South of Nowhere

Howling coyotes, lows in the 60s, and neighbors from Hibbing: Minnesota snowbirds roost in the desert

Edwin is 80, and I will be. We've been coming down since '82--that came about through friends in Detroit Lakes. We had an air-conditioning and heating company up there. And we always used to camp, with a little trailer and then a motor home. It just kind of evolved from summer vacations to a big winter vacation. We love to hike and climb in the mountains--we hike every day, a little over two miles a day, and sometimes another hike in the afternoon after we've had our golf. It seems like we're always out there doing something.

Bud & Marge Richards
We aren't that brave yet

Terry Gydesen

I'll be 62 and my husband is 70. We lived in Hibbing all our life, still have a place up there. But we had always been into camping. My husband isn't too much for staying in motels. He wants his own bed to drive around with him. So we started out with a pickup and a camper in the back. Now we have a motor home. Bud worked for a trucking firm for 35 years, so he does most of the driving. We've been coming here for three or four years. We got here the first of December, and we're staying till the first of March.

It's pretty--lot of mountains, the desert is interesting. We get around with ATVs and we ride bikes or walk into town--that's half a mile. We have run into a lot of interesting things, all of the living things in the desert that I never expected. Flowers, hummingbirds, a lot of birds.

Some people are braver than we are--they sell their house and just live in their RVs. But we aren't that brave yet. We want to go home--it's still home. But we'd never go and live in a condo. Here, when I don't like the people I'm next to, I can pick up and move.

Jim & Margaret Cook
Watching the cars go by

I'm 75, and--Jim, how old are you? --82, right. We were down here twice in the 1940s. We had a daughter that had bronchitis real bad, and we tried coming down here in the wintertime. But then the kids were ready for school and we felt like we should stay in Minnesota. We had a farm, my husband worked in the gas station some, and I cooked in the school. That was in Clearbrook, near Bemidji. But we always said that when we got the kids up through school, we were coming back here.

The first time we came down here was in the fall, and we never realized how busy it was going to be later on. We were out in the country, too, about eight miles out, so we didn't see as much. Then my husband started working at McDonald's, I worked there one year too, but I didn't appreciate it much and I gave up. But it got to be quite a long drive for him, so we decided that we better find a place closer to town.

We go in sometimes. They have music several nights a week, at the Quartzsite Improvement Association. But we don't run around a lot. We're getting old, and it's fun to just sit around and watch the cars go by.

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