Jan has always wanted to ride a camel. She came close on Egypt a long time ago, but not quite. Quartzsite has a long history with camels. Over 100 years ago a Syrian gentleman, known locally as Hi Jolly, because they could not pronounce his real name, came to this area as part of a government project to introduce camels as transport in the desert.
The program was phased out, but Hi Jolly stayed, along with a couple of the camels. His grave and pyramid marker are in the local cemetery. The camels eventually all left, but the local people have kept up the memories.
Every January there is a parade of the Quartzsite Camel Corps. 2022 is the 150th anniversary of Quartzsite, so the parade was quite the celebration this year. There were even some real camels available for rides, so Jan was all excited!
The parade was a lot of fun, and every conceivable creation of camel was there, from a canvas camel, to real camels, to one made from deadwood! The parade was followed by hotdogs, Italian ice floats, and western music and dancing.
People ask us what there is to do in a small desert town in Arizona. Quartzsite is a wacky town, filled with up to one million RVers from November to April, scattered throughout the town and the surrounding desert boondocking locations. There are so many things to do here that you could play yourself to death! The people are incredible!