Sunday, February 27, 2011

In Which I Make it to Phoenix and Listen to a Tale of Exploration

This is the fourth installment in a series of posts about my recent road trip from San Antonio, TX, to Washington State. If you missed the previous three posts, they may be viewed here:

February 4

I feel a lot better today. Still not 100%, but vastly improved since yesterday evening. I’m going to check out of the hotel shortly and hit the road with the goal of reaching Phoenix by this evening.


I made it to Phoenix just in time to enjoy supper with the Harding family. I’m really grateful for their hospitality while I’m in town - it’s so much better to stay with friends than book a hotel. The driving between El Paso and here was fairly uneventful. I realized that there were actually two Mesa Streets, and the second one would have had better (read “more economical”) options for lodging yesterday evening...oh well. I stopped a few times to take some pictures (something I wish I would have done more yesterday, especially for last night’s sunset). Texas Canyon along I-10 was particularly interesting - a jumble of rust-colored boulders, some perched precariously on top of one another. I got a few shots, but was unable to get to the best viewpoint.

Texas Canyon, Arizona
Along the way I listened to “Sea of Glory” by Nathaniel Philbrook, a story of the U.S. Expedition of Exploration of 1838-42. The expedition was headed up by Charles Wilkes, by all accounts a very disagreeable fellow, but remarkable in his self-discipline and perseverance during the long 4-year voyage to Antarctica, the South Pacific Islands, Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest. It’s interesting to see how a man with so many flaws was able to successfully mount and lead such a monumental expedition. Equally interesting is how little-known the U.S. ExEx is today...
Mountains in northern Texas

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