So we love our Arizona desert. Gorgeous winters. Sunsets on the mountains. Cholla Pickleball. Dana’s rescue dogs at Home Fur Good. Great friends. Funky desert plants that look normal to us but strange to East-Coasters.
What we don’t enjoy, however, are 100° temperatures that only will climb from there. That’s not even a joke, even though it’s barely mid-May.
Summers here suck almost as much as Nick Saban and serial killers. Thus it’s a good thing we also love oceans and rivers and canals, and sleeping on a boat, and sunrises over the water, and a different set of great friends.
The point is, tomorrow morning we leave Scottsdale and head back to Connecticut. Oscar is older and slower, but we think he must be looking forward to inherently unstable surfaces since he hasn’t voiced any objection.
PSA No. 1: Rental cars are insanely expensive these days. Cargo vans, however, are $26 per day. And as an added bonus, loading doesn’t require much more than just tossing stuff in since the cargo area is huge. So we bought a bunch of provisions here since, what the heck, we have a huge cargo van reserved.
PSA No. 2: The Hertz place on Bell Road sucks almost as much as a Phoenix summer. They tell you your cargo van is ready to be picked up, except when you go way over to the west side to get it not only do they not have one, the frazzled girl at the counter keeps taking walk-in customers rather than focusing like a laser on your needs. Then when she finally has one delivered from Tempe hours later, the AC doesn’t work. And it’s roughly 140° inside the van so ain’t nobody taking it. Even more hours later she finally admits that Hertz in fact has no cargo vans—or mini vans—in the entire Phoenix metropolitan area. “How about a 12’ box truck?” Um, no. Ten miles per gallon in an uncomfortable cab across the entire United States doesn’t work for normal people or Oscar.
Just moments before Doug’s head exploded like one of those pressure-cooker bombs the Tsarnaev brothers set off in Boston, Hertz’ final option was a SUV which isn’t nearly big enough to hold all our stuff. Screw it. Hunt down a car-top carrier and we’ll ditch all those things we felt smart for buying in advance. So no, that isn’t a cargo van.
All we know is that Tumbleweed better be ready to go, because we have big summer plans and those plans require leaving Mystic Shipyard. In the immediate future, we’re counting on Dave and Becky cruising a bit up the Hudson with us. If we get through a few dicey bridges intact, we’re picking up Brent and Karen—who by force of habit we collectively call Second Wave even though that boat has new owners and a new name—in Burlington. Then to Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, and Hamilton for the Great White North portion of the summer.** Ultimately we hope to be somewhere south of Tennessee by the time the Arizona winter calls us back, with a bunch more guests along the way.
Special thanks to Jack and Sharon for the wonderful last meal and for gathering our mail and checking on the house until we return.
*We won’t catalog all our stops between Scottsdale and Mystic, but assuming we aren’t swallowed up by forest fires along the way we’re heading first to Santa Fe to see Dana’s dad and stepmom. Hence the Don Williams song title. As an aside, we once saw him in concert. He was cranky and unpleasant.
**Take off, eh.