Winter was nearly over in Quartzsite when I received a request from my editor in Idaho where I worked summers as a reporter.
‘Hey – need a pic of a labyrinth for a photo illustration. Mine’s under 4 ft of snow. Heard there might be one in Quartzsite. Pic please?’
An odd request. I mentioned it to an RVer camped near me on the BLM camping area.
He smirked. “The Magic Circle is what you’re looking for. It’s at BLM South camping area. Go past the water station and look for signs on the right.”
Magic Circle? Sounds right for a maze made of rocks.
I grabbed my camera, jumped in the truck and off I went.
I found a sign, Magic Circle…and then another that said ‘Attention – Beyond this sign you may encounter nude sunbathers.’ [Snort, chuckle. Naked RVers? Yeah, right.]
I picked my way across a dry wash, waved at the few remaining RVers … and there it was! A maze made of carefully stacked volcanic rock and adorned with multicolored jewels.
I climbed out of the truck, camera in hand. I circled the circle, trying for a good angle.
One of the RVers I passed walked towards me. He held down the bottom of his T shirt with both hands, like a shy teenage girl at a slumber party, grinning.
“Hello! Can I help you?” he said, like some kind of authority figure.
I explained my maze-finding mission.
“Well, just be careful where you point that camera.” He chuckled. “You’re in the Magic Circle, now.”
“The maze, right? The Magic Circle?”
He laughed. “This is the Magic Circle!” He waved around the area. “The Quartzsite nudist colony! I’m only wearin’ this T shirt ’cause I got sunburnt the other day.”
The guy turned out to be with the Magic Circle Society, and he invited me to come and camp or just sunbathe anytime I wanted. Oh, my.
When I turned to leave he said, “I don’t mean to be smart or anything, but I hope to see more of ya!”
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Cate Mueller is a web designer, editor, reporter and photographer in Bouse, Arizona. To visit her website, click here.