Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Breeze of a Drive

Tucson/Nogales Trip -- end of Day 1

When can you drive from Santa Monica to San Bernardino in one hour?

On New Year's morning--one of the few times when there's no traffic on the LA freeways.

Mount San Antonio--also known as Mt. Baldy, taken from San Dimas near I-10

Leaving at 9:30 am, I arrived in Phoenix at 4:15 pm, not quite the 5 hrs. 42 min. predicted on the internet, but not bad considering it included a nap.

Then I was in the Tucson suburbs shortly more than 2 hrs. later and checking into my hotel in Green Valley, Arizona, south of town, by 7:15 pm.

Highlights: passing the snowy mountains around the Los Angeles basin, crossing the Colorado River and immediately seeing saguaro cactus, passing the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Phoenix in the setting sun, and watching Orion rise in the southeast.

Oh--one more highlight: the gasoline selling for $3.19 per gallon in Quartzsite, Arizona.

The Best Western in Green Valley turned out to be a palace filling half a city block.  It looked like La Quinta Inn or a brand-new Holiday Inn, not like the usually modest BW I had expected.  Grand entrance, huge dining room/restaurant, marble front desk, meeting rooms... all much more elegant than I needed, but I did appreciate both a microwave and a refrigerator along with flat-screen television.

Outside the clear dark sky shone with stars, every star of Orion's belt brightly visible.

As I sank into a hot bath and soft bed, I thought about the migrants out there walking across the desert, shivering.  

What sense does it make to spend money on gasoline and a hotel when my goal is to learn about migrants and help them?  Perhaps I should have used that money to make a donation to Green Valley Samaritans instead of traveling here.

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