Monday, April 13, 2009

On to Arizona in March

I am slowly working my way to the present and this rainy Monday in April provides a good opportunity to begin coverage of our final attempt to avoid some of Monmouth's nasty winter by heading for Arizona.

When we initially contemplated this trip toward the end of 2008, air fares were not being kind, so we decided to drive. Tucson is over 1700 miles from here and the scenery along the way is not overpowering. But thanks to the interstate highway system you can make 600 miles a day without too much strain and so after three days of rolling along, we pulled in to my dear cousin's home in the sunny suburbs of Tucson.




Above is a shot from a wind swept rest area in Texas that epitomizes the terrain for about 1000 of the 1700 miles. But after we cross New Mexico the wild and lovely Salt River Canyon provides a welcome respite from the seemingly endless rangeland.
To reach the river you take a series of breathtaking switchbacks. You can see five levels in this shot alone.




The moisture rewards at the bottom of the canyon.




With an entire childhood, education, and work-life spent in the mid-west our recent trips to the south-west have been energizing even if the driving has been a bit enervating. The desert remains new and fascinating to us and we have enjoyed even more our introductions to Native American cultures and arts. We have enjoyed our time with my cousin and her husband for over fifty years and their generosity in opening their homes (both in Minnesota and Arizona) to us is something that we deeply appreciate.


More on what we did while we were there and what we did on the way home to come in the next two episodes of "Stirring the Pudding" of life.



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