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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Kingman to Tucson by Way of Phoenix and Some Ruins

Sunday March 9,2014 Suite 104 Comfort Inn North Tucson, Arizona 6:25 PM MST

Started the day by calling Betsy at home, though there is a three hour difference as long as we are in Arizona. We had a time zone change from PST to MST yesterday when we left California but Arizona does not use Daylight Savings Time, so until we reach New Mexico we have only lost one hour. Called her at 8 am our time but of course she’d already left for Jay Peak. Sang Happy Birthday to her on the answering machine then called her cell. She and Fred had just gotten to Jay and were on their way out to the slope—glad I caught her.

We went to get gas at the same station we used four days ago and they’ve raised the price 5 cents per gallon to $3.54. A few miles east and the gas was $3.39/gallon. Crazy! Today was a drive from Point A to Point B day so the pictures are basically the scenery on a diagonal from Kingman to a town called Wickenburg 108 miles away. Through canyons, over washes and mountains, through valleys. I’m getting so I know the name of these cacti. Though we saw lots of Joshua Trees and creosote bush and smoke trees, we have entered the habitat of the Giant Saguaro. We followed the power lines into Phoenix on route 60 and then took 303, a loop around the worst of the city traffic. Past the Home of the Angels—the ballpark filled with people in the broiling sun—part of the Cactus League. We’d thought about getting tickets for a ball game but decided against it.Ticket prices are quite reasonable, as NBL tickets go—the highest is $38, but the aggravation of the traffic and the probable high cost of a room, though we could use points, were deterrents. Bill had a fit driving through what seemed easy traffic to me, in that it was a straight shot without over or underpasses.

After Phoenix which is a really large town even after a loop by-pass, I noticed a sign to The Casa Grande Ruins and suggested we take the big u-loop from and back to I 10, as sort of a traffic break and also a walking break. It was well worth it—the sun is blinding here and the temp was almost 80 but the wind was cool and so the walk around the grounds was very pleasant. The Ranger who checked us in grew up in Saco and went to Bates. Her job here ends in April and so she is transferring to Calais, Maine—some island in the St Croix River administered by both American and Canadian National Parks. Have to look it up.

From the Ruins we continued back to the Interstate and to North Tucson. Ate at Texas Roadhouse, right across the street. Tomorrow Saguaro National Park and then on to Wilcox for the night. Very tired tonight—up early and covered over 300 miles—unusual for us—we usually go about 150 or so miles a day. Don’t like days when we race without stopping anywhere. Looking forward to the Park tomorrow—it is divided into two sections—one west of Tucson and the other east of Tucson. We will start with the western section and then proceed to the eastern one.  For now, have to see what is on TV. Until tomorrow—nightie night and another Happy Birthday to our baby.  KandB

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