How can you not love waking up in the morning and heading outside with your fresh cup of coffee to sit on the patio in your p.j.s and wake up slowly while the blue sky shines down? Heaven. That’s the way it is in the desert, or at least in Lake Havasu City, where they only have 17 days of rainfall per year. (If you only knew how rare this photo is! First, Tech Guy dreads sunburn, never wears shorts and avoids activities that put him in the sun’s rays. Rafting down a river is his idea of torture. And yet, the Southwestern morning bewitched him.)
The downside of continual sunshine with no rain is that there is no grass, in fact no green anything unless you count the dusty olive of sage and cactus and palm fronds. Of course, businesses can irrigate and present a colorful strip of green grass at their entryway, but it comes at a high price and most homeowners don’t splurge for it. They moved to the desert to get away from mowing grass and weeding! In fact, they sold all their yard tools at garage sales in the North before heading down to permanent freedom from yard work.
What they have in the Southwest is rocks, gravel –sized rocks that come in beige or pinkish red or greenish gray. The only burst of color in a front yard is when a river of a different hued rock comes combing through it. Yard work consists of raking your rocks with an occasional spritz of weed killer for those pesky diehard weeds.
I missed the green of grass and tree while we were in the desert. I was surprised that the locals don’t make up for the lack of garden color by painting their houses bright hues, all the missing colors of the rainbow, but they don’t. Beige and khaki and tan and off-white, all of them. The homes disappear into the hillside and the blue sky reigns over all.
Next installment: Route 66 to Sedona and the Grand Canyon.