This week, Krista asks us to share something that surprised or delighted on “The Road Taken.” You can read Krista’s challenge post here. Now you might ask, what might be so surprising about a desert landscape. To this native of the North Dakota plains, the surprise took six decades to discover. Prior to 2009, not having traveled to Arizona and only seeing glimpses of the desert in eastern California, I had a preconceived notion of what a desert looks like. Full of sand, barren and lifeless. As I neared retirement, I grew tired of fighting the North Dakota winters and looked to find someplace warm to spend the coldest months of the year. Our first trips to Arizona surprised me with the quantity and variety of plant and animal life to be found in the Sonoran Desert. The dry climate is definitely less verdant most years and the plants that survive in that environment are of a different variety, one that is accustomed to survival on minimal water.
After spending several winters in the Valley of the Sun, I have learned that the desert isn’t at all what I expected it to be, and it is far from lifeless and barren. Indeed, I am truly thankful that Lynn and I discovered our little home in the desert and hope we are allowed many more winters to explore this magnificent state. However, I abhor the hot summers in Arizona as much as I dislike the cold winters in North Dakota. Looks like there could be many more 3-day drives each spring and fall as we traverse the country to the more temperate of climates.