Monday, August 15, 2005

Day Tripper

Well, I'm back from my harrowing adventure on Skaro.  I promised the D...uh, a friend that I would not reveal the details of my capture and rescue, so let me just say that I'm very fortunate and grateful that the Daleks didn't just exterminate me.  I never quite figured out what they hoped to gain by exterminating AOL journal entries last night, but at least friend was able to restore most of them with a quick trip to the very recent past. 

Unfortunately, the entry from last night is still gone.  For all I know, the Daleks may have decided there was something in it that might reveal their diabolical plan, whatever it was, prematurely. Well, it's a small loss in the scheme of things.  The Earth is still here, AOL is still here, and I'm back, safe and sound.

Anyway, last night before the Daleks attacked AOL, I was going to share some pictures from my day trip on Saturday to IKEA in Tempe.  It's about a 90 mile journey each way, and as usual I took far too many pictures. I think I'd better show you at least some of them before anything else happens.  Late tomorrow night I'll be posting my Round Robin Photo Challenge entry for this Wednesday (subject: "Who I am in Black & White"). Then on Wednesday night, blobby bionic aliens permitting,  I'll finish up my IKEA story. 

some mountains or other, train tracks

I-10 is officially an East-West Interstate Highway, and for most of its route reality follows this designation. Between Tucson and Phoenix, however, it runs pretty much North-South.  John and I took his new(ish) Olds north on I-10 West as it paralleled railroad tracks, farmers' fields and mountain ranges whose names I do not know.  This first photo features all three, plus a diagonal road running off to what looks like some town or other.  This was probably somewhere between Marana and Picacho Peak.

Picacho Peak as seen from the Dairy Queen lot.

This is Picacho Peak, as seen from the parking lot of a Dairy Queen that advertises heavily on billboards, promising rattlesnake eggs and other tourista delights.  Picacho Peak was the site of the westernmost battle of the Civil War, the only such battle in Arizona.  I've never researched this, but it seems a little odd that that awful war penetrated a territory more concerned at the time with Indians and Mexico, prospecting, ranching and gunfighting than with slavery and states' rights.  These days, the Picacho Peak area is home to Rooster Cogburn's ostrich farm (unfortunately closing down soon), pecan groves and a recreation area that has great wildflowers when winter and spring get the right amount of rain, as they did this year.
A century plant behind the DQ.

This is a century plant behind the Dairy Queen.  It's called that because it supposedly blooms only once a century, but I'm certain that's a gross exaggeration.
Gift shop at the Dairy Queen

Inside the gift shop portion of the Dairy Queen.  Can you spot the jackalope

I was at Worldwide Travel recently, talking to Dave Potter as I picked up my docs for Disneyland.  He claimed to have seen a baby jackalope last year in a church parking lot in Sedona.  Uh, Dave, you do know that they're a hoax, don't you?  Apparently he didn't.  He did not claim horns for it, just dark markings and disproportionately large feet.  Sounds like a regular baby jackrabbit to me!
 Check out the line at the bottom.

The #1 industry among Arizona's native tribes is casino gambling, but some of the remoter reservations rely more on truck stops, tourism and cheap cigarettes.  What caught my eye on this particular billboard was the line at the bottom:  "See Japanese/American relocation camp exhibit."  As we commemorate the 60th anniversary of V-J Day, it's worth remembering that even "the Greatest Generation" did some rather shameful things in that relatively unambiguous war.  Us vs. Them: when will we learn not to label innocent people as Them?
These flags are in serious need of replacement.

The Dairy Queen is in desperate need of new flags.
From China to ? via Arizona by rail.

We passed two trains on the drive up, both of which carried Chinese imports.  John wondered whether some of them were bound for IKEA.  Another car was labeled Hamburg Sud, but I don't know whether that related to Germany, Pennsylvania or someplace else.  When I was a kid in Manlius, I always looked for cars labeled Pennsylvania Railroad, the non-existent Short Line, B&O and Reading when passing or being passed by trains.  I often found three of the four. Those days are long gone, and anyway, I'm in the wrong part of the country for that.  Now I'm lucky to spot relics of the old western lines  AT&SF and Southern Pacific, or cars of the current lines CP (Canadian Pacific) and Canadian National (CN).

But the locomotives feature U.S. flags.

Despite the large number of Chinese boxcars they pulled, each of these locomotives featured an American flag on the side.  Who are they trying to convince?

Does Don Diego know about this?

This is the first time I saw an ad for this billboard advertising company. Does Don Diego de la Vega know about this?

Toltec Road near Eloi is kind of a halfway point between Tucson and Phoenix.  I often stop there for lunch, or just a quick break from driving.  Having just stoppedat Picacho Peak, however, we kept right on going this time.
Almost there!

And here's our goal: the new IKEA in Tempe.  More on that in a couple of days.



gaboatman said...

Thank goodness you managed to escape the Daleks and elude recapture as you made you way back to J-Land.  It must have been a harrowing experience.  I find your pictures of your trip to IKEA most delightful as I have never made it farther that Twin Peaks during my two or three business trips to Phoenix years ago.  I love seeing parts of the country I have not been to before.  Good shots, by the way!

chasferris said...

Karen, your photos are fantastic.  Make your adventures so real.

sakishler said...

I never heard of anyone believing in jackalopes before. Ha!

ryanagi said...

Thanks for taking us along for the ride. :-)