Well, that’s another relationship gone west. I fell out with Susan, my satnav, today. She really made a hash of things in Tucson. It didn’t help that most of the freeway ramps were closed, but even so, at one point she actually got stuck in a loop in the middle of downtown and sent me round in circles, which I’d never have believed possible. So it’s over between us.
Today has been one of those days. My plan, such as it was, was to drive to Tucson and camp for a couple of nights in the Coronado National Forest, which covers the Santa Catalina Mountains, just to the east of the city. The first problem was finding them. Susan got in a real muddle and I found Tucson very confusing, which is odd considering it has a standard grid pattern. I always seemed to end up in the wrong lane and had to overshoot almost every junction. But eventually I found my way to the mountains, which is when the next problem arose.
It’s 103F today (almost 40C), and at these temperatures you have to take life a bit seriously. I didn’t have any way to keep water cold, let alone myself. So I started to climb the mountain, heading for cooler air. But even at more than 4,000 feet it was still 96 degrees, and by the time I got to the automated fee payment area I just couldn’t decide whether to risk paying my money and then drive another 20 miles, only to find that the campgrounds were still blisteringly hot, had no shade and cost extra (there was no information and no-one to ask). So after a bit of humming and hahing, I turned around and drove back into the now traffic-jammed Tucson to find a motel.
I cleverly headed south to hit I-10, so that I’d be on the right side of town to get out of it as quickly as possible in the morning. This involved driving through an airbase, which was the only interesting part of the day. There were literally hundreds of planes on the tarmac, with their windows covered, waiting in suspended animation until the apocalypse finally arrives.
On reaching the Interstate I confidently headed the wrong way, away from the motels. But this only took me another ten miles out of my way, which by this time was peanuts. Eventually I came upon a Motel 6, but this was the first motel I’ve refused to stay at on this trip. It looked like it was primarily a stopping off point for Mexican immigrants. The lobby was being rebuilt and was full of plaster dust and the sound of circular saws, and the only person standing in the lobby was a resident, whose first words to me were “so what’s wrong with your room, then?”
So, after looking round for a bit and not liking what I saw, I gave up on south Tucson completely and headed back north, to where I knew there was a tidy shopping area. Unfortunately the motels were correspondingly pricey, so I went south yet again and found the northernmost Motel 6, which had an actual receptionist (who was dying of hay fever) and rooms that mammals could live in.
The only snag now is that their internet access is down, so I’ll have to head north one more time to steal some wi-fi from one of the more expensive motels in order to send this. Oh, and there’s a railroad outside my window and the trains hoot.
So as well as Susan the Satnav, Serendipity also let me down today. Women, huh?
P.S. Sorry to anyone who’s waiting for emails from me – it’s too hot in this parking lot to deal with that now. Hopefully I’ll have better luck tomorrow.
Location: I have no idea – I don’t have internet access.
Today’s sensations: That sort of Zen feeling you get when you know that things can only get worse.