Monday, March 13, 2017

Adieu Arizona

We made it to Tortilla Flat yesterday.  It's a funky, restored ghost town about 12 miles from Apache Junction, Arizona.  Life is pretty casual there, and tourists can walk down the middle of the highway without worrying too much about getting run over. 

The road out of Tortilla Flat was flooded yesterday, and the sign saying not to drive over it if flooded didn't stop cars from putting the pedal to the metal and stirring up some good waves. 

In the comfort of pleasant morning sunshine, I decided to take a walk on a pathway along the side of the road near the flooding.  My route took me over a narrow trail bordered by tall grass and bushes.

Suddenly, I heard some buzzing, and almost immediately I remembered the advice given to us by our hotel desk clerk in Phoenix when we first arrived. 

"Drink lots of water, and watch out for the bees.  They're swarming," she told us.

Those words began reverberating in my head as the buzzing continued to increase in volume.  It also sounded as if I was dangerously close to an irritated swarm.  

Executing a swift 180, I hurried up my pace, walking back to the road.  The faster I walked, though, the closer the buzzing.  

Soon I was running and thinking those bees must be really mad at me for my intrusion into their space and that meeting my maker with a bunch of bee stings in Tortilla Flat would be interesting but not too timely, as the bucket list is not yet complete.  

As I reached the road, the buzzing appeared to diminish but not completely.  It still seemed as if the flying monsters were chasing me and set on inflicting some severe punishment.  

Eventually, as I hurried to the center of the street running through Tortilla Flat, the buzzing ceased. At last, I was safe.

Later, I found Bill, began walking with him and told him about the bees.  We walked a different route on a dirt road just above where I had heard the buzzing.  Suddenly, I heard the ominous sounds again.  By that time, Bill had moved on ahead, and soon I spotted a couple involved with a remote control unit.  

Buzzing in my brain switched to a big flashing light bulb. 

Twas an instant "aha" moment when I realized the true source of the buzzing.  The couple from Alberta, Canada had been just above me out of my sight during my "bee" encounter, flying their "smart drone." 

No bees. Just a drone that sounds exactly like a swarm of bees.  

On this morning in Tortilla Flats, I got stung but not by a bunch of bees---just a drone, and a pretty smart one too. 

Later, Bill and I added a new baseball facility to our list.  Home of the Angels spring training in Tempe is a beautiful stadium.  All the beauty in the world, though, when third-base seats are out in the sun eventually loses its luster as the hot Arizona sun saps both energy and desire to keep eyes focused on the action.

And, when the troops get restless, as most did while roasting in the sun, the traffic jams in virtually any walkway could cause a little walk rage, but most people knew how all the other people were feeling, so courtesy ruled as the huddled masses moved at a snail's pass back and forth through the stadium. 

Besides that, the Mariners lost badly, and Nick Hagadone didn't pitch, and Bill was quite ready to leave by the eighth inning.  Still, we hung around and watched a few more minutes.  By that time, I had shielded my cell phone from the sun adequately enough to learn that, after all the dismissing of the ZAGS, they're a No. 1 seed for the West, and that is pretty cool.

So, I've included a photo at the bottom, taken just the other day as we passed by the facility where the Final Four will be played in a couple of weeks.  Sure hope the ZAGS make it to Phoenix.  

It's a fun place, even if it's hot sometimes, and we're quite please with our getaway.  I'm told that melting is occurring at home, so we'll arrive back at the Lovestead ready to breathe deeply and see if spring is in the air.  Hope so. 

Happy Monday.  Enjoy the photos. 

Bathrooms at the Superstition Saloon are pretty artsy fartsy. 

The view as I sat on my commode at the Superstition Saloon in Tortilla Flats. 

Tony and Paulette, drone pilots who buzzed my brain yesterday.  Nice folks. 

Finally, to the West's No. 1 Seed for March Madness . . . . 

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