Road Trip Post #7

Arizona is HOT. I mean, many people know that already, but I have experienced it firsthand with crazy temperatures. I’m not one to balk when it gets to the upper 80s; I can handle that. But once it gets to three digits I start being really concerned. So, when in my car driving from Tuscon to Phoenix it not only was over 100, but over 110… my lord. “It’s a dry heat” everyone says, but it’s still super duper Martian hot. I was not so into it. I still did stuff – but it was hard.

So, what did I do? Well, in Tucson, AZ I spent the morning at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which had some amazing examples of the flora and fauna of the area. The saguaro (pronounced suh-wah-row) cacti are beautiful and big and some birds even cut out the insides of them to make nests. It was very cool. There was a part that had reptiles and larger mammals as well as some arachnids. I learned that while the black widow spider is venomous, it’s very chill and won’t bite you unless you really interrupt it’s actions. Good to know.

In the early afternoon I went to the Pima Air and Space Museum. I was lucky to get there when I did (1:30pm) because they closed at 3pm due to extreme temperatures (no kidding). Most of the museum is outside (SO many planes – 787, 747, fighter jets, helicopters, etc). It was truly amazing. I was surprised they had an ANA 787 – I wonder why that company gave it up. I would think they would want to be making money with it. I also got to touch some of these, which was pretty cool.

Then yesterday was my craziest day so far. I met up with a friend in the morning in Phoenix and we decided quickly to escape the 115 degree temperature (not a typo) for Sedona, a place that is usually 20 degrees cooler (read: still 95 degrees). We did a hike to the ‘birthing cave’, which when you look from it to the outside at a certain angles looks a bit what you might imagine when you were pushed out of the uterus…. It was a pretty good hike and we were happy to have some clouds blocking the sky to provide shade.

Those clouds came back with a vengeance later, though. We drove through a monsoon! Who knew Arizona (let alone any of the USA) had monsoons. We had to detour around our original route because a car crashed (and there is only ONE road from Sedona to Phoenix) and hit the monsoon head on. Luckily, my friend was driving (he is local) and so I could relax and watch the droplets on the car/ground. It was really cool to watch the lightning, too. I will always remember my Dad calling it a ‘sound and light show.’

But that wasn’t the craziest aspect of the evening. During the monsoon, a localized pressure system pushed over some power poles near my friend’s house. So, there was no power all night into this morning (and possibly still out now). Basically, everything in his fridge was ruined and we had to sleep somewhere else. Luckily, his parents put us up (which was great) and I shmoozed with them in the morning over breakfast waffles. It was great.

Then, the final thing before coming to San Diego (where the weather changed from 115 to 85 in maybe 45 minutes) was the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum. I saw a bunch of old and somewhat working trains along with a cool exhibit on train signals. I got to go into a model post office train as well as the head of the company’s train (so that we could see how we could live). It was pretty cool.

Great experiences were had and wondering items seen over the past two days. And my purchased paintings didn’t meant in the car! Yippe!