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Travel Day: Driving from San Diego to Phoenix

Heather 0

After a good night’s sleep at Sun Outdoors San Diego Bay, we began driving from San Diego to Phoenix, Arizona. We had a day between games, so we had time to spare. Originally, we had planned to stop by the Yuma Territorial Prison for lunch and a tour. However, the refrigerator was on the fritz and the temperature was a toasty 123 degrees when we stopped, so we drove on!

From Hot and Humid to Hotter and Dry

San Diego’s coastal desert climate was warm, in the high 70s and low 80s, but very muggy. The humidity was around 80% while we were there. As we travelled over the mountains and began our drop into the desert, the view out the window shifted from shades of green to red and orange. Trees and shrubs were replaced with historic sediments from a time when Arizona was at the edge of a shallow sea.

Enormous boulders and smaller rocks, all rounded from thousands of years rolling in the surf, are piled in dramatic ripples along the highway. Eventually, the rocks transitioned to sand, an enormous beach no longer near the water’s edge. We began to see cacti, beginning with Arizona Barrell Cacti, and eventually the majestic Saguaro Cacti for which the Arizona desert is so well known.

As we approached our campground at White Tank Mountain Park, we entered a virtual forest of Saguaro cacti. I also read that the extreme heat wave this year has been killing them at unprecedented rates. We saw several that had lost branches or had collapsed due to rot.

By the time we arrived at our campsite, the heat had dropped from 125 degrees at its peak to 105 degrees. Fortunately, the desert heat is dry heat, which made it somewhat more tolerable.

I made good use of my new app, Merlin, to identify the beautiful and energetic curved bill thrasher, and snapped a few pictures of our surroundings before the twilight faded into night.

Another Airstream Challenge

After we got everything hooked up, we turned on the air conditioning and noticed that it wasn’t making much of a difference. It was pumping air, but it was as warm as the temperature inside, which was now 102 degrees. Brad climbed up on the roof, removed the housing, tightened a fan, and inspected the air conditioning system. It looked fine. He put it back together, came back inside, and tried it again. Success!

Within an hour or so, the Airstream was cool, and we were ready for bed.

Up Next: Chase Field and the Arizona Diamondbacks

Tomorrow, we are off to visit Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. They are playing our hometown heroes, the Mariners. Read about how the Mariners helped inspire Wellspring’s Employee Stability Program in this post, then help us raise money for employees who are experiencing homelessness on our Home Runs for Housing page!