Thursday, September 21, 2006

LJ over at Life on Earth and Other Accidents mentioned in her recent post that she'd love to see a sunset in Arizona.

I say seeing a sunset in the American Southwest is something everyone should strive to do at least once in their lives.

My maternal grandma moved out to Arizona in 2000 (my maternal grandpa died in 1987) and I tried to make at least one roadtrip out per year to visit her. I'm not generally an early riser, but something about the desert atmosphere completely re-wires my circadian clock. So one moring I woke up insanely early, and I peeked out at the mountains beyond our room in Willcox in SE Arizona.

The growing light of the morning on the iron-rich peaks of the mountains was an absolute revelation. The light grows in intensity so gradually that you can't discern it's changing before your very eyes, and then it happens: the upper rim of the sun's saucer slips above the horizon and a wash of pink sweeps instantly over everything - it's an achingly beautiful sight.

After that first day, it's impossible for me to sleep through sunrise when I'm on trips like that - I have to be on the road at the moment of pinkness - it's like some travel companion I have to be moving in tandem with.

I can imagine this would be particularly magnificent on a scooter. Well, in my case, in a sidecar.

Conclusion - by all means, see the sunsets in Arizona, but don't miss out on the thrill of a desert sunrise. You'll thank me.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think I just changed my mind about selling the bike. A

Kelly said...

Sounds beautiful.

HollyB said...

So, will you be wearing your new Chanel shades to watch the next Az sunrise? I am curious, Yellow.

I've never been to Az, but after reading LawDog's blog about The Heart Attack Grill in Tempe, I'm considering a two state road trip just for a Bypass burger and Flatliner Fries. I can't remember, are you a LawDog Files aficionado?
I have, however seen the sun rise and set in Terlingua. My Dearly beloved took me there on our Honeymoon trip, along with several other places west of the Pecos. I have fallen in love with the high desert area. Seeing the area that used to be ocean floor cheek to jowl with pyroclastic flow rock formations is just awe inspiring.


I always return from a trip with desert plants, usually prickly pear or Ocatilla stalks to plant outside one of our living room windows. My DB has a 106# Yellow Lab with a bad habit of jumping out that window. Eventually I'll have enough prickly stuff planted out there to discourage even that thick skulled canine in his air-borne escape attempts.

phlegmfatale said...

Sister - well, don't blame me if you end up all leathery and look older than me even though you're nearly a decade younger.

kelly - it is - worth the trip. You need to have that man of yours take you out there sometime

holly b - Oh, definitely, I'll be taking the Chanel shades everywhere, sometimes BOTH pair. Tee hee.
I'll have to check that out - LawDog's blog is excellent, but I haven't been able to make the rounds as much as I like recently, so I'm not up to speed - will check it out. Heart Attack Grill sounds worth the drive.

What kind of survival rate do you have for the ocotillo in our climate? I LOVE those things - they are exquisite. Good luck re-programming a bull-headed mutt - they can be just like a chicken - every day is a new day.

Dick said...

I think my favorite sunset would have to be either the beach in Southern California, or the pier in Key West.
Both have their own special traits.

Zelda said...

I've never seen the sunsets or sunrises in the Southwest, but I have in the mountains of the Northeast. Both beautiful. I think it's something about the mountains.

Meg Nakagawa said...

I lived in Tucson for a year. My parents used to always ask me if I wanted to go see a sunset, but just about that then, I was busy playing with my little friends across the street. I'd come home just a short while later and be in the mood for a little drive, but the parents always it was too late by then. What is it with grownups and sunsets!! The other thing was "look at the scenery"; as I five year old, I had no idea what I was supposed to be looking at, because the parents never pointed at anything and did this strange sweeping gesture thing!!! Boy, they were messing with my head from early on. Mumble, mumble.... (Sound of me descenting to my basement yet again...)

Fathairybastard said...

Seen it. Very nice. Sunrise or sunset on the ocean is better though. Out in the middle of nowhere on calm seas. Stunning.

LJ said...

This is just to torture me, right? Oh Lord. Sounds even more beautiful than I imagined.

phlegmfatale said...

dick - good points, of course.

zelda - yup - the mountains do it for me

meg nakagawa - see what you get for not listening to mummy and daddy, you sassy little girl? *L* Maybe they thought it was all so obvious about the scenery, when in fact, children are very literal and do need to be given some specifics to hang their sensorial hats on.

fathairybastard - Maybe the ocean does it for you, but the mountains do it for me. No doubt, it is breathtaking there, and I've seen west coast sunsets which are unspeakably beautiful, but I still prefer the mountains.

lj - It is exquisite, and more beautiful than I can convey. You've got to go there!