Came to Phoenix after my time in Sedona. It’s funny; I felt anxious leaving there (maybe because Mindy’s company was familiar and comforting and I started to settle into some semblance of “real life” again?) and was grateful to get to return. I wasn’t a very fun houseguest, doing lots of sleeping, blogging, mapping, and sunning, but Mindy helped me renew and refresh…and one day we went exploring.
She’d never been to Tucson, and I wanted to visit Saguaro National Park, so we headed in that direction and along the way saw signs for Biosphere 2. I wrote about it in a blog post a couple years back and begged Mindy to stop (actually, she was more than willing). Biosphere 2 is a research facility for the University of Arizona that mimics the various ecosystems of Earth (Biosphere 1) in miniature. Within the facility there are seven biomes including a rainforest, an ocean with coral reef, a mangrove forest, a savannah, and a fog desert. At one time, human researchers sequestered themselves in the facility for all of two years to study a closed ecosystem (and still today there is work being done on what creating and operating such a system would look like in outerspace). Except for one peculiar family of husband, two wives (no judgement), and seven kids, three of which disrupted the entire tour and drove me absolutely mad, it was fascinating exploring the place. And the National Park with its cacti standing tall and proud and sometimes awkward in the afternoon sun didn’t disappoint.
This was the day of Gma’s full moon, so we headed back to Phoenix in time to try to scope out a spot to spend some time with her…and, with impeccable timing, the area was hit with a haboob – an intense dust and wind storm that blows anything and everything around in the air. It was incredible. And dirty. And blocked our view of the moon for some time…but Gma seems to like to give me a bit of a challenge in finding her, which has created lots of adventures for me (I think that’s her mission), so this month was no exception. The dust and the clouds and the colors of the desert, with a backdrop of cacti, eventually set a breathtaking scene for viewing her shining face. And a lightening storm in the distance gave us an extra reward for the work we went to driving around backroads to find her. We parked and just took it all in…then may or may not have nearly gotten attacked by a javelina (a wild Arizonan not-pig that looks rather like a boar), and that was a perfectly hilarious ending to our lovely night with Gma – and my thus-far favorite memory with Mindy in Phoenix. ❤