After leaving Flagstaff two days ago we are now in Indio, just outside Palm Springs. I’m happy to report that the drive into Phoenix restored my faith in Arizona’s reported beauty. While the drive into Flagstaff underwhelmed, the drive out was majestic. Red rocks combined with pine then rich desert with fiery hues escorted us as we cruised down Flagstaff’s high plateau. We hugged bends of terraced rock and saw the famed cliffs of Sedona as we continued to drop south.
Drawing closer to Phoenix the saguaro cacti appeared. These are not the ground clinging cacti of Colorado, but the great white of cacti; the 12-foot tall species with human like appendages. Each plant stood alone in solitude and had a history to rival the great redwoods. At the end of each arm and on the top of the head small bouquets of white flowers bloomed like cherished Sunday hats. I became enthralled and because these cacti take nearly 75 years to grow a single arm, I drove through Arizona constantly mesmerized and thinking, “Man, that’s an old cactus”.
With a quick overnight in Buckeye, Arizona we crossed the border into California before stopping here in Indio. Alex and I had a bad parental moment today as Elias showed signs of a developing fever. We took our mountain child and put him in a hot desert and he melted, literally. We decided to push for the long drive today and the plan backfired. The last 70-miles of our drive through the lifeless desert with an overheated toddler in the backseat was none too pleasant to say the least.
Thank goodness for an evening breeze. Elias is currently asleep with the windows open and his body has cooled down. I am grateful for his peaceful sleep and finally getting into California.