Background On My Fifth Rock&Gem Article

My article on Quartzsite, Arizona is in the April issue of Rock&Gem Magazine. (external link) You can find it soon at most Barnes&Noble bookstores or you can order a copy online.

You might think I’m some sort of geologist or an advanced amateur to get published so often but I am not. I write from the standpoint of an interested, enthusiastic beginner. I learn about turquoise and garnet and mariposite as I write each article. I learn as I go and I invite the reader into what I find.

Do you have a hobby you’re interested in? If you like to write, you may want to investigate the hobby magazines that cover your field. Look what they’ve published before, develop an idea, then query the editor.

Quartzsite, Arizona is a mecca in winter for collectors of practically everything. It’s been called the World’s Largest Swap Meet. But it is particularly known to rock and gem collectors, along with people interested in fossils and jewelry. I write about the experience of spending three days there and wearing out a pair of shoes.


These young miners of High Desert Gem and Minerals (external link) sold California tourmaline, Oregon sunstone and blue chalcedony.


Exhibiting the best in organization, this vendor had all his wares arranged in alphabetical order. There were 21 items under “C” alone.


Boondocking is self-sustained camping practiced by people with recreational vehicles. These campers are at the Hi Jolly BLM camping area north of Quartzsite on I-95.


Fine artist Elizabeth Lauder (external link) created this work called Two Tree Huggers. The painting is oil on lizard skin marble.

Quartzsite is also about the stores and attractions away from the tents and temporary vendors. Look for Miners Depot when you get to town. A clearinghouse for all things related to desert prospecting.

There’s even a thousand year old tree in town. Ask any local for directions to this wonderful Ironwood tree.

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer who specializes in history, technology, and human interest stories.
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