Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Arizona snow

Believe it or not this picture was taken in the desert in Arizona just north of Phoenix. Yes, it is winter but it very rarely snows in the Arizona desert. The jeep in the picture was mine. It was a 1956 Willys jeep. I paid $ 700 for it. Very old which I was told was a good thing. Why a good thing? Because the first time that a tree limb drags along the side of the jeep scratching the paint or possible even making a small dent, you don’t feel as bad with an old jeep as you would if it were a brand new jeep right off the showroom floor. So with an older jeep you will have more fun and go off road more because you won’t be so concerned with scratching it. The jeep in the desert is a lot of fun because you can just leave the road and cut out across the desert. A lot of freedom to go anywhere you want, much like a bird soaring through the air. The man on the left is Fred and the person on the left is Jim. Notice the gun on the right side of Fred. It was common to carry guns in Arizona much like in the old west. They were carried for protection from animals like rattlesnakes, rabid coyotes, etc. I always carried one in the desert also. Sometimes when we returned to the city we would stop at a convenience store and go inside to get a soda and forget to take our guns off. They never frantically pushed the emergency police button. One time I apologized to the clerk behind the counter of a convenience store for leaving the gun on. The clerk laughed and said that he knew that we were just hunters. He said that people who are going to rob him don’t wear the guns out in the open but hide them. I guess that he was a good judge of people and their intentions. By the way, this very same spot in the August summer heat would be like the planet Vulcan on Star Trek. Hot. Very hot! 118 degree hot!! My jeep didn’t have air conditioning so to cool myself I would roll the windows down. Now that was a big help. My body is trying to maintain a normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees and I am letting the hot 118 degree air blow on it. The air was like a heater blowing on me. It would only make matters worse. My solution was to wet myself down with water periodically and to stop at convenience stores and get icee’s and slushes. Even so, there was many a time in the summer that I turned around and went back home because of the intense heat. I didn’t have true air conditioning at home either. I had something called an evaporative cooler (affectionately called swamp coolers). These were large cubic louvered metal boxes on the roof with a large squirrel cage fan sucking in air across wet excelsior pads and blowing the air down into the house. It would lower the air temperature by about 20 degrees. This meant that when the air was 118 degrees, it would lower the temperature down to 98 degrees. So I would sit in front of breeze box fans drinking ice water. Just like being on the planet Vulcan. Gotta go. Have a good day fellow trekkers. “Live long and prosper”. Lew

1 comment:

seaside said...

It sounds like a hot experience. I would want a glass of cool ice tea with lots of ice cubes. Do you remember the song " Arizona" and who sung it? I can barely remember the song. I am glad to hear the local news in my air coditioning house.