Arizona. When mentioning this state, my mind used to conjure up visions of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, and then nothing of interest in between but desert and of course, the Grand Canyon.
Prior to our winter’s journey westward, I had never stepped foot in the state of Arizona. Papa had been to those Arizona cities a couple of times for annual sales meetings when he worked in the corporate world and he returned home with tales of palm trees, swimming pools, and golf courses.
But what a different Arizona we found on our trip. Sure, there were palm trees and swimming pools (one right in my sister’s back yard but it was too chilly to swim), and there were bright patches of almost abnormally green golf courses here and there, but there was so much more of interest to see in the part of the Sonoran Desert where we visited.
“Almost everyone in the world knows something about Arizona, and some of it is even true.” ~Jim Turner, Arizona: A Celebration of the Grand Canyon State, 2011
I didn’t envision a beautiful body of water like Lake Havasu or the gigantic red rock gorges surrounding the Colorado River. Or that I’d cross the London Bridge in the desert.
I didn’t even imagine that folks would pull their RVs out into the expanse of the landscape with no one else in sight to go dry camping.
I never dreamed I’d get my kicks on Route 66. Or that I’d feed wild burros in an old former ghost town that was once the scene of a gold mine rush.
Or that I’d relish the thrill of ATV riding on winding, hilly desert trails out in the middle of nowhere.
I didn’t expect to get my face a little sunburned even though I was dressed in a shirt, jeans, denim jacket, and knitted scarf around my neck because it was 56° F and downright windy enough to chill your ears.
And I didn’t think I’d constantly be pulling my camera up to my eye.
But I did.
I stuffed my eyes and my SD card full of Arizona and I’ve only shared a portion of my treasures.
So to wind up this series on our trip to this southwestern state, here’s a look at some of the other photos I captured on our journey.
You might say it was, for me, how the West was won….by the viewfinder of my DSLR camera.
“Stuff your eyes with wonder.” ~ Ray Bradbury