Phoenix – The City of the Grid

Coming into Phoenix, the thing that struck first was “Its so BROWN!”  Okay, coming from someone who makes their home in the Pacific NorthWest, most places would probably look a bit on the dingy side.  But, this was just “brown”.  Brown hills, beige tinge to the skyline, everything in various shades of brown and tan.  And my rainforest dweller mind wondering how I was going to survive for days without the sight of a tree!

The city comes into view!  And all I can think is blocks and lines everywhere.  And its so flat!  Seattle, from the air looks like a cacophony of hills and trees and skyscrapers and waterways.  This was something just alien to me to look upon.  Everything is laid out in these near identical blocks.

And the image that came to my mind is that Phoenix looks like a giant circuit board!  And it just went on and on for miles!!  I am not sure I could imagine living in such a place.  Every block the same as the last.  Just flat land that goes on as far as the eye can see.

And then what to my eyes should appear?  One small area at the edge of the city where they had built what looks like a housing area with a fabricated waterway.  So, I am sitting there scratching my head and thinking that this is proof that living in this kind of heat and dryness cannot be good for humans.  It has made them deranged.  There’s not enough water to run a boat through, so whatever is the purpose?  The city’s largest swimming hole?

Arrival at Phoenix and first stop off the plane is a quick dash to the nearest bathroom to shed layers.  Nothing like leaving home with the weather being in the high 20?s and arriving at destination where the weather is in the 70”s.  It’s still February!!!  My body doesn’t expect such temperatures for many months in the future.  Oh dear, oh my!

Mikki is waiting for me, thinking I got lost till I tell her that I desperately needed to drop to a tank top for what was outside those doors!  I think she is having too much fun with this.  She actually thinks this is wonderful winter weather!   The bear was safely delivered into her arms and YES!!!  I scored!  She is in love with her!

First stop is to have lunch with mom.  Mexican restaurant!!!  Okay, this is one thing I have to give credit to a place like Phoenix for.  They have good Mexican food!  Not an easy thing to find in Seattle.  You would think that being one of the culinary hot spots of the country, that wouldn’t be the case.  But, we had a lovely time at lunch,, chatting and laughing and catching up on everything under the sun.

A couple of stops to meet her new love, Jerry and then to her work where I get to meet a few of her co-workers, then a quick fly by her house so she can pack a bag and we are off again.  Seems we are going to Laughlin for the night so we can see her daughter Heather and meet her granddaughter, Evalyn.

And so begins the trek across the Mojave desert.  My reservations about things quickly faded as I looked out the window at the beautiful clouds floating across the sky.  Yes, it was warm, but not so warm that it was miserable.  And out here, the skies were a most incredible shade of blue!

Though not the green I am used to, nor the plants and trees, the desert had its own offering of amazing plants.  The sagebrush and Joshua trees dotting the landscape as we left the city behind us.  Soft clouds crowning the landscape moving slowly through shapes to amuse and entertain me.

The clouds, at times, grew denser and filled the sky.  The road just seemed to stretch on forever.  Catching shots was not easy.  I think this is the first time I have tried to go shutterbug in a moving vehicle and being in the car with little miss speed demon didn’t help.  Nor did the fact that she didn’t clean her windows first!  *grin*  We did fix that one before we headed back though.

I have always had a thing about clouds.  They are just so beautiful.  Shifting monuments of the skies, forming and breaking apart and reforming yet again.  This spot just really caught my eye as the clouds broke apart into a circle of celebration of the skies above.

And the race to the summit!  You can almost see the features of the bottom of the tortoise as he catches his jet stream to catch up with his opponent on the other side.  The whisper of clouds above raising their hands in celebration of the win to come.

The clouds clear for a while and you begin to see the rock eruptions jutting up from the land.  Mammoth structures carved by the harsh winds and rains of the desert.  I was looking at the caves in the sides of the rocks and thinking about the creatures that sought refuge within their depths.

Another “forest” of the saguaro cactus!  It says that the woodpeckers will burrow holes in their side which then become the homes for small animals and owls.  Alas, I was not able to see any of these small creatures.  Not that it probably would have done me any good travelling at the speed of Mikki-light!

And the we come to the sandstone walls, carved deeply by the winds, citadels of the desert.  The towering castles of the sand people, hiding deep within the crevices from the harsh sunlight standing watch over their city of sand and brush

The grand sand fort standing in its power atop the hill of rock and sand defying any to take it in its solitude.  Soft clouds bathing it in softness waterwashed with a hint of the blue from the skies peeking through.

And the road goes on even further, deeper into the desert.  The mountains looming off into the distance, clouds casting their shadows across the ground below.  


A surreal scenery bathed in alien colors and textures.  Yes, the desert does have its own beauty.  Indeed.

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