Monday, October 17, 2011

Grandpa and Nana

This was the most relaxing weekend I've had in a very long time. Lisa's Dad and Carol are taking a vacation in Phoenix and since Phoenix is a whole lot closer than Vancouver Island and I haven't seen Carol since Alycia's wedding (and even then we didn't get to visit a whole lot) we decided to whip over to Phoenix and spend the weekend with them. The drive out was really quite relaxing. It was only five and a half hours and we got left early so it was nice. When we first moved here I couldn't help but think what an ugly place the desert is. I was really glad that San Diego has lots of water brought in because we would truly be a desert otherwise. After having lived here however I've come to believe that the desert is really a very beautiful place. Don't get me wrong, I'm still VERY glad that we have lot's of water brought in but the desert really is beautiful. Harsh and rugged but still beautiful. 

If my relaxing weekend started with the drive out, it only got better once we arrived. Grandpa and Nana already had the table set when we got there and after we sat by the pool and relaxed for a while we threw the steaks on and had a great barbecue. I decided a long time ago that as long as I don't have to work in it, I don't mind extreme heat one bit. I do need the shade or I will burn in no time flat but I can sit in the shade and relax just fine. Nothing better than laying in the lawn chair reading a book. 

So Saturday morning after a relaxing breakfast we headed out to be tourists. I think the original plan was to make a wide and sweeping circle through the Superstition Mountains so we could experience the whole area but poor Lisa wasn't feeling well so we downgraded to a less ambitious plan. She wasn't up for a whole day so we went to see the Goldfield Mine. What a fascinating place. At one time the town of Gold Field was much larger than Phoenix. Who would have thought? There are still several operating mines at Goldfield but the main mine that started it all is now flooded. It  was actually flooded once before when a flash flood swept through the area and filled the mine shaft completely full of water but they pumped that all out (it took them several months) and they kept digging. The next problem happened when they got down to around 1,200 feet deep and they broke into an aquifer. That they haven't been able to pump out and the mine remains full of water to this day. I guess the locals refer to the aquifer as the GoldfField River. 

I learned some other trivia on this trip. Apparently the Sonoran desert is the only "Living" Dessert on the planet. Now in case you're like me and not quite sure what a "living" desert is, it is simply a desert with lots of plants in it. Any other desert has lots of sand and very sparse plant life. Somehow the Sonoran desert has been able to evolve a lot more plants that can survive in it. When you look at some of the pictures I took I guess you do have to agree. It looks rather green for a dessert. 

Those are the Superstition Mountains you see in the background. Don't you love that name? Superstition Mountains. I like it. 

Every once in a while as we were cruising along in the living desert we would see random buildings. It seemed very odd and you couldn't help but wonder what those buildings were. At one point in one of the more barren parts of the desert we came upon a fairly large complex of buildings. When we came up to the buildings we were quite surprised to see that it was an elementary school. How bizarre, there was an elementary school and there wasn't a single building within sight of it. I'm guessing the real estate was pretty cheap. 

So after we were done with the tour we headed back to the house and jumped into the pool. I thought it would be wonderful to jump in a cool pool when it was 100° outside but even nice water is a major shock to an overheated body. It only took moments to adjust however and I can tell you, it is wonderful to be in a cool pool when it is hot outside. 

So after good company, good food and a good book we finally had to come home.  Thanks Grandpa and Nana for a wonderful weekend. I think you should do that more often. 

The Saguaro cactus doesn't get it's first arm until it is at least 70 years old.


Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

Looks like fun! Wish I could have come... maybe in April!

Kira said...

Seriously sounds like a perfect vacation to me.