Sunday, May 3, 2009
The plan was to do church in Mesa with the family I was staying with, and then drive to El Paso, about 6 hours down the road.
The first thing that threw me off is Arizona doesn’t do daylight savings time and so it’s on the same time zone as California, not as Edmonton, as I had originally thought. That’s a fun way to be confused, never knowing quite what time it is. Because of that, whenever I’ve asked someone when something is since, I’ve taken to asking them what time they have right now so I make sure to show up at the right time!
Church was good, and ironically I ended up in the “Sherwood Park Ward” — I attended the Sherwood Park 1st Ward for many years near Edmonton growing up. After church, the plan was simply to drive east, although I did want to catch the CES fireside that night by Elder Bednar. It seemed there were three places along my route that were big enough to be showing the fireside — Tucson AZ, Las Cruces NM, and El Paso TX. After my visit at the Mesa Temple on the way out of town, I realized there was no way I could make Las Cruces (about 4 hours down the road from Tucson) and so after a few phone calls, I managed to find out where the Institute building was in Tucson and when the broadcast was, and so I pulled in with about an hour to spare. The fireside was great — in part it was a warning of technology misused and some of the dangers can lurk in digital models and worlds if we’re not careful — a very timely warning in my opinion.
The Institute program in Tucson seems like it would be wonderful — they have five university wards, and a beautiful building on the U of A (Arizona, not Alberta…) campus, and the people feel welcoming and warm. In the little time I was there, I felt welcomed and I was even invited to a movie later, but I had many miles yet to make that night.
The drive from Tucson to El Paso was uneventful, but a little long. The combination of not too much topography and a night sky means there really isn’t a lot to see. In El Paso, the plan was to stay at the Youth Hostel in the Grander Hotel right downtown.
Tomorrow, the goal is Dallas, where a friend of a friend has offered me their couch for the night. To make Dallas though is going to call for a full day of driving, and from the look on the map, there really isn’t much between the two….
Leave Mesa — 2:09pm — 222,945km
Really leave Mesa (after checking out the Temple) — 2:47pm
Tucson(CES Fireside) — 4:45pm to 7:50pm — 223,135km
Willcox (gas $22.51) — 9pm — 223,265km
Arrive El Paso TX — about 12:20am (PDT) — 223,651km
Today — US$22.51 — 5:30 hours — 706km
Total — CAD$618.51 — 38:50 — 4130km