Desert Messenger

September 15, 2010

Desert Messenger is your local connection for news, events, and entertainment!

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 23

P��� 14 ���.D�����M��������.��� The desert is calling... Memories of a Quartzsite Newbie By Jedidiah Free Last year I got a job offer I couldn’t refuse. “Come to Quartzsite, AZ, for the win- ter. Work the show season, January and February,” the ad said. I had been to many parts of Arizona, and I had always wanted to go back when I could spend more time exploring this beautiful state. This was the perfect opportunity. Curi- ous about the job, and not really sure where Quartzsite, Arizona was, I respond- ed. The job was simple, waiting tables at a local restaurant. But what appealed to me more than the job or the opportunity to sell my jewelry, was the tranquility and simplicity of being camped out in the desert for the winter. Off I went to live a simple, somewhat primitive life out in the desert of the great Southwest. In my little slice of the desert, there were only a few other folks camped around me. And so I became a “newbie”, as the other vendors and seasonal workers called me. And I, along with so many others who were once also “newbies”, fell in love with this little slice of the Sonoran Desert and the simple life it offers. Relishing the beauty, peace, and quiet of this desert and her mountains was the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle after putting in a long day at the restaurant or at my jewelry booth. In the mornings I awakened to the pungent aroma of Creosote bushes and at night I fell asleep listening to coyotes howl and wind rustle the gnarly branches of “my” PaloVerde tree. The simple life out in the desert has a way of healing and nourishing the body, soul, and mind. The stress melts away, and things that at one time seemed im- portant to city life are but a distant memory. Instead, time is passed enjoy- ing spectacular sunrises and sunsets, watching Saguaro cactus shadows move Scholars’ Fall Football Schedule Come out and support the team! team won their last two games! 68-0 65-0 Our Date: Time: Home: 9/16 6pm Scholars’ this Friday! Town Park! Away: Mesa Prep 9/23 6pm Scholars’ Harvest Prep 10/01 7pm South Gate Scholars’ 10/07 7pm Scholars’ Scottsdale Prep 10/15 --------- BYE WEEK ---------------- 10/21 7pm Scholars’ 10/28 7pm Scholars’ M.A.L.C. Imagine @ Superstition Scholars’ Fall Volleyball Schedule Date: Time: Home: Away: 9/14 5:30pm Telesis 9/16 6:30pm MALC Scholars’ Scholars’ 9/21 6pm Scholars’ Arizona Aca 9/23 6pm Skyline 9/24 5pm Pillars Scholars’ Scholars’ 10/01 6pm Scholars’ Desert Pointe 10/02 1pm Imagine Surprise Scholars’* 10/02 3pm Scholars’ Imagine* 10/07 6pm Skyline West Scholars’ 10/08 5pm Arizona Aca Scholars’ 10/12 6pm Scholars’ Telesis *indicates double header S�������� 15, 2010 across the desert floor in the light of the full moon, braving a windstorm, or sitting around a campfire. At sunset the mountains glow with radiant purples and oranges. At night the coyotes howl a song of greeting to the rising moon. In the mornings, the sun rises over the mountains and burns off the chill of the crisp desert night. The birds awaken and take to song. Hummingbirds inves- tigate cautiously during morning coffee. It is amazing hearing, smelling, and watching the desert wake up. Those are the memories of my first winter here in Quartzsite. And here I am in the Black Hills of South Dakota. My summer here has been awesome. Interspersed between long work weeks have been many opportuni- ties to enjoy the beauty of this area- the multi-colored pinnacles and buttes of the Badlands, the lush meadows, sparkling streams and fields of wildflowers in the rolling prairies, the towering granite spires of the Needles, the stately Pon- derosa Pines of the Black Hills, and the magical underground worlds of Jewel and Wind Caves. As far as wildlife goes, I have seen more than my share of buf- falo and prairie dogs. The sunsets here are gorgeous, too, turning the granite pinnacles a deep purple. And then there are the stars. More stars than I have ever seen. On a clear night in the Badlands there are billions of them. This can be a harsh environment even in the summer. Windstorms, hailstorms, tornado threats, and snow, mixed with 100-degree days. But now winter is com- ing. I sit at my campsite, drinking in the sunshine and enjoying the warmth, knowing that soon it will be gone. The animals know, too, and are preparing. The buffalo are getting shaggy with thick winter coats. The prairie dogs gather frantically for their winter stockpiles. The deer are out foraging late into the night, building up their reserves to get through the winter. Even the birds know. They are enjoying these last days of summer, and they, like myself, are thinking of the desert. They will leave the beautiful Black Hills and head south for the winter. The Mountain Bluebirds that nest in the tree at my campsite flit excitedly. They had four babies this summer, and are busily preparing their little family for their long trip south to the desert. They gorge themselves on seed heads of the rapidly dying wildflowers. The lush green prai- rie is turning brown and crispy. Succulent nectar of cactus flowers will soon replace meals of prairie plants. Soon I, too, will bade goodbye to the beautiful Black Hills and head south. The desert is calling. I look forward to going back to my job at the Palo Verde Café and setting up my jewelry booth again. I wonder if the hole in café’s parking lot is still there from when the Palo Verde tree blew over in that crazy Janu- ary storm. I wonder if my vendor friends from Desert Gardens will come back again this year. I think about my “neighbors” at Tyson Wash, and the silly times with Michele and Jerry at the Main Street Laundromat. What stories we will all have to share of our summer adventures. So I, like the bluebirds, will head back to the desert and again make Quartzsite my home for the winter. There are many reasons to come here to Quartzsite. But for me, this simple life out here in the Sonoran Desert, camped out on BLM land, is the only reason I need. The desert rewards her visitors with a peace, beauty, and freedom like no other. That is my real reason for coming back here to Quartzsite to live a simple life out here in the desert. Recycle... Proud Neighbors of Quartzsite Sponsored by Funds raised by PNQ will support the events planned by the Arizona Centennial Commi�ee of Quartzsite! (A�er the centennial year, PNQ will con�nue the program) it all adds up! Recycle your empty inket cartridges and used cell phones! Help raise funds for the local Arizona Centennial celebration! DROP OFF LOCATIONS: • Horizon Community Bank • Quartzsite Library • Senior Center • General Store • Business Chamber

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Desert Messenger - September 15, 2010