've been thinking about getting one for a while now. I think they would be fun to use exploring parks, beaches, historical areas, and yes....finding big gold nuggets! Finding nuggets is very rare these days and today if you find small pieces twice the size of a pinhead you are having a good day. A metal detector that can find small gold flakes is expensive though (over a thousand USD), so I'm not ready to make that investment. Entry level detectors are under $300, so I maybe I can justify that.

Metal detecting 101. There were experts on hand to show you how to use your metal detector.

Everyone waiting to learn some tricks on metal detecting.

Next stop was the Quartzite Museum. This is a very interesting place. The building was built of adobe (straw and mud) back around 1850 and served as the Tyson's Well stage Coach stop for a number of years.

Castle made of small stones. Located outside the museum.

A village of buildings made of small stones.

The classroom. Inside the museum.

Kitchen area of the museum.

The walls of the museum are made of adobe which is a mixture of straw and mud which is dried in the sun.

They built a second outer wall to protect the deteriorating adobe walls.

A desk made from Ocotillo cactus arms and dynamite cases.

Interesting mining displays.

The had some rocks that glowed various colors under a black light. They were green, blue and red. Hard to see in this picture.

'Jake'. He is in an old wheelchair from a resident of town.

Nice, cozy fireplace kept the house warm on cool winter desert nights. The adobe building stays amazingly cool during hot days.

Pictures of the worlds biggest Saguaro cactus. 47 arms.

A painting of the museum building when it was a stage coach station.

The old Saguaro cactus skeleton out back had an interesting back story. It used to grow outside of town. Saguaro are very slow growing and it can take well over fifty years to grow it's first arm. This huge catus had 47 arms. The cactus was estimated to be over 900 years old. Everyone of course want to see the cactus and over the course of time the root system was damaged by people and vehicle traffic. The cactus eventually died and it's skeleton was stolen. A long story short......the skeleton was recovered and ended up in the back yard of the museum.

The remains of the 47 arm cactus.

I find the intricate designs in the skeleton amazing.

If this skeleton could only share it's stories.

The docent that led us throught the rooms was very knowledgeable and personable. We enjoyed the tour very much. Did I mention admission is free!
One last parting photo of the Museum....

Then home to LaPosa. Ribs on the barbeque, a nice warm evening, and a sunset like this......

......and that was Our View From Here!


  1. The laundry is always busy that why I like to go before 7 am , but at least you got things done and breakfast as well.
    Love that museum and docent did an amazing job filling us in with some very interesting history of Quartzite, Think we were there 2 hours.

    1. There is no way one of us, not saying who, could be at the laundry by 7 AM! But we got it done.
      Yes, two hours needed for sure.

    2. LOL I know who would not be there early. I am ready to head outside by then anyway.

  2. What a great day you had. Poor Cheryl and her lip though. Never have been to the museum, but we'll put it on our list for the next time. My daughter in law has a metal detector (not expensive) and she loves playing w it! Never know what you'll find. Beautiful sunset..and ribs yum!

    1. Definately the museum is a must see.
      Lots of folks here have metal detectors. I may strike it rich! Who knows.

  3. The laundry for us is hit and miss, we've never had to wait in there, always 2 or 3 washers and dryers. Lucky I guess as it is usually after 8 at the very least.
    We need to see the museum next year, relaxed too much this year! Is there such a thing!? haha

    1. The museum is a great way to spend an afternoon. You'll need at least two hours.

    2. I had to come back to comment again on that cactus. Truly an amazing life it has had! Sad that after 900 years it had died from human interest. Thank you for the story and for the pictures. 47 arms!!!

  4. Great day. I found if you go to the laundromat after the restaurant closes it's much less busy and it's not difficult to get machines or find room for folding either.

    Loved the museum thanks for the tour. Your pictures of the cacti skeleton were amazing, thanks for sharing. Love those intricate patterns and weaves.

    Nothing like a desert sunset!

    1. Good idea on waiting out the restaurant crowd. I just assumed later in the day would be busier.
      I was thinking you would appreciate the Saguaro ribs with their patterns when I was taking the pictures. Happy to hear you liked them!

  5. Tom and I keep saying we are going to stop at the Quartzsite Museum and then we never make it. Thank you for sharing the pictures. I really liked your pictures of the Saguaro skeleton and the interesting information about it.

    1. One more reason to return to Q next year!!
      The cacti around here are pretty amazing. I am intrigued by them. This is the first year we have seen them, so we're amazed.

  6. Glad you made it to the museum, it's pretty interesting.

    1. A great way to spend an afternoon for sure. So much to see in Quartzite. What a great place! I wish we were staying longer. :-(