CMO On The Go — Final Installment

The skies were vivid blue and clear as the Readers headed south on Highway 17 to Phoenix. Through the sage and salt bush desert lands and through the passes, it made for a very pretty drive. The reservation casinos were about the only break in scenery from the native fauna.

Just outside of Phoenix there was a new element to the scenery. If you know Saydee, the Readers littlest pug, you know her eyesight and judgment are somewhat lacking. As they drove down the highway, she suddenly bolted upright, hackles raised and barked ferociously, sending Phil and Karell into hysterical laughter. Saydee had seen the menacing Saguaro cactus in the desert and decided that she should protect her precious family and try to chase those cactus intruders off with a fearsome attack. It was too funny for words, watching her repeated attempts, all to no avail. The Saguaro army was steadfast.

Pulling into Phoenix at last, the Readers checked into their hotel and went exploring to get an idea of how the city was laid out. They found downtown, Mesa, Tempe and Scottsdale.
One of the main reasons for a stop in Phoenix was to catch a Cactus League game and pickings looked pretty good. After a couple of quick internet searches, the Readers purchased seats online for the Giant vs. Cubs game at Scottsdale Stadium. This, also, allowed them time to do some sightseeing the day before. While scoping out the stadium in Scottsdale they found the Railroad Park, which provided lots of sights and some wonderful ice cream cones.

After a good nights sleep, Phil and Karell headed off to see the Maricopa Live Steamers in north Phoenix. This is an amazing little operation with miles of track through the desert, wonderful facilities and plenty of great ideas. It was the middle of the week and pretty quiet but the Readers found some nice folks and got a ride. The work crew was busy out on the line. Phil was quite taken by a little shay that lived there. It was fun to imagine what the place would be like on a steam up day – with a full yard and trains coming and going every couple of minutes.

It was getting hot and after a quick lunch at In and Out Burger the Readers headed off to Taliesen West. Taliesen West was the winter quarters for Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture program. It was too hot to leave the pugs in the car, but Phil kindly dropped Karell off to take a tour while he and the pugs shopped and cooled off down the road. Karell’s passion for architecture and design go back a long way and it was wonderful for Karell to get a chance to learn first hand about Frank Lloyd Wright’s life and work on the Sororan Desert.

Thursday broke again with beautiful Phoenix weather, The pugs were bundled off to the groomers for the day to get cleaned up and to stay cool, while the Readers headed to Scottsdale for the game. Parking was pricey near the park, but the local church was selling spots for $5 and helping a local cause seemed like a good idea. Scottsdale Stadium is just a lovely little park. The mayor of Scottsdale threw out the first pitch and the former chief of police sang the national anthem. Phil and Karell had great seats. The game was almost a sell out. While their beloved Giants did not look that great other than a couple of bright fielding moments, with a score of Cubs 12 Giants 6, it was still a great day to watch baseball.

Friday dawned and it was the long haul home back to Santa Margarita. We are still trying to figure out what the snowbird attraction to Quartzite, Arizona is. It looks like a pretty barren patch and must have some kind of attributes that are less visible. The drive was long and LA traffic was again painful. They attempted another mid-day stop at Hercules Power Equipment to check on the Roger Linn, but Dave Laban was out of the shop working at another site, so they did not connect again. Twelve hours on the road and the Readers were back home and in bed by 9 PM Friday. Greeted by the kitties, Zee and Gidget, our thanks to Harry and Mary for looking after them, it was good to be back on Rancho Santa Margarita.

KARELL READER

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~ by pcrailroad on March 2, 2008.

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