Tuesday, February 16, 2010

02/15: Tucson 02/16: Phoenix

I am mezmerized by desert dwellers of all kinds...
people, plants and animals.

This trip has been wonderful in so many ways and I'm so thankful for the moments spent here. It is soooooo FLAT out here - for miles and miles you can see and then your eyes capture a mountain range which could have catci and rocks or pine trees and snow on them. It's warm and yet there's snow up in the higher elevations...craziness! Back to the flatness for a moment...it's not just the terrain, but all of the houses and buildings are all relatively the same height and not many are higher than the brush and cactus plants that are everywhere around them. No yards in Tuscon to speak of...barely a driveway by my definition. Rocks, sand and cactus then a house is planted in the middle of it all, but they are all low to the ground and blend in together. I would have a hard time without a "yard" to play in...to even walk in for that matter. :) My mind just couldn't grasp what life must be like in the desert...no touch football games happening in the backyards of Tucson.

In the mountains, the rocks and cliffs are just astounding. Breathtaking views all around and they are constantly changing depending upon the sunlight and angle at which you view them. So awesome...and somewhat chilly. 70's at the bottom...40's at the top. We saw deer tracks in the snow when we stopped to play in the snow on the way up Catalina Highway just north of Tucson. The area was called "Middle Bear" and there were signs indicating "bear crossing" in the area as well. Glad they were still hibernating or at least too busy to come and join us on our journey through their woods.

The people I encountered along our journey were very nice. I did notice that everyone drives slower and less intense than in Atlanta. Kind of a slow paced lifestyle all the way around, but we were only here for a few days. Lots of people out biking, walking, and hiking...I didn't think much of it until two fox came out of a "yard" in a residential area onto the highway in front of us. One grabbed squirrel roadkill and then off they ran back into the direction from which they came without missing a beat. Not too much later were two women out walking in the same area. Yikes!

In Phoenix, we met up with Scott's great Aunt Pat and Uncle Walter Roth. What an extraordinary couple! Married 65 years come August of this year. An inspriation to me as I listened to the stories of travel, people, and events they have experienced in their lives. I can tell they adore their grand and great grandchildren, too. The boys enjoyed looking at their pictures and talking with them. What gracious hosts they were to us while we were there...can't wait to return for another visit one day!

A spontaneous trip that will go down as one of the best! So relaxing and enjoyable. Next trip out...bring on the Grand Canyon!

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