US Tour 2003
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Whenever I arrive somewhere at night I always enjoy seeing
how my surroundings look the following morning. I knew we were in the
mountains but I still didn't anticipate the outstandingly well designed
warehouse complex out side our hotel.
So nice sky mountains and trees at the top and not so nice man made railway,
industrial zone, and road.
Luckily the locals planted a few trees along the road otherwise it'd have
Larry and I go to Denny's. I realised while I was here that I have yet
to sit up at the bar to eat,
like people do in the films. I've now made this a priority.
"Erm excuse me..... excuse me ....... EXCUSE ME ...... Oi you there
where's our food?!!!!!!!!"
"I don't think he heard me"
Back to the room to get our bags and cats..... Sonya is red hot and raring
Flagstaff to Phoenix is only a couple of hours away. We could have done
it last night, but Larry couldn't have got the keys for his apartment
so late at night and he wanted to see the view approaching Phoenix, which
is meant to be stunning. Unfortunately I seem to have brought the
English weather with me so it actually looked like a larger version of
the Pennine's in the UK.
Phoenix is very hot in the summer, but during the other seasons it has
a very pleasant climate. Intense irrigation has allowed people to turn
the desert in to a lawned city in parts. Many people come here to play
golf, in the picture above you can see one of the courses. Phoenix was
one of the greatest expanding cities in the States over the last 10 years,
and is set to grow at a similar rate over the next 10. It's main appeal
is that it's like summer during the winter but there are other factors
which range from it having a more appealing taxation structure to it being
a more multiracial mixture rather than ghettoised like many of America's
A tree in the desert
What strikes me though about being here is that due to the surrounding
nature being more dangerous than let's say New York's I was quite aware
of how thin the protective membrane between "civilisation" and
the desert is. There are often infestations of Scorpions that have to
be dealt with by pest control, there are also many other dangerous animals,
many of which could be very close by because where the gardens end the
Normally Phoenix is known as the "Valley of the Sun", but today
it was valley
of the clouds.
So somewhere the road has to end, and as far as this part of my trip goes,
the journey from New York to Phoenix has been completed.
But the symbolism did not end there.
After a few days of not being able to get on the Internet
I managed to do so, thus allowing me to post the latest diary pages
and check my e-mail. Waiting in my e-mail inbox was a message that totally
threw me. The person who I am next due to visit was now not able to have
me stay, unfortunately my ticket has been booked, and plans have been
made. I shall try my luck with the flight company but it was the emotional
shock rather than the practicalities that seemed to hit hardest. It's
un-nerving when people don't behave in a way you'd expect. This was further
compounded by the feeling of being unable to speak to anyone at home in
the UK because now we're in a different time zone and 8 hours behind.
So anyone I may have wanted to talk to would be sleeping. Of course ultimately
it's no great tragedy but I wanted to bring it up because it partly shows
how much we come to be inter-dependant on others to stay feeling buoyant.
And while some people strive to be independent I'd prefer to be at a loss
occassionally and remain dependent on people I can trust.
I sat in the car park while Larry shopped. Behind me there was a rainbow.
I couldn't stop myself from murmuring "Somewhere over the rainbow",
life went on around me but I wanted to slip back into a dream and wake
up at home. But life is not always easy and I tend to prefer to struggle
on. So let's see what happens next.