Thursday, March 14, 2013

Arizona touch me not.  At the Robinson's front door, Tucson

Tucson, Arizona.  Thursday, 3/14/13:   I have arrived; a little tired, dusty and hungry, but I have arrived indeed.  And I got a big welcome, too.  
Another day, another sunrise.
    Dale and Betsy Robinson were a little surprised when I pulled in around noon today.  They though I'd sleep in, but I started from Las Cruces, NM at about 7, local time (MST) and crossed what I always  think is the prettiest stretch of road on the entire trip--the high desert plateau and across the Continental Divide (4500 foot ASL) into Tucson.  Today,  the sky was stainless blue, the air was cold and clean, letting the mountains stand out in crisp detail.  It was exhilarating.  

  So again, I raced the sun westward...a futile exercise; it always wins.

  One of my favorite rest stops (I have many) is at Cage, NM.  I pull over there whether I need to or not just to see the sign below.  It warns you that
no matter how beautiful this all may be, there is need to be respectful.  Some

No kidding!
locals take exception to being stepped on..a good thing to keep in mind wherever and with whomever you are.

  But I paid mind to my manners and managed to keep pace with the interstate traffic yet another day.  Yesterday, the speed limit in Texas' Permian Basin was 80.  Today's was a sedate 75.

  At that rate, it takes about 4 hours to cross the distance from Las Cruces to Tucson.  You know you're getting close when you reach Texas Pass..a park at the very top of the last mountain range before dropping down to Benson, AZ, for the final approach to Tucson.  This rocky overlook offers a view in three major directions,  but the peak itself is the attraction--a jumble of honey-colored rock straddling the cresting road..just magnificent.  I always stop there, too.

Texas Pass
   It was all downhill from there, so to speak.  And, at least for a few days, my odyssey was over.  Next Thursday, I'll reverse course.  In the meantime,
there are places to visit, meals to enjoy, even a speech to make (Monday night in Green Valley) when I drop in on the John Taylor household.  John, a former Public Affairs Director at NASA, thought I ought to bring my little dog and pony show with me.  

   And I did.
Racing the sun, chasing my shadow.