Raised on the east coast, Kathy didn’t see a desert until she’d moved to San Francisco in her college years. Taking bus trips down to beaches in Mexico, the desert felt like something to ‘get through’ in order to get to the beach.
Back-packing in the Sierras brought Kathy closer to the Mojave. One day, driving through Darwin in search of a friend's place, she felt ‘eyes were on her’ from behind curtains as she drove through the town. Kathy passed broken down shacks and cars and wondered how anyone could live in such a place. The town was so unnerving, she decided not to even get out of her car to walk around. Over time she came back to Darwin to visit those friends and began a serious quest for a vacation home there. With such a small population, property for sale was not easy to come by.
Through a series of events – some tragic and some disappointing – Kathy finally got a lead a few Darwin properties and purchased one. When the work/live space she was hoping for in San Francisco did not materialize, Kathy decided to make Darwin home.
In this episode Kathy describes what it’s like to live in a desert town with no stores or government, with the nearest gas or grocery 50 miles away. The only real social scene is the daily 11:30 a.m. trip to the Post Office for mail – the Postmaster has the only job in town.
We also talk about life in the desert as one ages; Kathy calls Darwin ‘a great place to die’.
These days, Kathy splits time between Darwin and Taos, New Mexico. She describes the property in Taos as even more primitive and off grid than Darwin. It’s at an elevation of 7200 feet where she hauls water and handles other manual living activities daily.
Find Kathy’s writing, music and art at: kathygoss.com
Photo: K. Schwarz