Long drive to Tucson, Mexican meal

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Flag of United States  ,
Monday, April 10, 2006

Left Santa Monica fairly early and by about 8:30 was heading towards the San Bernadino and San Jacinto Mountains (10 and 11,000 foot peaks). One side is geologically different from the other - arid hilly areas out of SF to desert land beyond. Took a couple of shots near Cabazon. Went through the 2,600 foot San Gorgonia Pass (part of the San Andreas Fault) Despite the mountains in the distance, the area was hot, dry, dusty, red, windy and hazy. Huge wind farms looming up all around like dinosaurs out of the desert near Palm Springs. They went on for miles and miles and miles.

Then we were into the Coachella Valley and the southern part of the Mojave Desert and it was hot, hot, hot, hot. Maybe 32 or 33. Warnings all over the place to watch the temperature gauge. Taking advantage of any available rest stops. Carrying lots of water. Plants growing included sage, I think and some kind of palm trees moving into cactus and volcanic extrusions. The day carried on in this way all the way into the state of Arizona. Miles and miles of dry, dusty, hot arid roadway, view and some grasslands somewhat similar to country rural parts of the area around Kamloops. At one stop about 1pm I came across a place called "Australian Outback Plants.com - drought tolerant, less water, more shade, quick growing" 'Bout says it all. Spent most of my time listening to various country music stations; the music somehow grows on you when there is nothing much more to listen to.

Arrived gratefully at Tucson with Bette (another online friend) and Ted Ressell at about 5. As she said in her note online "Lindley arrived five-ish on Sunday night and immediately fit right into our little family (dear husband, dear cat, and me). We piffled, all three of us. Human beings, and cat Kelkie who sniffed at Lindley and declared her good.". I am truly honoured.

Bette very kindly brought me a palm cross from the morning's service. I will carry it with me for my trip. It set us up extremely well for our visit. We chatted about books, quilting, geology, botany, history, families, genealogy, plans for my all too brief visit and an occasional and brief dip into politics, both Canadian and American as well as all kinds and manner of other things. Her husband is a real sweetheart and joined in our conversations with gusto. He has a fascinating history and is doing a written history of his family. Finds it very helpful to tell the stories, as I do.

Bette quilts and quilts; I got to sleep under a lovely home made quilt. There are quilts in many places in her house. The room in which I slept is full of (very orderly) quilt pieces and I took a picture of her before this. I gave her a quilt piece of cats.

We went to the most marvelous Mexican Restaurant called La Fuente (the fountain) the various web sites say the restaurant is one of Tucson's mainstays. The food and decor are very pleasant (deserty as I expected). I had lovely Beef Fajitas - in Spanish it was"Tiritas de carne marinades y preparados con pimientos y cebollas. Servidos con arroz, frijoles rancheros, guacamole y tortillas." One web site says: (http://www.lafuenterestaurant.com/) "Great Mexican cuisine is served here in an atmosphere that whisks you away to a wildly colorful Mexican village, complete with a roving mariachi band. For a gratuity, the mariachis are happy to serenade you at your table with the song of your choice. Family owned and operated for more than 30 years, La Fuente always provides an evening of fun and festivity along with some of the best Mexican food in town."

Well, about the roving mariachi band something must be said. The band was one fellow and while he sang and played recognizably (as in it was originally music), it was so unbearably off key we left with our hands over our ears. I was up rather late catching up on email and chatting with online friends.
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