We got a taxi from Tuscon to the airport to pick up our hire car and then did a Thelma and Louise style drive up a very straight road for two hours to the north of Scottsdale. Our middle aged, very chatty taxi driver advised us to avoid crossing the Mexican border on account of the danger. But it turns out that he doesn’t own a passport and has never left the USA. He holidays just an hour away as does his children and grandchildren. None of them have ever left the country. It is only 36% of Americans who actually own passports – isn’t that astonishing? Explains that whilst they all “LOVED” our accent, but they couldn’t quite work out if we were British or Australian.
The Chrysler © Anja Niemi. Anja Niemi is represented by The Little Black Gallery www.the.littleblackgallery.com and is currently for sale and I love it!
“I’m so sorry to have to ask a potentially stupid question” I said to our driver, “go ahead” he invited….”where do you get all your water?” I asked him. It looks pretty green – more so than I expected given that you’re living in the middle of a desert?” “It’s no problem at all” he told us “we get all our water from the Colarado River and whilst it’s a little lower than before, there’s still plenty left to go round”. Really? I wanted to say. Can that be true in an area of the world that has sunshine for 360 days a year (and trust us to hit two of their rain days) and with the effects of climate change that surely must be having an effect? They get 90% of their water from there so what happens when the river runs dry? Even I knew that the Colorado river is shrinking because of a drought that started 15 years ago and the major reservoirs – Lake Powell and Lake Mead have reduced to 50% in that time.
To support a fast growing urban population I would have thought that the Southwest was due for rapid change. I know for a fact that Phoenix lags behind Los Angeles and so surely they will need to start considering how to do better. Las Vegas has improved by encouraging people to get rid of their lawns and to embrace the desert look – they could do that. But it’s the agricultural areas and the farmers that will have to reduce their water usage the most.
From the water discussion, we moved on to capital punishment – something that still happens in their state. Even as we talked a woman in the USA had been given yet another reprieve at the last moment because the lethal injection “looked cloudy”. She’d even had her last supper. Turns out he is in favour of capital punishment and on the way he pointed out the shopping mall where the congress woman was shot along with a number of other people by a “madman”. “In the bible they say an eye for an eye” he says, “but what about turning the other cheek?” we ask. “Oh no, I don’t agree with that bit”….
Anyway, we found our way to our fabulous hotel, The Four Seasons in Scottsdale thanks to my iPhone app and the very proficient driving of my friend. The unfortunate thing was that my phone was about to die and we were worried we might be lost forever so we didn’t stop to take photos of the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen, along with the huge cacti backdrop, when we should have done. Instead I took photos from the passenger seat of a moving car.
Not good, but you get the general idea:-
…and then the next night, when we were poised with camera, it rained, so the sunset wasn’t nearly as good.
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