And then there was yet more desert. All the way to Phoenix Arizona. I can’t really say too much about Phoenix. I got to my hotel, checked in, chatted with the desk clerk about movies and she gave me directions to the theater. Then I walked outside the lobby to get my bags. It was there I noticed that they lock the lobby doors at 7:00 p.m.. I thought it a little bit odd. But I thought it even more odd when I rounded the corner of the building and saw razor wire on top of the gate to the building next door. It was simply by adding 1+1 that I concluded this might not be the best neighborhood.
I parked the car and unloaded my bags. I walked to the entrance door of my building. The hotel lobby was in a separate building from the actual rooms. My cardboard room key.. you know the ones, with the magnetic strip that you swipe to get inside. The main door opened on the third swipe. Then it wouldn’t latch closed. The hallway was sweltering as I turned the corner and found my room. Once inside I turned up the air conditioning and turned on the evening news. (Bad Idea.) They talked about the burned van found in the desert, and the stabbing at the gas station that morning. I heard my former coworker, Ann’s voice ringing in my ears. “Safety first.” And that’s what I went with. I stayed in my room.
But the sun rose right on schedule and so did I. Back on the road heading to California. Quite by accident I found the George Patton Memorial Museum.
I turned off the interstate for a break at Chiriaco Summit California and there standing proudly with mountains and desert in the background was George Patton.
I found this quote by George Patton: “A man must know his destiny… if he does not recognize it, then he is lost. By this I mean, once, twice or at the very most, three times…fate will reach out and tap a man on the shoulder…if he has the imagination, he will turn around and fate will point out to him what fork in the road he should take, if he has the guts he will take it.”
Speaking of guts, by mid-afternoon I reached Ontario California. Those highways nearing Los Angeles take a little bit of nerve and a good grip on the wheel. There are still beautiful mountains, but there’s also green in the landscape once again. Green trees, grass and flowers in the yards. I also found another friendly desk clerk with directions to the movie theater. There was no locking of the lobby and no razor wire.. anywhere. I took an evening drive and had a lovely dinner.
All safe and sound in California!