Thursday, 10 October 2013

It's a Dry Kind of Hot

Thursday, 10th October 2013; 15:42
Location: Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, Vancouver BC, Canada
Why: Road Trip!

Okay, so it's not the next day writing even though I said I'd do it. But, here I am at the public library and determined to pound out this post before I head to my night school class in a few hours.

Before I even landed myself back at YVR I was easily persuaded to go on a little excursion with one of my good friends in Vancouver. This rather spontaneous commitment reminded me of when I was traveling in Vietnam and two friends met up with me in two different countries, pretty much on-the-fly. Austin and I tripped out on 'shrooms in Ubud and zipped around Bali with wild abandon. Then, Andrea C and I had a blast climbing the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and had our toes nibbled at by little fishies.

So I jumped at the chance to go on a road trip down to Arizona for sunshine and pit stops on America's highways.

On 22 Sept, Skooter and I stuffed a duffel bag and backpack with clothes and threw it in the back of Fanny, his sporty Ford Explorer. We also packed some pillows, a blanket, some tools. And an axe and shovel? Yep. "Just in case" said Skooter. I was in tears with laughter. I guess the axe was "in case" we had to murder someone in the desert and a shovel to bury the evidence. Destined for Arizona, we also brought along a fine collection of dried fruit and chips and were off.

We drove down towards Seattle for an obligatory visit to his sister's before making our way through a rainy Washington night drive. As we drove along, we hit Oregon, then into Idaho before I finally pulled the camera out.

This was the scene in Idaho for a very loooong time:

Sometimes the scenery was so, um boring that I secretly wished something would happen where we'd have to take out the axe or something, haha! Instead, we amused ourselves by singing (read: belting) to songs à la 1980's Exposé. It was quite the performance we churned out for "Season's Change". Someone please tell me you know the song I'm talking about!

Finally, when we hit Utah the landscape changed. Hurray!

Mountains! And signs of civilization:

And the obligatory selfie. Isn't my Skootie handsome?

As we continued to drive the landscape changed yet again.

Before I knew it, we were in Arizona. The giveaway? Cacti!

On the drive down, we really motored; reaching our first destination of Tucson in just two days. On the first night, we crashed in the car somewhere in Idaho at a rest stop for a few hours of uncomfortable sleep in our mostly reclined front seats. Skoot's mum was kind enough to book us a room at the Rodeway Inn somewhere else in Utah on the second night where we crashed like a ton of bricks. The next morning, I ate at my very first IHOP. I don't know what all the buzz was about since I found it to be pretty standard fare.

When we finally got to Tucson, I met his mum and stepdad and we spent one night at their house in a gated community reserved for mature residents. The next day, we drove to their other home, a tiny community in Tubac where we relaxed, read and played Word Play for the next week. It was really nice to just "turn off" the brain - their house was like a retreat.

Anyhoo, when we finally left Tubac, the car was now stuffed with new purchases including fabrics for my latest obsession - quilts!  I was anxious to get back to Vancouver as I found the desert heat extremely taxing on my skin, hair and allergies which totally kicked my ass. Arizona - it's a dry kind of hot. And while I LOVE the heat, I couldn't live in this kind of environment - I'd turn into a raisin! However, it did make me long for the hot and humid temps of SE Asia.

We took a different route home and decided to take our time unlike our mad dash driving down. We drove up through Utah, Idaho and Montana before crossing over into BC near Grand Forks.

Along the way, we made pit stops to see some canyons:

This Navajo Bridge in Arizona was pretty cool. I actually got a bit of vertigo looking down from it:

This sign made me laugh:

The American part of the drive home was pretty uneventful until we sped past some highway workers mowing the grass, sending rocks flying in our direction. This caused another crack in the windshield and shattered the side vented window. We were not impressed and by the time we realized what happened, we had already driven too far away.

The only thing that kept the side window from falling apart was the tinted layer on the inside. For some insurance we stopped in a gas station and bought some packing tape.

Skooter patching Fanny up as best he could:

Poor girl...

By now, I was ready to be in Canada. And before long, we were!

Driving along the border in BC's interior reminded me just how much I loved living in Canada's west:

So that was my 12 day road trip with Skooter. Unfortunately, we didn't need to pull out the axe or shovel. **sigh**

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