I went to Arizona with my boyfriend for five days at the end of February to get away from the icy hell that is February in Michigan and to visit his godfather. I took a boat load of pictures and I’d like to share some of them as well as a few notes about my first experience in the American Southwest.
The first place we visited was Fountain Hills, a high-end suburb of the Phoenix area. I loved the adobe houses, gravel yards, and interesting foliage but was shocked to see huge fountains (hence “Fountain Hills”) and golf courses in the middle of the desert. It just seems to wrong, especially when some people predict a water crisis coming in the next handful of decades. Regardless, I took some nice photos:
Next, me and Nick took a trip out to see the Biosphere 2, an amazing research facility constructed in the 1980s in order to test the ability of people to thrive within an enclosed ecosystem. The Biosphere 2 (Biosphere 1 being Earth) was meant to reconstruct a functioning, closed-system biome on a small scale. It is the largest system of it’s kind. Two “missions” were conducted at the Biosphere in which researchers were “locked” inside for up to 2 years. Due to some difficulty in cultivating food, CO2 problems, and even personal disputes, the missions were not perfect and the second ended prematurely. However, the Biosphere was pegged as a “failure” in the mainstream media. Those who work at the Biosphere now will be the first to say this is not true, and I’m apt to agree with them. The original researchers gained invaluable information about the operation of closed systems that can lead to very important sustainable technologies and a greater understand of Earth in general. Not to mention the problems they encountered, in the grand scheme of experimental science (*ahem* remember how science works? Most things aren’t perfect), were not all that disastrous. Research continues to be conducted at the Biosphere including soil dynamics, artificial “ocean” manipulation, and other fascinating pursuits. Even ignoring all practical use of the facility, it sure is cool to look at:
Next on our list was Saguaro National Park within the beautiful Sonoran Desert. I was awe-struck by the giant Saguaro cacti (pronounced “soo-waro” apparently, unless you’re a newb) stretching as far as the eye could see and of course the gorgeous sunset we managed to catch just in time:
The last particularly notable part of our trip was in Sedona, land of crystal hippies and rich, confused white people. Though I can’t say I buy into the “vortex” theory of why Sedona is a special place, I won’t deny that it is enchantingly beautiful. to my chagrin we actually ran into snow while we were there, the very thing we were trying to escape. Yet I couldn’t stay mad when I saw how pretty it looked atop the red rocks:
All-in-all I was very impressed with the splendor of the Southwest. Because of the unique mixture of cacti, rock formations, and coniferous forest, the higher elevations were some of my favorite spots. However the snow would probably keep me from moving there. But perhaps I’ll go back to Sedona when I decide that I want to spend $130 to have my fortune told by a woman who talks to angels. Seems legit.
If you’d like to see the rest of the photos from the trip (about 300 in all), head on over to my Flickr! Thanks for looking! 🙂