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March 10, 2010 | Stop Fatal Attraction
The first thing I saw this morning was a message on a vehicle parked nearby, which read: “In the End, We will Conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” It was the perfect message to start the day.
The next thing I did was find a Target so I could replenish my traveling supplies. I had also decided that it was time to stop staying in hotels, once and for all, and purchase a nice, warm sleeping bag. The ten-day nighttime weather forecast for parts of Arizona and New Mexico looked pretty chilly, so I had to prepare myself.
I had to choose the best sleeping bag for my size (6′ 5″, 250 lbs) and take into consideration the nightly temperatures that I would be encountering. I ended up purchasing a nice Eddie Bauer sleeping bag, designed for temperatures between 15 and 40 degrees above zero. I figured if this didn’t keep me warm, nothing would.
After I set up my truck and ate lunch, I decided to explore Tucson. I arrived in downtown Tucson, which was extremely clean and very pretty. I stopped in at the visitors center to see what they had to offer.
After a brief introduction, the lady behind the counter told me that I should drive out to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Sam had also recommended this museum back in Palm Springs, so I took it as a clear sign that I should pay a visit. The drive out to the museum was spectacular.
I spent the next several hours looking at mountain lions, wolves, coyote, lizards, otter, beaver, coati and bighorn sheep. I also took time to explore the walk-in aviary and hummingbird aviary. I had to keep in mind that no wisdom or medicine is offered from an animal unless it pays a direct visit in the wild, or makes themselves known undeniably. Unfortunately, I could not include these animals as messengers on this particular day. Their voices silenced.
Apparently, this museum was the number two attraction in Arizona, the Grand Canyon being number one. It was nice. However, I left the museum with mixed emotions. It bothered me to see my caged friends.
I eventually left the museum, taking with me the incredible love that the animals had offered. During my drive to downtown Tucson, I passed another hilarious sign on the side of the road. I circled back to take a photo for my journal.
I spent the rest of the day driving around Tucson and trying to figure out if I could see myself living there. There was something very charming about Tucson, and I wanted to take a closer look.
That evening I went out to meet some of the locals and stopped in at a couple of bars for some speaks. After a couple of hours of talking to people, I heard the same story that I had heard everywhere else, and not just from people in bars. No jobs! No jobs! No jobs!
After having a couple of fascinating conversations about Tucson, God and various things, I looked up at the clock and noticed it was 1:00 AM. It was time to go.
To make a long story short, I got lost that night while driving out to one of the local casinos. The free campgrounds website had listed this particular casino as an open place to park overnight. I ended up driving 45 minutes out of the way before finally finding the casino. It was 2:00 AM before I went to bed, probably 3:00 AM before I fell asleep.
Frustrated with myself for getting lost and staying out too late, I once again asked myself why I felt the need to take this journey. I still didn’t have a clear answer, but I wasn’t ready to give up just yet.
I remembered the message that was given to me at the start of my day, “In the End, We will Conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” This message helped.