Another long flight, across the US from Houston to Phoenix, then up the Pacific coast, over the border into Canada.
If I compared the flatness of East Texas plains to that of Iraq, then the dry desert of Arizona reminds me of the flight over Iran and Pakistan to Kandahar.
Here too there’s a slice of territory that favorably compares to the pictures coming in from Mars from the robot explorers sent there. Anyone for another Capricorn One conspiracy, hehe ? (That was a story about NASA pretending to sent guys to the moon, only it was Arizona).
There are ranches down there, and farms cultivating their crops in great irrigated circles like those I saw when flying over Iran and Jordan recently. The land is arid; the water comes from aquifers deep under ground and the concern is that these are consumed faster than refreshed.
Otherwise you can look at all this unused land and ask, where are the new farm businesses that can take advantage of the higher food prices?
Phoenix is this great city built in the desert and still fringed by it. Every so often a Hopi Indian design is imprinted in a highway ramp or public building. Large residential blocks are carved from the dust, laid out, built up, greened and sprinkled. Most houses have their own swimming pool, even if it is only two strokes long.
I was in Scottsdale once, 10 years ago, so I know what this all looks like on the ground, and its very beautiful. Looking at is from the air, it looks more like the isolated town of Gladstone in Queensland my father almost took us to live in when I was a child. I always wonder what my lie would have been or become has I been raised in such a place.