Saturday, February 11, 2006

Nogales, AZ to Douglas, AZ

First stop : grocery store. We bought a little styrofoam cooler the first day in Las Vegas, whih serves as our fridge. This is working out very well indeed. It contains cold cuts, vegetables, drinks as well as the odd bottle of alcohol, after all you don't want to see that go bad. After stocking up on food (and sneaking in some wine too), we headed up to Patagonia, our first stop of the day.

Patagonia appears to be an artist colony. It's Main Street is filled with studios, art shops, coffee houses and the like. In fact, everybody is so wrapped up in painting that even the local chain gang was at it when we drove into town: they were painting the curbs a beautiful shade of red to mark the no parking areas. All kidding aside, Patagonia renders a completely different atmosphere then Nogales, which is a typical border town. I was going to do some photography while Anne browsed the artists' work spaces. Unfortunately for me, the chain gang had moved out, leaving me only to photograph the results of their work (see the saloon shot, look at the curb in front). Also, there was a franchise of PIGS (Politically Incorrect Gas Station), although I believe the number of franchises actually is only 1. This is where the last remaining redneck in town still reigns supreme.
Somewhere in our travels (err umm, actually we were lost), we ended up in Rio Rico, a horse town where cattle graze in the fire department parking lot.

We had a picnic lunch in the park in Patagonia, before hitting the road again, this time setting our sights on Tombstone. Surely Tombstone needs no introduction. It's gunfight at the OK Corral is renowned world wide. People shooting in the street, bodies dropping and all that stuff, how romantic. Actually what we feared was going to be a tourist trap, turned out to be a quite neat little outing. Anne browsed the shops while I took some shots of the town, which sure looks a lot like the perfect movie set. When I met her on the wooden sidewalk sometime later, "Beholdin' to you ma'am" was all I could utter. "Howdy partner" she replied and off we trotted to the washroom. We looked to buy a western hat, but alas, we failed: the prices were just too high. So we hopped back in the car, restarted the logger and headed to Douglas, another border town.

Talking about the technology, it is working quite well, I have been improving it as we go along. It is a bit of a hassle though to start it up, so tomorrow I hope to set it up in such a fashion that it will start immediately once the machine gets going. There will be a 30 second time out, allowing for someone to interrupt startup before it gets going, in case you do not want it to log. So far, it has accummulated about 150,000 records.

Before we left I acquired a 12v to 115V power converted from Canadian Tire, greatly reduced on sale, a 200W. This converted provides 115V power to the computer's power supply. Unfortunately, it doesn't start up automatically and I need to ensure it is running before it runs the computer's battery dead. So far, so good.

Totally unexpected we bumped into another artist colony named Bisbee, tucked high up in the mountains. Bisbee was a copper mining town, that fell on hard times when the mine closed. The artist have moved in and it appears to be thriving one again. I sincerely believe that not one redneck lives behind its walls: Kerry-Lieberman stickers were still all the rage. Anne bought some lovely hand made, made-on-the-spot jewellery from a local artist, while at the same time I managed to wipe out on the loose stones while trying to get to just the right vantage point, overlooking the town. Damage done: a few scratches on the Canon Rebel and a minor cut on my hand.

In the darkness we drove on to Douglas. Suddenly, I saw what appeared to be lightning flashes far away. As we unloaded at Motel 6 the lightning got brighter. When we went out for dinner, we promptly got half soaked running from the car to the restaurant. Locals told us it hadn't rained since last November...