So here we are in the Arizona desert in August. Sitting in a tin can in 102 degree heat. The blazing sun has been overhead for hours, not an ounce of shade anywhere. Everything is hot to the touch. I don’t know how the tires didn’t melt on the drive in? They say it’s a dry heat, yea but it’s HOT. But things thrive here. The desert, even in this unrelenting heat, thrives. The grassy vegetation looks baked, the Sotol cactus plants are way past bloom, and even the Saguaro seem to be slouching under the blistering sun. But it’s just summertime in the desert. They’ll be back in full glory soon enough.
I suggested this route fully knowing we’d be traversing some of the hottest roads and places the US has to offer. Southern Texas was hot alright, Houston will melt you then drench you in humidity. Moving west away from the effects of the Gulf of Mexico you can feel the air dry out but the temperature just keeps inching up until somewhere between El Paso and Tucson you say to yourself ‘what was I thinking?’ And you’re not really even in the desert yet, rather the high southern plateau. I think we hit 5000 feet at the highest somewhere east of Phoenix. But the hottest was yet to come. Today we descended the high country headed for the “where it really gets hot”. Getting some rest here in Quartzsite, AZ then on to Desert Hot Springs, CA for the weekend. What was I thinking? As I write at 8pm, I notice the temperature has finally broken below the century mark, whew!
Hi, me again. Made it to Desert Hot Springs, CA after a fairly short drive across yet another piece of scorched earth, this time, southern California. Landscape changed pretty dramatically, went from rocky rolling hills filled with cactus to sandy flat vastness. I think the Mojave is around here somewhere? Yes, it’s still screaming hot but as they say, what a difference a day makes. We’re back in civilization. The folks living around the greater Palm Springs area know how to tame the desert. Helps that they pipe in loads of water! Lush landscaping abounds, not only at residences but along every street and business I’ve seen so far. Even the cell towers are dressed up as palm trees. Water vapor misters greet you at outdoor venues and you can even park your car under covered parking lots. Tried to pull the RV under but they frowned on that (just kidding)! Also helps that Candy booked us for 2 days at a 5 star resort. She’s over there right now googling the price of park models (are you interested, Steve and Kathy?). Where was I headed on this trip? Oh yea, Seattle. Might just have to take another dip in the mineral spring fed pool and think about that.
The desert is behind us, well except for all the dust we tracked in over the past 4 days! Today was an epic day, yes epic! Today we reached the westernmost terminus of our Interstate 10 journey. Eleven days ago (we don’t rush) we took the on ramp west in Baldwin, FL, a tiny dot on the map about 20 miles west of Jacksonville. The rig’s odometer reads 88692; was 35000 when we left….ah, no that can’t be right?! Try 85790, that’s 2902, all on Interstate 10 give or take. Interestingly, 2902 was also the high temperature yesterday in Palm Springs, ha! Still can’t believe I chose this route in August but hey, we survived and visited some great American towns that were on the “bucket list”. On northward to Seattle!