Sweet Home Quartzsite?

I left Oxbow at a good time. The weed trimmers were just entering the empty campsite next to mine as I rolled out, so it was about to get very loud. It would also be a real pain when they came through my campsite. I’m not upset with them. They’re just doing their job. I definitely plan to return to Oxbow again at some point. There are better campsites available than the one I had, and I hope to snag one of them when workers aren’t trimming all the weeds. But since my house is on wheels, I decided to move it elsewhere to avoid the unpleasantness.

That “elsewhere” is Quartzsite once again. I had some business to take care of: setting up my new mail forwarding. My Escapees membership is up for renewal soon. They’ve worked well for me, and it was an easy way to get a mailing address fast when I desperately needed it. They’re one of the more expensive options out there, but at the time I was willing to just throw money at the problem in the interest of speed. Now, though, I’ve found an alternative that’s going to work better for me: BCM Mail and Ship.

This past winter, I’ve had the occasional package sent to me at Quiet Times. There’s no membership required, and you just pay a few bucks for each package you send there and pick up. It was perfect for my no-commitment lifestyle. Now, though, I know I’m going to be spending winters in southwest Arizona. BCM offers a similar mail forwarding service as Escapees, including scanning your mail so you can read it from faraway places. However, their $79.95 annual fee is less than half of what I’m paying Escapees for the membership, mail forwarding, domicile, etc. Plus, when I’m in Quartzsite, I can physically go there and pick up my mail and packages myself, like a normal person. What a concept!

So on my way into Quartzsite, I went to BCM and signed up. It was very easy doing it in person, rather than jumping through Escapees’ hoops of electronic notarization and all that. I understand why it’s necessary. Mail is serious business, and they don’t want anyone forwarding your mail to them instead of you. But it was much easier to simply hand a live human my identification than to go through the online process I had to for Escapees. I walked in with my checkbook and walked out with my new address. Hours later I got an email with all the information about how to access my account online. It’s done.

I’m not an Arizona resident yet, though. All I’ve set up is my mail forwarding, not my residence. The way I see it, I’ve already paid my Florida van and motorcycle registrations through December. I’m going to be traveling anyway, so what state I’m registered in doesn’t matter for now. This fall, though, when I return to this area to hide from a real winter again, I will officially switch my stuff over and become an Arizona resident. I’ll even be able to buy a resident off-road permit for the bike instead of renewing the non-resident one I have now (which is also valid through December).

What’s next? Waiting in Quartzsite for a few days. While I still have the Escapees mail forwarding, I’m having them send all of the low-priority stuff they’ve been hanging onto for me to my new address in Quartzsite. I’m here now, and I can receive it here, so I might as well. I looked into ordering a few things off Amazon, but they’re going to take a week or two to arrive, and the third solar panel for my roof can’t even be delivered to BCM at all. I continue to wonder why, exactly, I have Amazon Prime. Anyway, after that, I’ll continue slowly heading to higher elevations before the temperature gets too hot here.

In the meantime, I’m parked next to Melinda near the Lit Cactus. See that cactus behind me? That IS the Lit Cactus! Patrick’s having a fire tonight, so I’ll just have to hang out. Being here also puts me in Quartzsite for Buck Connors Days, a western festival in honor of a long-dead actor who few remember beyond this area. I’ll probably check that out tomorrow. Meanwhile, the wind is calm enough to have my awning up, and I’m greatly appreciating the shade it’s creating. Lister seems to be enjoying chasing the lizards that have woken up from their winter slumber. I’m keeping my scanners peeled for any other nasty creepy crawlies that have woken up as well.

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