Last fall my mom and I began discussing the possibility of doing a cross country road trip. I'm not sure where it stemmed from - knowing us, it was watching Ken Burns documentaries on the American West - but we had the bug. I started daydreaming of southwestern sunsets, dusty dirt trails, pit stops at National Parks and hole-in-the-wall restaurants. As summer got closer, we didn't have any firm plans to drive cross country - and we couldn't even pin down a reasonable number of places we wanted to see. My dream list would take MONTHS! I wanted to include everything from Yellowstone Nationals Park in Wyoming to Joshua Tree in California to Lake Powell in Utah to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. I just envisioned heading west on I-80.
And...you know what happens to the best laid plans. So, it didn't work out the way we envisioned it at first - but we made our way out west for a grand sightseeing tour, based in Arizona.
When we landed in Phoenix just a couple of days ago, we arrived in the midst of an INSANE heat wave. Tempe during a heat wave is no joke. On the day of our arrival, the temperature maxed out at 118 degrees. Under the assumption that the heat would merely be dry and bearable (very different from humid Pennsylvania summers) we ventured out midday for some lunch and a walk, only to find the town desolate. No cars in the streets, very few people walking along the tree lined sidewalks...we didn't understand, and thought it kind of odd. But after spending 45 minutes walking around (in denial, saying things like "I'm not even sweating!") we quickly sought refuge inside a cool restaurant. It turned out to be amazing mediterranean food, and a nice place to cool down.
We were in Tempe only tempe-orarily (hehe) before making our way up north. Before we left, I snapped a few photos from our heat walk. Enjoy!