Monday, December 31, 2012

January shows bring in the visitors--latest details

Quartzsite's main season is soon to be "off and running." While the snowbirds have been trickling in, the first of January looks like it will mark a big inrush. And no surprise there, January has some of the biggest "show attractions" of the year.

Don't worry, all your favorite vendor venues are up and running already. There's treasures and trash a'plenty. 

Here's the rundown of the big January attractions:

January 1 - February 28  Desert Gardens Annual International Gem, Mineral, and Jewelry show. You'll find it on the "south frontage road" near Love's Truck Stop.

January 12 - January 26  The Main Event host's the big Steam Engine Show. At the west end of town on Main Street (the "B-10").

January 19 - January 27  The Big Tent Sports, Vacation, and RV Show. No doubt one of the biggest draws of the year, Kenny's HUGE tent will be up and drawing literally thousands. You'll find it on the west side of Highway 95, just south of the "south frontage road."

January 23 - January 27  44th Annual QIA Pow Wow.  Yep, rock and gem lovers, this is THE BIG ONE. This is the show that probably made Quartzsite famous.  Food, and lots and lots a rocks. At the QIA grounds, look for the signs on Main Street (the "B-10") traveling east of Highway 95.

Where to stay? There are still plenty of spots at many of the area's RV parks. And as always, if you don't mind boondocking, there's room at all of the Short Term BLM sites around the area, free for up to two weeks. Want a little more "civilization" and a place to dump your tanks and take on fresh water? Then the Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA) have lots of room available. Fees are still $40 for two-weeks, and $180 for the whole season.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Quartzsite's nearest hospital makes dubious national list

Credit: Palo Verde Times
We've been saying it for years, and now a new list published  by a coalition of public and private purchasers of health insurance benefits substantiates the view: Need a hospital? DON'T go to Blythe, California.

The report listed the 25 worst hospitals in the US, based on performance in terms of medical error, medication mismanagement, infection rates, and patient injuries. Palo Verde Hospital finds itself in the unenviable position of being in third place on the list.

This comes as no real surprise to locals, particularly any of those versed in the medical profession. A medical evacuation flight nurse repeatedly warned us against allowing any of our loved ones to be "treated" at Palo Verde. An RN we know who came from out of the area hired on at Palo Verde for a short time, then quickly quit the job, fearing she might be swept up in a legal tragedy after viewing procedures and records at PVH.

What's a person in need of medical care to do? We don't hold out a whole lot of hope for treatment at LaPaz Regional Hospital in Parker, either. Our own experiences at the hospital might not put it on the same list, but we've come away shaken by our visits and the seeming "back woods" feel.

Consider traveling a long way for reasonable medical care, either to Phoenix or, "down the hill" in the Palm Springs area. This might be a good time (if you can afford it) to look into an emergency medical evacuation plan, such as offered through the Good Sam Club.

Here's a link to the scathing report.