February 19, 2009 – Quartzsite’s Sites

Our first stop this morning was to The Gambler to check out awning replacements. He had what we wanted at a good price so we made an appointment for Saturday.

Our next stop was Celia’s Rainbow Gardens. There is an interesting story behind this. The gardens were first started in 1995, a year after the death of 8 year old Celia Anne Winer (the daughter of Paul Winer – remember the naked bookstore owner), it was part of a dream to help give something back to the community of Quartzsite for all the help they gave to the Winer family during rough times.

Celia was a miracle baby, born after just 5 ½ months and weighing only 1 ¼ pounds in Hamilton, Ontario. She spent the next four months in an incubator and was finally released when she reached 5 pounds. She came to Quartzsite when she was five. She was often called an “old soul” by those who met her and talked for any length of time. Her love of nature and her desire to make a difference were the inspiration for the gardens after her death.

The gardens have grown due to the work of many volunteers and organizations in town. The BLM offices in Yuma donated many of the trees and cacti. Many people adopted areas to remember loved ones.

It is such a beautiful area.

Our next stop was to the Hi-Jolly Monument. The War Department during the mid-1800 experimented with using camels to carry supplies over the desert and they hired Hi Jolly to be the caretaker of the animals. The experiment was stopped and the camels were left to fend for themselves in the areas around Quartzsite. Here is the monument:

Our last stop of the day was to the Tyson Wells Old Stage Station which now houses a number of artifacts and some history of Quartzsite – really interesting.

Back home, we met our neighbors and shared a campfire with them tonight.

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