Arizona has always held an allure for me. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching Wile E. Coyote chase The Road Runner across the desert. Or perhaps the old television westerns that depicted the landscape made it seem so exotic and exciting. Whatever the reason, I was happy to finally visit Arizona and soak up its charms – and sunshine.
Phoenix is the capital city, nicknamed the Valley of the Sun. A sprawling metropolis surrounded by mountains, Phoenix is situated in the Sonoran Desert and enjoys more than 300 sunny days annually.
Contrary to what some might think, this desert is not barren. It is teeming with animals like coyotes, bobcats, and rabbits. It has lizards, snakes, scorpions, and other creepy crawlies. The plant life is diverse, with flowers, shrubs, trees, and the coolest thing for a northerner to see – cacti!
I saw my very first cactus less than one minute after leaving the airport, and had my face pressed up against the car-window glass from then on. They are bizarrely beautiful. Some are small and round, while others are tall and thin. My favourites were the ones with ‘arms’ that looked like they were reaching out, waiting for an embrace. So I hugged a few of them. Carefully. Read entire story.