One of the best things about life in the 21st century is the ease of making “Friends” whom you’ve never met. And one of the great things about living the peripatetic lifestyle is getting to finally meet them! When I saw we were passing through El Paso, I had to stop to say hello to one of my favorite-people-whom-I’d-never-met, Jennapher.
Then it was on to Deming, New Mexico. My husband, Steve, inherited a small parcel of land from his grandfather. It is in a “development” known as Deming Ranchettes, a large tract of arid desert which someone, fifty years ago, was sure would be located in a booming tourist town. Deming has not turned out the way they’d hoped, and the Walmart whose parking lot we boondocked in and the IHOP where we ate dinner and breakfast, were two of the largest businesses in Deming. But we did find the road into Deming Ranchettes, and we managed to figure out which of the identical rectangles of sagebrush and prickly pear belonged to Steve. Just at that moment, my phone rang! It was my old friend, a childhood playmate I’d not seen in over forty years! We were a few hours from his mother’s
house in Tuscon, so off we went!
Soon we began to see the Saguaro cacti. These are the image in everyone’s mind when they think of North American deserts, but in reality they are found only in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. We pulled into Tuscon and dropped our motorhome off for a new awning (way overdue). Then we descended on my “other mother,” who had picked up and moved to Tuscon with her son when I was a pre-teenager.
The two of them were gracious hosts; we took a sunset drive among the saguaros, and then the next day, a picnic drive up to Kitt’s Peak, where a veritable city of astronomical observatories is open for daytime tours. Signs around some nondescript dormitory buildings warn you to be quiet, as the astronomers are sleeping… The views of the surrounding plateau and buttes were breathtaking. How much more could the West have in store for our feasting eyes?
It’s such a joy to rediscover a link with childhood friends! After a lovely evening of reminiscing and trying to solve the problems of the world, we sadly said our goodbyes and headed north towards the Grand Canyon. But first we had one more stop to make…