We woke up obscenely early as we weren’t really on Mountain Time yet. We set off on what turned out to be our longest drive of the trip at 361 miles in one day, nearly entirely on roads in the wilderness that looked amazing:
We popped by the Very Large Array, which is one of the biggest configurations of astronomical radio observatories in the world: It has 27 of these working together over 22 miles:
It was wonderful being somewhere remote that wasn’t a giant ranch. it meant that it was extremely quiet and that it smelled wonderful (as it wasn’t covered in flies and cow poo like most places with lots of cattle).
After driving a very, very long way, as these are the properly big states here in the West, we entered Arizona:
It changed immediately. The New Mexican road had been extremely flat and straight. You could see for miles. Not so in Arizona. We were on a winding mountain road for probably 100 miles through two Indian reservations. We also changed time zone again. Arizona does not do the whole summer time thing, which is fair enough in the desert, but it meant that during the summer, it is functionally on Pacific Time, so before even getting used to Mountain Time, we gained another hour, causing us to enter at 10:20 in the morning and wanting to have lunch at 11.
We didn’t see the Grand Canyon (and we may not as it’s a bit awkwardly far from anything else we’re interested in), but we still saw a pretty good one:
Arizona seems as sunny as New Mexico so far and once we got closer to Phoenix, it got extremely hot and dry. We have increased our all time high temperature for the trip by one degree, up to 102F, but like New Mexico, it is a lovely dry heat.
After so much driving, we decided to take a few days off because our hotel was insanely cheap. With tax, it was 41 USD a night and it wasn’t bad. It’s in a large suburb of Phoenix called Mesa, so we are hoping it may be an indication of a very affordable area.
We have taken to setting the iPhone on the dash, propping it up with the selfie stick and my shoes (as I haven’t worn non-flip flops since July), so come join us on one of the most memorable drives of the trip: