We've just arrived home from a huge road trip from north-western Arizona to El Paso in Texas. This was so that Kent could attend a medical assessment required by his lawyers. So that's a round trip of about 2,200 k - two days' driving (and that's Terry's driving) each way - for a two hour examination. I will never fathom the complexities and irrationalities of health care, insurance or the law in this country and I hope I never have to.
Frustrations of all that aside, it was an opportunity to see a bit of Arizona and New Mexico, which are mostly long expanses of desert punctuated by spectacular geological features - canyons, buttes, mesas, washes and mountains as well as meteor craters. We saw the famous Rio Grande and passed through several checkpoints designed to dissuade would-be illegal immigrants from Mexico. I hadn't realised how different deserts could be from each other, but over the course of the trip we drove through the Arizona desert which is currently green and blooming after a wet winter, the Sonoran Desert in New Mexico, studded with those classic tall cactuses in amusing humanoid forms, then the red desert of the Navajo nations where huge sandstone rocks have been pitted and moulded over time by the fierce desert winds. One major difference from this sort of landscape in Australia - no flies!
Our time in El Paso was mostly spent dealing with the medical system, so I can't really comment much, except that nine out of every ten people we encountered were Hispanic. Only saw one guy in a ten gallon hat and cowboy boots. Terry did encounter a lynx crossing the road in front of the hospital, which was pretty interesting in the middle of a big city. Anyway, after four days of Interstate Highways, motel rooms and way over the top servings in diners, we've accomplished the mission and are back at mum's place. Terry and I will hire a vehicle and head off to do a bit of exploring in the coming week.
All the best to everyone - happy holidays to all the school people and take care.