Sunday, November 10, 2002

Road weary

Amy and I have just returned from a trip to Tucson, where we (or, rather she and her friend Betsy) attended a medical conference required to maintain her currency with the various boards and bureaucracies that govern her medical license. However, it was not a dull trip! We figured that, as long as we were hitting the road and putting 2600 miles on our car, we would stop and take in some scenery. To that end, we made a week long trip out of it and saw some amazing things. For example, on our way across Arizona, we ran into a HUGE hole in the ground!

Small panoramic view from the South Rim, click for larger image

Now, the natives assure me that this is nothing new, but I surely would have loved to see the line of dump trucks it took to excavate that site!

Seriously, though, this was my first opportunity to view the Grand Canyon. I'm sure everyone who has seen it understands the awe that I felt when we arrived at the edge and I first peered over into that mile-deep canyon! We hiked down into the canyon a short distance and back, and I was speechless the entire time. Of course, Amy thinks I was just winded from the elevation and the hiking. ;-)

We also stayed a day in Santa Fe (where we ran across a motorcycle ride raising money and gifts for kids), drove through Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona, AZ, and stopped in Ruidoso, NM on the way back. We did a lot of walking and/or mild hiking, and encountered quite a bit of wildlife. Admittedly, all of the fun stuff was in controlled settings (i.e.- zoos), but I suppose I wouldn't want to come face to face with a freely roaming pair of mountain lions!

In addition, while Amy was attending the conference, I took a morning and visited the Pima Air and Space Museum, and took a tour of the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center. How often to you see hundreds of billions of dollars (in original cost) worth of military aircraft in one place? Well, here are all of my pictures from that fun side trip. Note the line of 6 B-1 bombers lined up for retirement. They told us that eventually 26 of these fascinating planes would be sent there, with about a dozen kept in a ready status, and the others used for spare parts for those still in active use. Makes an aviation buff like me get all teary-eyed.

It was nice to get out of town for a bit and relax, despite spending a grand total of 49 hours in the car (I know because our Passat keeps a running total...) I'm sure our pictures won't do it justice, but hopefully they will shed a little light on the wonderful time we had!