rizona Revisited


May 2-6, June 22 - August 1, 2003

Photos | Map

USA flag

"Arid Land" it means and arid land it is. But not so much more arid than its neighbors. We came to it this time from Mexico, driving up through a long desert region. When we crossed into Arizona we didn't see much difference in the climate. After a short stay we went away to California and Nevada to return for another stay, twice as long, but still short. This time we came by the dry eastern Sierras, passed through extremely dry Death Valley, and dry, dry, southern Nevada (in which Las Vegas is a comparative oasis). Altogether it was brought home to us that the total region, in the rain shadow of Pacific storms must constitute one of the longest continuous dry areas in the world. Checking, we see that it extends northwest to southeast about 1,200 miles. This doesn't hold a candle to the Sahara which, west-to-east, is nearly 3,000 miles. But it is comparable to the width of Europe: London to Istanbul is about 1,600 miles.

Canyon de Chelly Canyon de Chelly

Start with Canyon de Chelly. Above are two photos. One is of the canyon bottom seen from the rim, the other of Jan on the trail down into the Canyon. Our goal was to visit the White House ruins (see photo below), which essentially have two parts: an "apartment" building at the base of the cliff and another 20-30 feet up the cliff side. If you look closely at the upper right corner of the photo you can make out the cliff-side dwellings. The hike descent/ascent is about 600-700 feet and not too taxing. Round trip is 2.5 miles; we took 2.5 hours including bargaining over Indian made pottery and jewelery.

Canyon de Chelly

We went to Canyon de Chelley, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, and other places because I sent my Fujitsu to Memphis, TN for repair of the DVD burner. It came back unrepaired — I suspect that inadequate testing didn't reveal the problem, i.e. that small burns work but large ones don't. Via phone I insisted they send to a local representative a new burner and two days later (this past Wednesday) I had it installed. But that didn't solve the problem. Before I could burn DVDs and as long as they were under 1 GB (of 4.7 GB theoretical size) I had a 50% chance of reading them. Now I can't even do that. In trying to check things out I somehow messed up the burner software. After many attempts at things, the next and last step is to restore my computer to its original, as-delivered, software state. That takes hours of making backups and making sure that nothing is lost. Soon it will be done. If - a hope that I don't really have — it works then I'll be able to write DVDs and we'll be off to Mexico before Wednesday. More likely, it won't and back goes the computer to Fujitsu in Memphis. I've been promised priority treatment. In that case it should be back by Friday and then we go to Mexico. In the meantime we'll extend our knowledge of Tucson, Saguaro National Monument, etc.

June 28, 2003