8/21/2010 and 59 degrees
0800 MT and we are packed up and on the road. But for one stop at the Walmart store to pick up some Hatch's green chilies, Arizona is our destination. Oh, I know. I just posted that we were heading to Louisiana but I feel that the husband would have really preferred to go to Arizona so off we go.
Hopefully, he will do more jobs here. I wouldn't mind making another visit to Farmington. I'm not interested in permanent residency, but a visit would be fine.
This morning at the hotel, the rooms were filled with young people from the special Olympics. Swimming, volley ball and baseball teams made their way to the dining room and it was total bedlam. I stashed my laptop and started hoisting the empty coffee pots back to the prep room for refill while moving the full pots on the back shelf to the front. I wiped up the spills and kept the breakfast bar area tidy. Those kids didn't have the best coordination so the mess was excusable. Trash overflowed in the trash bins, and the staff member working this morning could have used some help. As soon as she had a pan of eggs and bacon ready, she was back to the kitchen for biscuits. By the time she got back, like a herd of locust, the breakfast bar was wiped clean of food. Later as I was leaving the hotel, they were still stepping off the elevator and heading for the breakfast bar. I moved from my table to the sofa so the kids could use the table. I'm gazing around at the madness around me when my attention was jerked back to the person that had just sat down to the right of me. The reason I noted him was because he had his hand wound up in my purse. I gently extracted his hand. He then started stroking my arm and then my face. Soon his hand wandered to the keyboard of my laptop. One of his peers sitting across from me took note and asked "he isn't bothering you is he?" This she asked with a note of hopefulness in her voice. Considering the crowd today, I told her "Of course not." I could see the relief on her face that she didn't have to address this issue. She was his peer; not one of the chaperon's.
Towards the front of the room, the child wearing the helmet and strapped into his wheelchair was loudly keening, while the young female sitting beside him emitted periodic loud grunts. It was a noisy room to say the least.
I gathered up my stuff and stood up. I sidled up as close as I could get to the coffee carafe, grabbed another cup of coffee and two bananas and escaped. Waving to the desk clerk Brian, he smiled and shouted "hey..come back!" and at first I thought it was a command instead of a salute to my leaving. I assured him I would try.
It's time to shut down the laptop and concentrate on the scenery. I will be back later today.
1030hrs. and 78 degrees, we have just passed through Gallup, New Mexico and are now in the great state of Arizona. I expect the temperatures to soar but realistically, I know that won't happen until we drop down to a lower altitude. We are still on an Indian Reservation and the billboards scream out the wares they have at the outposts. 146 miles from Flagstaff and the mesas have started to recede from sight. Rolling land now with more houses then hogans are seen. Fields of golden wild flowers mixed in with the mesquite and scrub oak that surround the houses decorate what might be called lawns for these homeowners. We are on the Navajo reservation. Navajo rugs, fry bread, Kachina dolls and turquoise jewelry on sign after sign and at each exit off the road (I-40) we are traveling tempts the tourists.
The homes here on the reservation are very modest. Maintenance is spare. Mobile homes have their roofs covered with car tires minus the rims which are used to keep the wind from ripping the roofs off. The houses and trailers are in clusters. Miles and miles of barren dry land pass by then a settlement of homes can be seen across the prairie. Red and purple soil and giant boulders rise up from the landscape, those too in clusters. I never tire of watching the mesa's, and the colorful soil sail by. Soon enough we will be back in Louisiana and the scenery will be a drastic change from this.
It's time to log this off again. I will return.
80 degrees, 6000 ft. elevation at 1200hrs. and we are in Tonto National Forest. From the summit, we can see the tops of mountains in the distance. One mountain after another enveloped in a blue haze ring our vision. Pine trees line both sides of the road and the smell of the forest is pungent. White flowers and bright orange flowers grow thickly beside the road way. It's perfect here in the mountains of Arizona. For those of you who when you think of Arizona think it's all sand and heat, make sure you see this part of it. We are bout 25 miles from Payson, Az. and have crested the summit and are now plunging down a 6 per cent grade. I'm watching the temperature sensor that is monitoring the temperature outside and it has now risen to 90 degrees. I'm afraid the best part of this drive to the desert is nearing an end. As the temperature rises, my anticipation for a pleasant time heads in the opposite direction. I will survive the next few days that we will spend in the desert. I may never step outside though. It's only for a few days I keep telling myself.
We have arrived in Payson. I'm gone again. I'll be back a little later.
1300hrs., 99 degrees. 73 miles from Phoenix. That's all I have to say right now.
102 degrees and we can see the Valley of the Sun from this far out.
The landscape has changed to faded green and scorched earth. Saguaro cactus dot the land. Fields and fields, though you can't call the landscape here a 'field", the Saguaro dominate. Barrel cactus can be seen shriveled up and dead. Is the sun and temperature too much for them? The land is rugged. Hill after hill, cactus and century plants and sun. Lots of sun. The air is dry and the view is bright. The value of the sunglasses I'm wearing is priceless. The sun bounces off the pavement and the hood of the pickup. It's blinding but for the UV rays filtered by my eye wear. We are arriving in Phoenix via Mesa, one of the s'burbs.
Soon we will be in Casa Grande and I will be looking for some Internet access so I can post this. I'm done for a while.