Today has been absolutely gorgeous. Temps in the high 70s, low 80s. Bright blue sky with whispy clouds. Not a speck of dust or haze cluttering up the skyline, allowing a view all the way to the Catalinas in Tucson. Amazing. Days like these I wonder how I lived outside of this area for so long.
We took Drew up to the Phoenix Zoo today. He had a blast, though he was more impressed with all of the fences and railings he could climb than the animals. He did enjoy the giraffes and the tortoises and the monkeys. And, of course, nothing was more fun than running free on the walkways. He passed out in the car, and we drove around a bit to give him a long nap.
Thus we took the very scenic route home, a two-hour trek through the extreme southeast Phoenix valley (where the suburbs Queen Creek and Johnson Ranch are). The far east of the valley is quite beautiful, though I wouldn't want to live there with Mark having to drive into downtown. There's little to no infrastructure set up out there to handle all of the population boom. We drove for a good twenty minutes without seeing a gas station or a supermarket, just lots and lots of houses. (Of course, there could have been such things tucked away from the road, but that's not usually how the 'burbs are set up.)
We doglegged around the San Tan mountains and into Pinal County, through even more brand, spankin' new housing developments. If Mark worked in Mesa or Chandler or Gilbert, I could see us living there. The market is about the same in that area as it is in Casa Grande, and the views are great. The only downside is that you're awfully close to Florence and the State Pen, and I haven't heard a lot of reassuring things about that facility.
We cut through the reservation at that point (and I'd have to go to my map to remind myself which tribe owned that land) and had to further detour through the reservation and some open desert to avoid a bike race running a circuit using the two roads we needs to take to get back across I-10 and home. We were disappointed because those two roads both looked like neat drives through some craggy hills. As that loop is just five minutes or so from our house, we'll check is out next weekend.
As for the actual "what have I been doing this week" content of this check-in post, I managed to salvage an otherwise bummer of a week with the DDJ, but I didn't get around to writing after my awe-inspiring 5.4K last Sunday. I did, though, do some more mapping for SoZ, and should be able to do more tonight and/or tomorrow night.