It's 115 degrees. So what? David and Corazon Lawton don't mind, not after suffering through the winters that Detroit can dish out.
It turns out that the Lawtons aren't alone. There are plenty of people around here who can stand the heat."I've had my beard frozen and my breath freeze on my face," said Scott Smith, a Utah native who moved here six years ago and spent Thursday afternoon supervising a crew laying concrete.
"I'd much rather deal with the heat," he said with a hearty laugh. "It gets so cold in Utah you can't move; in the heat, you just slow down and drink lots of water.
"Besides, you have a great tan all year long."
The heat wave blamed for more than 50 deaths and millions of dollars in crop damage across the southern third of the country didn't let up Thursday. For an 11th straight day, temperatures climbed over 100 in north Texas. It was 120 degrees in Needles, Calif.; 126 in Bullhead City, tying an all-time high; 113 in Phoenix; and 116 in Las Vegas. In Palm Springs, Calif., the heat index, which factors in humidity, was 129.
"Terrible, terrible," Ron Miller, 40, of Allentown, Pa., said as he sunbathed next to a Last Vegas pool. "It was warm back East but not this bad."
Carefree's 2,300 residents soaked in 116 degrees of heat on Thursday and, true to the town's name, no one seemed to mind.
The Lawtons, lured by their daughter's vacation stories of Arizona, this week bought a house in this posh suburb about 20 miles north of Phoenix.
"Last winter, we were sitting with snow up to our armpits and I'm seeing 80- to 90-degree weather in Arizona," Lawton said. "We know what we're getting into and I'm not going to whine about the heat. This is better than gray skies, rain and 30-below weather."
Many of Carefree's newest residents hail from the East, said Aubrey Dowling, who works at the town's Chamber of Commerce.
She said she spends her days handing out restaurant lists and information packets to new homeowners eager to trade in nine months of wintertime nightmares for two months of Arizona's scorching summers.
Desert diehards warned that the dry heat of the Southwest isn't for everyone.
"We're acclimated to the heat," longtime resident Craig Deckard said. "But the people from up East, they're used to the humidity and not the intense heat."