By Thomas Farley
Editor's Note: Thomas Farley, life-long rockhound, author, prolific blogger (www.southwestrockhounding), graciously agreed to share his observations, experiences, and photos of the time he will spend at this years' Quartsite Improvement Association (QIA) Pow Wow Gem & Mineral Show. 2020 marks the 54th year of the QIA Pow Wow.
Day 2 — Thursday, Jan. 16
Thursday brought another day of beautiful weather to Quartzsite. A few wisps of clouds appeared from time to time, somewhat relieving the sun's powerful glare. Temperatures rose into the high 60's in the afternoon.
The day got warm enough that an alert went over the public address system about a few dogs that had been left in cars. Their owners were told to get back quickly to their vehicles before the police started breaking windows. This brings up the matter of dogs at Quartzsite – they are all over.
Another example was when I fell into two people who kept mentioning Utah locations for agates. I then noticed that one had a Southern Utah Rock Club hat on. "I'm a member!", I exclaimed. "I know Lynn. He showed me a great place for field agates that I would never have found otherwise." They smiled and said they knew this place near Cedar City well. The couple lived in Mesquite, Nevada and when the weather got too hot they would drive to that higher elevation to collect during the summer.
Instead, he asked if I had any relatives in Humboldt County,
California. I started to cry but held back my tears. "Just my late brother." "Tim! Biff Barker! He worked for me when I owned the radio station in Eureka. He was great. Everybody loved him. Great sense of humor." Tim worked a long time in radio and Eureka was where he found a home. He did morning drive and was absolutely fun to listen to. Mike allowed Tim to be himself and it was a very emotional time for me as we both exchanged memories of my past brother. Mike, by the way, does an enormous amount of self collecting and coin and relict hunting in England. Well worth a stop.
At one point I heard Pink Floyd being played on an acoustic guitar being played by a young man who calls himself DanTheCabMan. That's an Instagram handle for those who don't know. He played "Wish you Were Here" and I wished every rockhound could be here in Quartzsite, too.
Day 1 — Wednesday, Jan. 15
Perfect weather greeted everyone in Quartzsite, Arizona for the first day of the QIA PowWow. Not quite shirt sleeve weather but a light jacket or a long sleeved shirt served well. No wind, a blessing for all of the vendors with shade canopies that normally take sail in a strong breeze. High clouds, bright sun. Sunscreen, big cap, and lip balm time. If you lack a cap, the Quartzsite Roadrunners Gem and Mineral Club will sell you one. As we all know, any Roadrunner based apparel enhances life.
I got to talk to only a few vendors but I will be back tomorrow. Jeffrey Anderson of Dwarves Earth Treasures eagerly looked at my first self-collected thunderegg. Although he has cut thousands of geodes and thundereggs, his expression was that of someone truly in love with his trade, who couldn't wait to cut my rock open and to polish it. He's not cutting on site this year, but will get it done at his shop before his next show and mail it back to me. Jeffrey is deaf and communicates with a signboard and, as he once wrote me, with some acting. He was selling a great selection of polished and unpolished material. This evening I got an e-mail from him, putting in exact writing what he tried to communicate to me over his show table.