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Arizona

Polaroid of the Week – Mount Lemmon, Arizona

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We decided to take Millie to Mount Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains last week to cool off. It has been 109F /43C almost every day and going up into the mountains was very refreshing for all three of us. Mount Lemmon is 9000ft (2743m) high and the ecosystem changes the higher you go up – from the Sonoran desert with hundreds of cacti on the bottom to one equaling Southern Canada with pine trees on the top.

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Bye, Bye Birdy – A (desert) dove tale

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In a sad twist of fate and a splash of coincidence, after learning of the white-winged dove at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, one came crashing into our window at our housesit in the foothills.

During a talk with a docent on our visit to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum yesterday, we learned how the Saguaro cactus reproduces. The docent tossed around adjectives, plants and animals I had never heard of like cactus bones, self-sterile and white-winged dove…

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Polaroid of the Week – Sunset in Tucson, Arizona

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The desert landscape and clear skies make for such beautiful sunsets here in Tucson.  Normally Dani can’t help but stop and get shots with a cactus or little lizard in the background as the sun sets beyond the mountains. This was our sunset from today, and although it might not be spectacular,  we just couldn’t help imagining the views the pilot in the plane making that sweeping streak across the skyline must have had!

 

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Polaroid of the Week – Saguaro Cacti

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In and around Tucson and the Sonoran Deserts there are hundreds of thousands of Saguaro Cacti, Arizona’s state flower. Being surrounded by these gigantic cacti every day still feels very surreal. A Saguaro can get 150 – 200 years old and reach a height of  up to 18m/60ft. The  Saguaro State Park west and east of Tucson has countless hiking trails that allow you experience the beauty of the Saguaro to the fullest.

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Meeting Miss Millie

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We’ve arrived in Tucson to our 2nd house sit of our trip. We couldn’t be happier. The house that we’ll be ‘sitting’ is in the foothills of Tucson in a beautiful, quiet, secluded neighborhood.  But the best of all is our new best friend for the next three weeks – Miss Millie, an Australian cattle dog/shepherd mix and all around doggie diva.

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Along the border – San Diego to Tucson

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After a quick stop off in San Diego, we headed to Tucson, Arizona in time for our house sit in the foothills for the next three weeks. Along the way, we witnessed several extremes from the weather to the landscape to the intense scrutiny of border patrol (without ever having left the country).

We hopped on the  I-8 in San Diego which leads almost the entire way to Tucson.


This interstate runs through California’s San Jacinto Mountains, then parallel to the U.S./Mexican border and then splits from the border continuing straight east as the border runs southeast once past Yuma in Arizona.

The drive through the Jacinto mountains was slow, not just thanks to the road construction, but also the relatively rough driving. The road passes through a surreal landscape which feels like the moon. The drive winds around and down and up and through until the intensity bubble bursts and you head out into the great expanse of the desert valley on the other side of the mountains.

Here the heat took over. It filled up the car, relentless in spite of air-conditioning and windows rolled all the way down. We were melting, sweating, laughing and singing.

We didn’t know if we would notice Arizona’s new Immigration Law, which came into force in April of this year. That is, until our first immigration check in California, before even entering Arizona. Interstate 8 literally hugs the border for several miles, you can see the fences, the wires, and the heavy presence of the U.S. Border Patrol, who had set up various check points along the Highway, randomly checking cars for ‘illegal immigrants’.

Our German Globetrotter girl being of legal immigration status, we were relieved when we sped through the border patrol checks, first in California and then again in Arizona. The second time, in Arizona, we had to pull out of line and join the unlucky ones whose belongings were unpacked being sniffed by police dogs.

Having been checked by border patrol twice from within the U.S., plus the growing  tension in the Mexican border cities, we decided to fly into Mexico City after our house sit and Northern Arizona road trip. No need to push our luck at one of the land crossings.

Until then, we’ll be testing the first real travel&work month, as we both have freelance projects that will keep us busy over the next three weeks – we will see how working remotely goes with a tempting pool and two sun chairs in the backyard…

The border fence between the U.S. and Mexico



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