The Desert Botanical Garden

10/18/21

Today was another wonderfully full day. I left my Warmshowers hosts’ place in the morning to go to my next host’s house, a couple of miles east but still within Tempe. On the way I stopped into a local city park to take a photo of some gorgeous towering palm trees.

RoniSue—a former Oregonian herself, from Eugene many years ago—welcomed me warmly. After a quick shower and getting a few things in order, I met up with my old Portland friend Brian in the neighboring suburb of Mesa. We went for a walk in another local park, with more beautiful trees. I appreciate the open aesthetic of the Phoenix-area public parks I’ve seen.

After a rich conversation with Brian, I spent a couple hours on my own exploring the Desert Botanical Garden, a truly magical place. I had visited there once before, about a dozen years ago, and remembered really enjoying it. The cacti, succulents, trees, paths, and surrounding rocky mounds were just as I recalled.

As I entered the garden, I was passed by four patrons just leaving, who were very taken with my Brompton. I always enjoy talking with people about it, and demonstrating folding and/or unfolding it. I love that this is my primary vehicle at this point in my life!

With twilight approaching as I exited the garden a couple of hours later, I biked over to a local vegan restaurant, Green, and enjoyed a burger and an oatmeal cream pie. The vegan restaurant options in the Phoenix area have increased exponentially since my last visit here. So have the bike paths. And, the area now even has a light rail line. It’s cool to see these steps forward toward sustainability in this area.

I know how beastly hot this place can get in the summer. By my own design, I have arrived at a very pleasant-weather time just now, and I thoroughly enjoyed the low-80s temps today.

Tomorrow I’ll be meeting up with yet another Oregon friend for lunch. In the evening, I will be catching an Amtrak van from the airport down to Maricopa, where I’ll be catching a 9 pm train to Palm Springs. I’m looking forward to savoring one more day here, before I head back to California.

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