Thursday, September 02, 2010
I'm getting my ducks in a row, getting ready for vacation.
Tomorrow morning I leave for Texas to visit my mom and my sister. It's a two-day drive if I can get at least as far as Deming, New Mexico, which is within ten minutes of the half-way point.
Yesterday I checked the weather reports, only to discover that tomorrow will be Phoenix's hottest day (107º) of the next 10 days. My route takes me near Phoenix without hitting any of the city's normal traffic. Depending on the time I go through there, I could hit some Labor Day weekend traffic leaving the city, so I'll try to drag myself out of bed earlier than I want to.
The weather report for Cisco says that I'll be there in time to enjoy thunderstorms. I'm sure that means I may learn how to read all those satellite images on the Weather Channel. People in Texas like that channel. People in California barely know it exists.
Another fascinating development in my vacation preparation came in the form of a news item I saw at Michelle Malkin's blog. It seems the Obama administration's answer to border security is to post signs warning the gringos that Arizona isn't safe.
The federal government has posted signs along a major interstate highway in Arizona, more than 100 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, warning travelers the area is unsafe because of drug and alien smugglers, and a local sheriff says Mexican drug cartels now control some parts of the state.
The signs were posted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) along a 60-mile stretch of Interstate 8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend, a major east-west corridor linking Tucson and Phoenix with San Diego.
They warn travelers that they are entering an "active drug and human smuggling area" and they may encounter "armed criminals and smuggling vehicles traveling at high rates of speed." Beginning less than 50 miles south of Phoenix, the signs encourage travelers to "use public lands north of Interstate 8" and to call 911 if they "see suspicious activity."
Perfect! That's where I'll be driving at 107º tomorrow. I'll have to look for the signs.
But once I get to Texas, I'll have fun. And the fun starts just east of El Paso, where the posted speed limit is 80 mph. Love it! Then, when I get to my mom's house, I get to meet her new little dog Misty. (My mom had to put Scooter down a while ago - He had liver cancer.) I've heard Misty already, because when I call my mom, Misty starts barking to say, "Hey! You stopped paying attention to me!"
When I come back, I'll be bringing my telescope with me. I didn't have enough room for it in my car when I came home from The Trip with my mom.
So tonight is serious packing, followed by serious sleeping, followed tomorrow by serious driving. I have some books on tape checked out from the library to keep me company. Life is good!