My Daily Drive to Work and Back...

Phoenix Travel Blog

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My morning stop.

Where else could I possibly start a blog like this than with a detailed account of my daily commute? 

Every day, I leave my humble home to head into the office, or as I have called it in previous blogs, my "questionable job".  (long story).  First stop?  My local corner, to the Circle K.

Some of you know Circle K; some from experience, some from watching "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure".  It is a chain of convenience stores, where you can buy gas, cigarettes, newspapers, very dodgy looking hotdogs (I never have, nor will I ever, try one of these - I'm sure death would come slowly and painfully), basic items, etc.  The famous line from the movie is when Keanu Reeves, (who plays Ted) states in wonder, "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K"

In Phoenix, Circle K's are about all we have; there are very few other options.

Your options for the hotdog? Relish, Onions, and Jalapeno. Welcome to Phoenix.
  

This is where I stop most every morning on my way to work for a Coke - the "Breakfast of Champions", and about all my stomach can take in the mornings.  Especially when I see the hotdogs rotating already at 7:45 in the morning... and they aren't JUST hotdogs, they are nacho-cheese-chilli-filled hot dogs.  Fantastic.  Just rolling and rolling around on those silver heating rolls, that apparently can keep them lukewarm for who knows how long.  Also, note my picture above highlighting the "Arizona version" of condiments...

Anyway...I get my drink and get in line to check out next to the strange cardboard faux-Native-American jewelry display that of course we must have at the convenience store.

"Nature Beads" Jewelry display, all on sale for just $3.99. Conveniently located in between the sunflower seeds and the chewing gum.
  This is Arizona - Must have faux-Native-American "Nature Beads" jewelry for $3,99 in case you decide this is what you need with your gas, coke, and cigarettes  (This is the land of the Painted dessert, after all)

So then I drive to work; it's a sprawling city with basically no public transportation, so it's all individual cars, all the time.  We are a desert; so as with any desert, the air closer to the ground cools faster at night than the air above.  However, we are also a valley (the "Valley of the Sun" no less) so, cool air then moves in ON TOP of the warm air westward from the surrounding mountains.

Our result?   The air down at the bottom with all of us (filled with pollutants such as tiny particles of carbon and nitrogen dioxide gasses) is trapped near the ground in the Valley.

The view if you walk out the door of my work.
  It's what's known here in Phoenix as "The Brown Cloud".  Lovely to drive into...

Finally I reach the office; to begin another "questionable" day.  Not all bad though, I do get to visit you all of you lot from time to time...   :-) 

*****************************************************

THE LONG JOURNEY HOME

Ahhhh.... what is it about the ride home that is so much more enjoyable than the ride in?  I guess just the reality of the intended destination?    Anyway, since I discussed the smog situation on the way in, let me give equal time to the fact that Phoenix in the springtime can be lovely; all the cactus are in bloom (yes, they do in fact bloom) and the the air smells nice from the flowers.

Camelback Mountain - the back is on the left, the head is on the right.
 

Only drawback is that it is now officially starting to get hot; it's 7:45 in the evening and still just over 93 F. (34 C.) and tomorrow they say will be 102 F. (39 C.)  It's only the 9th of May...

I thought I would show you all a picture of one of our better known mountains here; Camelback Mountain.  Named as such, because it looks like a Camel that has laid down.   The head of the camel is meant to be to the right in this picture.  Another formation on the mountain, not shown here, is the "Praying Monk", and the lore goes that this is the monk that owns the camel, praying that it will get up again so they can continue on the journey.  I'll try to add a picture of that later, you have to be at a different angle than my drive home takes me on...

THE BLESSINGS OF TRAVBUDDY

A final note; when I did arrive home tonight, it was to find a FedEx package against my front door, from one of my best friends in the world, who I met here on Travbuddy; Andi Perullo .

Yes, we do have trees here...
  On Sunday, I read the new blog she put up on her visit to The Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  Today, just three small days later, waiting on my doorstep, were stunning prints of every photo I smiled at on Sunday.  How do you even process that sort of generosity and kindness?  Also included in the package was a necklace and earing set from her recent trip to Morocco; the jewelry itself made from the actual sand of the Sahara, and blessed by a Shaman there prior to being sent to me. 

THAT is how I ended my day in Phoenix today...

radarasu says:
Hey great post about Phoenix. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of Camelback Mountain. I used to hike it on a regular basis but thanks to the Navy, I no longer live there. I'm surprised you didn't mention having to drive with your wrists since the steering wheel was too damn hot to actually hold onto it.
Posted on: Nov 07, 2007
native_expat says:
I love your posts!
Posted on: Sep 22, 2007
elora-jane says:
Hi, I'm dutch but I lived in Phoenix for 14 months. I still miss it!! Thanx for the pics!
Posted on: Sep 05, 2007
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My morning stop.
My morning stop.
Your options for the hotdog?  Reli…
Your options for the hotdog? Rel…
Nature Beads Jewelry display, al…
"Nature Beads" Jewelry display, a…
The view if you walk out the door …
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Camelback Mountain - the back is o…
Camelback Mountain - the back is …
Yes, we do have trees here...
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