I made a rather late start eleven years ago today, after discovering that my milk had leaked into the melted ice in my cooler, and, worse, vice versa. That was pretty much the most horrid-tasting milk I’ve ever tasted, which is saying quite a bit.
I spent the morning at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. I was less than impressed by it, “mostly because I was expecting a museum of Southwest Native American history, and what I got was Southwest Native American art. Which is all fine and dandy, but I’m not real enamored of art museums. They did have a room full of kachina dolls, which was excellent, and a couple of examples of their housing (a hogan and an Apache brush shelter) and a few exhibits on the different tribes, but most of it was art.”
I will be the first to admit that I’m not a big fan of art museums for their own sake. If I’m interested in the period and place the art was created, or if I’m interested in the people who created it or are depicted in it, then I last longer. But as it was I only spent about an hour and a half there.
“Since it wasn’t even noon yet, I decided to go on to Kingman, in the northwest corner of Arizona. The road leading out of Phoenix took forever, stoplight after stoplight after stoplight, but I finally got back out to the desert. … I headed northwest, out across a vast plain of Joshua trees.” I hate to say this, but “they are so ugly. They’re all contorted, as if they’re in pain, and they don’t have enough foliage on them for a self-respecting carrot, let alone a twelve-foot tree. Can you tell I’m getting tired of the desert?”
I arrived in Kingman fairly late in the afternoon. “Kingman’s a funny town. It grew up along Route 66, the famous old highway that used to run from Chicago to LA, and that’s still its claim to fame (one of the few parts of of the route not buried under I-40 is on either side of Kingman). I stayed in the Route 66 Motel, next to the Route 66 Gift Shop. It was kind of cool, in a kitschy sort of way.”
And Kingman did provide me with one of the more glorious sunsets of the trip: