Thursday, July 7, 2011
"Back Down to Earth"

We've arrived safely home, after a rather grueling travel day. The plane from Portland to Phoenix was one and a half hours late. To follow it, the plane from Phoenix to Yuma was one and a half hours late!

As the Portland to Phoenix plane neared the landing point, I was amazed at the band of dirty tan scum that colored the skies. At first, I thought it was smog, but later I learned it was the result of a dust storm:

"An enormous wall of dust that barreled across the Valley during a monsoon storm left so much dirt behind on the ground and in the air that it didn't just coat cars and clog up pools, it prevented pilots approaching Sky Harbor International Airport from seeing the runways a day later.

"The windstorm that took Valley residents by surprise Tuesday around sunset was a rare monster that reached theatrical proportions. It spawned a 100- to 150-mile-wide plume of dust more than 5,000 feet high, moving at 50 mph to 60 mph from northwest Tucson along Interstate 10 through the Valley before petering out in Yavapai County, according to Elizabeth Padian, a National Weather Service spokeswoman."

So that's the reason we had such horrid flights. The excuses they'd given us for the delays were just waffling, as they'd figured we'd be much more ill at ease if we knew the real reason.

But we got home safely, and that's the important thing. We now have such lovely memories to visit when I'm busy with mundane tasks.

Julia at one of the unique water fountains

The iconic sign from Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

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