Rivers without Water

by kfrego

Our trip to Tucson took us through the high desert as we finished our second day. We had traveled through the vast expanses of sagebrush country up north. The Mojave Desert was completely different; barren, windy, and dry. The television show Death Valley came to mind as we passed near the old borax mines east of Mohave. We picked up Route 66 at Barstow and continued east. Dad and Mom decided to spend the night in Needles, CA where Route 66 crossed the Colorado River.

Dad checked us into a motel in Needles. As soon as the car parked in front of the unit, all five of us kids hit the ground running. Dad opened the door to our kitchenette motel room, walked half way through, turned around, and walked back out again. He told Mom to get us back in the car, returned the keys, and got his money refunded. As we drove away Dad explained when he entered the kitchen area cockroaches were running all over. He was not about to pay somebody to sleep with cockroaches. None of us kids had ever encountered cockroaches before, because we never lived in an environment to their liking. We ended up spending the night in Kingman, AZ.

We left Kingman on our third day and arrived in Tucson that afternoon. We passed through areas of the huge saguaro cactus and the ancient joshua trees. We were amazed how the saguaro’s could grow on a rocky mountainside with no water anywhere. It was very humorous for us to see signs for rivers and creeks. There wasn’t a drop of water in seven counties. The March weather was warmer than the normal summers where we came from. Phoenix was like an entirely different world. There were alfalfa fields, citrus orchards, and all kinds of crops being grown in the middle of the desert. Dad bought fresh picked oranges from a roadside vendor. We couldn’t believe how cheap and delicious they were.

Dad and Mom got a motel kitchenette in the Miracle Mile area of Tucson. This was where tourists stayed during the winter to enjoy Tucson’s warm weather. Our motel even had a swimming pool. We couldn’t believe people lived where they could use a swimming pool in February and March. We enjoyed a week in Tucson. It was great for all of us kids, but Dad didn’t get any employment in the area. At the end of a week Mom and Dad decided to return to Spokane.

Returning to Spokane was all right with me………………another three days in the car wasn’t.