If it were up to me, I’d nickname Arizona the “Red Sun” State. Unlike the Pacific Northwest where it’s green and blue and bubbles of oxygen emanate from every protected state or national forest, Arizona is aridly dry with rocky canyons to frame miles of deserted fields of sand and spikey shrubbery. And it is RED, RED, AND ORANGE, AND YELLOW, AND MOSTLY RED. Everything is red. The sand. The sky. The clouds. Everything radiates its similarity to Mars.
But that said, I’ve never seen such beautiful tufts of clouds. Driving the 8 East was like going head first into a Toy Story wallpaper, the little puffs of white duplicated countlessly across a dusty pale sky.
On the way East, I even drove through a thunderstorm. And in there, I felt the true power of God. There was lightning striking the sand all around me, jagged spears of white flashing against the rainy black of night, all the while releasing thunderclaps that couldn’t be heard over the storm’s natural windhowling.
In short: S#*! was scary.
I’ve just got to my host’s place in Tuscon and he and his dog Belle have been super friendly. Looking forward to spending the next few days exploring the desert biodiversity, checking out local hiking trails on bike and on foot, and finding out what’s really out here in the desert.