Posts Tagged ‘arizona’

AZ Sacaton Rest Area (1)

Ever since moving to Arizona, the weather’s been hot and dry.  Everyone kept saying, “but it’s a dry heat”.  True, the hot weather here is much more bearable that it was in Kansas City.  Problem is, I start to sweat when I’m outdoors, but it immediately evaporates.  Then I go indoors, still sweating.  In that cool air, nothing evaporates. so I usually soak my clothes like I’ve been standing in a rain storm.  Which brings me to monsoons.

Everyone here speaks longingly about monsoons like they’re talking about a loved one.  Haven’t yet experienced a monsoon at the house, but I’ve watched them forming.  In Kansas City, storms roll in fast, dump on you and roll on out.  Here, they take forever to form.  Like the picture above.  I took this at 2pm driving home from Tucson.  I was at dinner around 7pm, and this is what the sky looked like.

AZ Mesa Monsoon

It still isn’t raining.  It appears like I may experience my first monsoon at home sometime tonight.

Last night I was in Tucson, where I snapped this picture at sunset.

AZ Tucson Monsoon

It finally started storming about 10pm.  If that’s any indication, I might be able to see if my roof leaks around the same time tonight.

Advertisements

AZ Tuba City (5)

So this week, I worked in Monument Valley, Utah for a couple of days, after spending the 4th at home.  That’s one long drive.  Back in my Kansas City-based tech days, a drive longer than four or five hours was almost unheard of.  But now that I’m based in Phoenix, long six or seven hour drives to northern Arizona will be the norm.  That’s all right with me — I love driving.  Especially in this part of the country, as I’ve said before.

Today, driving home, I stopped by Navajo National Monument to see some cliff dwelling ruins I missed last year when on vacation.  Then, I’d taken a side trail and about died from the heat and low blood sugar on the way back.  I didn’t feel much like hiking down another trail that day.  But today was fine.

I’ve recently been thinking about why I like this part of the country and why my pictures usually don’t feature people and how the two might be related.  I think they are a reflections of my life.  The land has people, but not that many.  I take pictures of the bare and empty land.  If there’s a person, it’s usually by accident.  I purposefully crop them out of photos.  People are in my life, but they’re on the edge because I also crop them out.  I’m usually happy by myself.

AZ Tuba City (8)

I say I usually like being alone, but I also like being with old friends.  Today I shared a meal with a friend I hadn’t seen in about 30 years.  It was nice catching up on her life since we spent a sunny afternoon with my ex-wife hiking up Diamond Head Crater, on Oahu.  Arizona is about as different from Hawaii as you can get — I find it interesting how we’ve both ended up here, taking different paths in life.

Linda Sypkens and I -- 19841109

This was my friend and I in 1984.  She’s the sister of my best friend in college.  She and two friends came up to Iowa State from Missouri for this dance.  It was a lot of fun!

AZ Ajo

The Catholic Church in Ajo, AZ

I spent last week in northern Arizona on the Hopi reservation.  This week I drove around the southern part of the state.  Started the week in Phoenix, then Ajo, then Casa Grande, back to Ajo, then Tucson.  The week provided me with a few surprises, like the mountainous terrain on the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range, that there was even a bombing range out there, the picturesque plaza in Ajo, how green the Sonoran desert was, Kitt Peak National Observatory was just west of Tucson, and Tucson had more western-themed tourist attractions other than Old Tucson.  I took pictures!

IMG_0675

Sign at a rest stop on the Barry Goldwater Air Force Ran

IMG_0696

Trail Dust Town, in Tucson

IMG_0648

Well, my attempt to write an entry every day has finally crashed and burned.  It wasn’t for lack of things to write about — I had some.  I was distracted in the evenings or just too tired.

Last week I drove to northern Arizona, to the Hopi Indian Nation and spent the whole week there.  I worked at the health center, ate breakfasts and dinners and spent the nights at the Hopi Cultural Center.  I almost ran out of gas, running on fumes leaving the reservation, barely making it to Winslow before I could fill up.

I drove through a little town called Strawberry, in the Arizona mountains.  Decided to stop during lunchtime, visiting a historical schoolhouse and eating in a western-themed restaurant/saloon.

AZ Bandits Restaurant and Dirty Cowboy Saloon

Strawberry is trying to get in on some of the tourist business a little town a few miles away called Pine is getting.  Arty-farty galleries and froo-froo shops line both sides of the highway in Pine.

In case you haven’t heard, it’s been hot in Arizona the last few weeks.  When I drove home on Friday through strawberry and Pine, the temperature was about 100 degrees.  I made the same drive three years ago, and seem to remember it being about 60 degrees.

Well, I guess I’ll call it quits for this evening.  It’s obvious I won’t be blogging every evening anymore, but I’ll try my best to blog more often than last year.

30-Minute-Posole-spoon

Ever since working in San Diego two years ago, I’ve been on the lookout for good Mexican restaurants serving soups.  In Kansas, I never found any.  In Mesa, so far haven’t found any.  Here in northern California, found two of them today.  Had lunch in Modesto — had posole.  Had dinner in Turlock — had albondigas.  I feel like I’m in heaven, but I’m at the hotel doing laundry.