15 November 2014

Across the U.S., Day 40 - Tucson (AZ) to Phoenix (AZ)

The distance between Tucson and Phoenix is only about 110 mi (~177 km) via I-10. The other option on the east side (US-77 and scenic route 177) adds twice as much driving time but only 40 mi (~65 km). Guess, which one I chose.

In the little town of Oracle, just north of Tucson, a Farmers Market sign caught my attention. It brought me to the courtyard of Sue and Jerry's Trading Post. The Farmers Market actually only takes place on Wednesday, which I had overlooked on the sign. Never mind, I checked out the little store instead. Nasty people would call it junk; let's call it collectibles or antiques. And indeed, I found something that I bought.

Oh, I see and feel Guido frown when he reads this. ;-) Nothing to worry! I bought a beautiful 2015 wall calendar with wildlife photographs from the area, taken by a local photographer. And part of the earnings also support the local Women's Network group.

At Mammoth, another small community along US-77, "La Casita" and their "authentical Mexican food" looked inviting for lunch. If this were just one meal, I certainly would gain weight quickly! ... I saved half of it for dinner.

Rice & beans, beef burro and beef taco

Is it only me or do these Saguaros indeed grow more arms than their cousins closer to Tucson? It looks like they are not quite as tall but invest more energy in more arms, which means more flowers, seeds and in consequence, more reproduction. But this might simply be an impression. (BTW: Saguaros only reproduce from seed, not from cuttings like some other cacti.)

What a smart bird that built its nest in this nicely protected spot. Or - as a cat or squirrel - would you climb up there to steal the eggs?

Another nickname for Arizona is "The Copper State". At first, I had trouble to recognize what these strangely formed and colored mountains were. Then, I realized that this was an open-pit copper mine, operated by ASARCO (American Smelting And Refining Company).

Looking at the full picture, one can still imagine how the landscape had looked before human impact. I'm wondering what they do with the area when they are done turning it upside down and the resources are exhausted. Does it then get recultivated like most of the German open pit coal mine areas? Whatsoever, it will take a while - if at all - until it will be covered with Saguaros again.

All these prickly impressions the last two days reminded me of Backkom. Enjoy! :-)

More to come.


  1. Here comes my answer to your first question:

    "Well, I never seem to do it like anybody else
    Maybe someday, someday I'm gonna settle down
    If you ever want to find me I can still be found

    Taking the long way
    Taking the long way around
    Taking the long way
    Taking the long way around"

    Dixie Chices - The long way around

    1. Da hat die Auto-Korrektur doch meine Dixie Chicks 'verschlimmbessert', ts ts.

    2. Yes, pretty much! Very appropriate answer. Did it again today.

  2. You're moving too fast for me, I can barely keep up. Another set of lovely pics. Love the prickly things, they look exactly like the ones in the video (ouch).

    1. Thanks! Those Saguaros are indeed beautiful. The first adjective that came to my mind was "lovely", but that did not quite fit. ;-) I truly can not understand how someone can find it funny to destroy them. At least that 27-year old guy paid for his stupidity, with his life.