Monday, December 5, 2011

Coming Into Arizona

Cold or not, we crawled outta bed early and cranked the old air compressor to bring the tires up to a safe pressure from their somewhat reduced pressure of the cold night air before the first rays of the sun could mess with my readings. It's not a fun task especially on a cross country run, but it's gotta be done in order to be safe! We were rewarded with the glory of the desert being caressed by the early morning light as we came down off the plateau from New Mexico and into the Arizona flats. It is always breathtaking and once you have seen it, you hold it in your mind's eye the whole trip...and are never disappointed by the first acquaintance glimpse of it.

We made a stop at perhaps our favorite roadside rest stop in America at Texas Canyon. It's in Arizona, not Texas- maybe just to add some interest- not that it needs more than it has. The photos from the stop are inadequate to show what you are about to behold as you enter the canyon which follows... enormous boulders perched delicately and seemingly unsafely atop each other high atop the cliffs on either side of the canyon. You will wonder how they got there; but you will wonder much harder at how they stay there year after year, century after century. If you pass this way, keep your camera at the ready as the scenery just gets better and better. There are small pull-offs a few places, not suitable for us when we are on a mission: tomorrow is Happy Tuesday!

We pulled into Casa Grande for the last night on the road. Tomorrow, without unforeseen problems, we shall be delivered to Brenda and Desert Gold RV - our home for the winter where we share the time with dear friends, from all over the country, but many if not most of whom share our love for not only the desert but also Alaska. So it may not be home, but it always feels like home with their company.

I wanted to go back, if I may, to the trek through Texas. I neglected to say that we had seen wolves on this trip. Not dogs. Not coyotes. Wolves. Three of them. All dead. One grey. One typically mottled, and one pure white. All three were enormous, and the white one was reminiscent to me of the white buffalo I saw in South Dakota. Sorry they were dead by the side of the road, all in proximity to the other so no doubt it was a pack that got careless and stayed by the road too long for their own good. It was not a place where pulling over to take a picture was an option...and sorry I am about that, but thought I should go back at least to mention the occasion.

Casa Grande is crawling with quail and jack rabbits like below. These are small in comparison to the sizes they can reach, and in fact we had seen one of those large ones (muy grande) dead on the road as well. That one was so big I was checking for antlers as though it were a deer until we realized what it was.

Without jinxing myself (he knocked on wood), I can tell you it has been a marvelous crossing to date, and if that luck holds up, we'll be in camp by mid-day tomorrow- two days ahead of schedule!!!