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Catchgroove: The Desert Sessions – THE VOYAGE

January 17, 2022

We drove from Minneapolis to Phoenix – per Google Maps it is 25 hours. We decided to break it up over three days as we had never traveled with our pup Margo.

Day one (1/6/22) was Minneapolis to Wichita. A fairly uneventful drive. The first hour was dicey out of Minneapolis as it was bitterly cold with some black ice on the road.

Day two was a little more interesting as we traversed the rest of Kansas, the Oklahoma Texas panhandles and into New Mexico. Our drive kind of followed the lifecycle of beef: grazing cattle, feed lots and finally to slaughter houses. We stayed overnight in Santa Rosa NM. In hindsight we were game for another few hours of driving. Concluding after the success of day one and day two we could have done the trip from Minneapolis to Phoenix in two vs three days.

Day 3 we set out early and watched the sunrise in the rear view mirror on our way to Albuquerque. Things continued to go well as we admired desolate New Mexico. With excitement we entered Arizona. Soon Google Maps alerted us of a route change due to road closures and we headed off I40 to Show Low. It was nice to get on a quiet two lane road and not have to compete with semis. We arrived in the quaint town of Show Low with streets named with clever gambling references.

After passing through the town of Show Low on US 60 the high-desert grassland was replaced by stately ponderosa pine trees. The ground was carpeted with a recent snow. It felt like we had transported to Colorado. It was beautiful. But soon we were in the Salt River Canyon. We were shocked to find ourselves on a terrifyingly yet breath taking beautiful route of ups and downs and and hairpin turns – all on the edge of the canyon- it felt like a driving error would be fatal. We had no idea what we had entered and when it would end. It was both exhilarating and exhausting. When we finally reached a rest area we were in great need of a little relief. The little detour went on and on for 90 minutes. It is one of the greatest drives I have ever been on and part of the thrill was it was unexpected. I assumed this was a legendary scenic drive. After the fact I googled it expecting it to be on various lists of classic drives – crickets! It was barely mentioned – even on Arizona sites. Maybe it is not that amazing – except for Midwest flatlanders. Highly recommend day trip out of Phoenix – not for the faint of heart.

A sample of the Salt River Canyon drive

We arrived at our friends Mary and Garvin’s house to stay the night (our new home didn’t have any furniture – a bed would arrive in two days). Our pup Margo enjoyed their backyard after being cooped up in a crate for three days. We enjoyed a warm (by Minnesota standards) January Phoenix late afternoon.

We “moved” in Sunday 1/9/22. Moving in meant unpacking our SUV, unpacking 7 boxes we had sent via UPS and a Target and Costco run. We have no furniture. We were too enthusiastic to leave and so we stayed the night and camped, that is, we slept on our bedroom floor.

Monday a bed and couch arrived – luxury. I went to the cable store to pickup equipment for cable and internet. Bought a TV and went home and set it up. By Monday night we were on the couch and watching Georgia beat Alabama. We went to bed on our new mattress and a bed never felt so good. We had officially arrived in our Arizona home.

P.S. on the way down we saw the following animal crossing signs: deer, cattle, elk, caribou and my personal favorite: beware of ass crossing:


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