November 20, 2008 in Voices

Going south for winter

Herb Huseland Staff writer

In October and November each year, many of our older citizens start to melt off. Soon, we look around wondering, “Hey, what happened to so and so. I haven’t seen him/her for a while.” The answer is always,

“Oh, they left for Arizona.”

We decided to investigate this phenomenon. The current population of Bayview and surrounding area is about half of what it usually is due to this southerly migration. Setting off on this search for the elusive Bayviewites, we headed for the desert.

After a late start in which my plans for an orderly departure were in tatters, I piled most of what I needed for the trip in the car and set out for Wellton, Ariz., 30 miles east of Yuma. That’s just about as far as one can go north and south in this country.

After two days, I reached Wellton. Torrential rains at my departure have been replaced by 80 to 90 degree temperatures.

It was decided to show me a piece of Mexico, so we dropped down to Los Algodones. I might as well have worn a sign saying “ignorant tourista.” Every merchant in this flea market style town knew I was an easy mark. They were right. I am now the proud owner of a beautiful full-size sombrero along with several other souvenirs.

On the way back I stopped along with my hosts, Jim and Jean Campbell, former owners of the Captain’s Wheel Restaurant in Bayview, Idaho, at the Wal-Mart in Yuma. While waiting for the rest of my party to arrive at the door, we were entertained by the greeter. By the time Liz and Larry Justus, owners of the Lakeland RV Park in Bayview, and ferry Mutton and his friend A.J. Hare, more expatriates showed up.

Many in Coeur d’Alene will remember Dale and Vickie Parowitz, former owners of Gibbs Tavern, an ex-icon on Northwest Boulevard. There we were: nine current and former Bayview residents, all at a Wal-Mart in Yuma Ariz.

Some other winter residents who haven’t shown up yet: Dick and Annie Gasper, Dave and Annie Morrow, retired Gonzaga professor and his bandleader wife, Lou and Peggy Wilson, who once owned a float home in Bayview.

Next up is hamburger night at the VFW in Wellton, a tradition where virtually everyone in town shows up. Up to 425 burgers per burger night are served, cooked by, yes, Jim Campbell, who can’t seem to stay away from a kitchen. More on that later.

•In other news, kokanee have appeared by the hundreds at the Harborview Marina, formerly Bayview Marina. Two years ago, Kramer Tug and Barge plowed through the shallows during pile driving disprupting kokanee spawning areas. he new owners of the marina, Waterford Park Homes LLC were required to restore the spawning beds.

After thousands of dollars and a lost year of development, it appears this year’s crop of fish are happily adopting the new improved spawning grounds.

Contact correspondent Herb Huseland at Read his blog at

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