Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day 55 - El Paso & Phoenix

Just north of El Paso is Las Cruces, New Mexico. We have crossed over the Rio Grande and heading westerly. The Rio Grande was the border with Mexico until El Paso then it turns north. Much farming is evident along the river.

West of Las Cruces we came upon a US Border Control. The car in front comes from Mexico and he was pulled over. As Ozzies all they wanted to see are our passports. We believe they were checking for illegal immigrants.

At a New Mexico rest stop. The ubiquitous rattlesnake sign. We now know that rattlers are on the move at night time and are hidden during the hot summer daylight.

The southern part of New Mexico is desert however there is a beauty about the countryside. Taken along the I-10 interstate highway.near Lordsburg

Entering Arizona from New Mexico along the I-10. Arizona was the state that we first started from.

The I-10 seems to have no ending in the distance. Taken along near Willcox Arizona

The cloud indicates rain in the distance. In actual fact this is the only significant cloud we saw today. The location is at the continental divide in Arizona, near Willcox.

It's all about Ralph today. At Junction 316 Rest Stop along the I-10, Arizona

What a huge disappointment. The Old Tucson Movie Studio is closed until October. This is where many western movies and TV westerns were filmed. The mountain in the background is well recognised in Bonanza and other great westerns. Why was it closed - apparently it's too hot!!!

At the Old Tucson Movie Studio. It was closed but it didn't stop us from having our picnic lunch.

At certain places along the fence line at the Old Tucson Movie Studio we could see some props and structures.

This church is what we can see as we peered over the fence line at the Old Tucson Movie Studio

And another old western scene as we fudged a camera shot along the fence line, Old Tucson Movie Studio

The Old Tucson Movie Studio is located next to the Saguaro National Park. There are tall cacti (called saguaros) on both sides of the road.

Entering Phoenix on a Saturday afternoon. These roads during the weekdays are usually packed. Not too bad today. Taken near Guadalupe, Phoenix along the I-10 Interstate highway.

Phoenix is the capitol of Arizona. Near the capitol building is a monument for the Navajo Wind talkers.

The state capitol building in Phoenix has numerous memorials for their war heroes. This particular monument is dedicated for the recent conflict in Afghanistan.

The Phoenix State Capitol building. Not the usual huge domed structure we see in other state capitol buildings

The side view of the Phoenix State Capitol building in Arizona.

Ralph is all fueled up and needs to travel 5 miles to his Alamo Rental home at the Phoenix Airport. Anne is sad that after 49 days he is leaving us and the days past he has performed marvelous

It was hard handing Ralph back to Alamo. We now feel like orphans.

We found out that we have another 25 hour day. Apparently Arizona doesn't observe daylight saving and is one hour behind New Mexico and Texas. Doesn't that sound like our Queenslanders! To our advantage our long journey was reasonably short. We left El Paso Texas at 7 am and quickly entered New Mexico. We were surprised that we faced a road block where the US Border Control were checking cars. There are many Mexican vehicles that cross over the border at El Paso and this checkpoint was focused on people. The journey across this part of the country is desert however there is a beauty about the area. Crossing over into Arizona gave us more scenes of desert with huge hills. We were looking forward to stop at Tucson in Arizona. We thought that this is a big city, however to our surprise it was not not. We detoured off the I-10 and found the Old Tucson Movie Studio and discovered the establishment were closed until October. We almost did the National Lampoon Wallyworld antic and wanted to force our way inside the studio. However, our reprisal was to not buy anything from the gift shop. We did mange to sneak a few shots of the old west scene from the fence line. The studio has been used in thousands of western TV and films over the past 80 years or so. From Tucson we made it to Phoenix and visited the state capitol building. From there we checked in and decided to give Ralph back to his owners. It was sad to hand him back and interestingly the person who received him did a odometer check and said we only did 624 miles over the past 49 days. We know we drove almost 9,000 miles (15,000 klms). We believe their records are wrong and entered an 18,000 miles instead of a 10,000 in mileage when we first pick up Ralph. We returned to our hotel and we had a few alcoholic drinks to salute Ralph. Tomorrow is Sunday and with no car we have to use public transport. We have a rest day and probably take a light-rail to the Phoenix Shopping Mall. Anne may have her hair done if any salons are open. Cheers.  

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