We are still on our desert road trip. Yesterday we drove through Joshua Tree National Park, down a road that took us through a box canyon with some crazy terrain, and then down along the east coast of the Salton Sea. I was surprised to see a lot of agriculture out there in the middle of the desert. Needless to say it was an incredibly varied trip. Unfortunately, we have left the relatively cool temperatures in Joshua Tree and are back in the land of hot, hot, hot. Hot. HOT. If you ever find yourself driving through the desert during a summer heatwave, I highly suggest purchasing a $2 spray bottle with which to mist your face. Cools you down quickly.
I’ve packed an arsenal of high SPF sunblocks, camera gear, and several light, long-sleeved shirts and am now on my way to the desert. The forecast says it will be 111°F in Phoenix when we arrive and I am already imagining myself in the Arrested Development scene where Michael reaches for the door handle of a taxi at the Phoenix airport and the hot metal burns his hand.
Should we make it through this incredible shock to the system alive, you can expect a few slightly crazed heat strock-induced dispatches from the desert peppered throughout the trip.
T-minus just a few days before we leave on our 10 day desert trip and the madness is in full swing around here. I am never again going away on such a long trip at the height of planting season. Lesson learned. Still, I figure I will stop fussing and fretting about my own garden once I am out there in that giant desert garden with so many amazing plants and landscapes surrounding me.
While I have a heightened interest in desert plants in general and probably know more than the average person visiting the American Southwest for the first time, I also know from other trips that stepping into that landscape is going to feel a bit like walking on the moon with alien lifeforms aplenty.
About a month ago I started to prepare by purchasing books related to the plant life of the Southwest. I tried to get a good general plant identification book, but alas the one I wanted, A Field Guide to the Plants of Arizona by Anne Orth Epple, was not available. I am hoping to pick up a copy somewhere on the trip. Perhaps the gift shop at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix will have a copy in stock. We specifically decided to make this public garden our first stop of the trip so that we’d have a chance to see Sonoran desert plants in an educational context. After all, I don’t expect to see conveniently located name tags once we’re out in the middle of nowhere!
Davin and I recently celebrated our 20th anniversary together and to REALLY celebrate we are going on a road trip through the Mojave and Sonoran deserts! !!!!! !!!!!!
[Infinite exclamation points here.]