"Fun" in Spanish is "divertido." Something that diverts one from the daily grind. Anything that might divert us from our schedule was not to be indulged, and that included anything fun.
But fun waylaid us on the road anyway. I'll get to that in a minute.
First, the not-fun part. I planned to take my Ford up and get it registered in AZ, but it was not to be. We got about 40 miles before the air conditioner died. With visions of sweltering at the border for two hours, we turned around and came home to get our other car. So many drivers in Mexico roll down their windows and tough it out all summer, and I don't know how they do it. I would be wilted within a block or two and prostrate in a mile.
Did I mention we were taking not only our dog, Chica, but a couple of puppies? They were going to a fostering organization that works with PetSmart to arrange adoptions on Adopt-Me Saturdays. Bubba and Jazmin are brother and sister, beautiful beagle-like, leggy young dogs with boundless energy. They behaved beautifully throughout the trip, and were so quiet we sometimes forgot they were with us. No barfing, no pooping, very little complaining. You might say we were bringing a lot of fun with us for some lucky new owners, but for us it was more like transporting livestock.
Now here comes the fun part: on the side of the road next to the north lanes of the highway, we spotted a giant black spider! This metallic arachnid constructed from an old Volkswagen bug shell and eight long metal rods loomed almost 12 feet tall. There's a sign in front of it that says "Exeter" and some text we couldn't read at 70 mph. We don't know if the sign was related to the bug; it looked like a political sign.
Later came fun of the white-knuckle variety. On Hwy. 19 south of Tucson we were overtaken by a fierce hailstorm that turned into monsoon rain. From news reports on Channel 13, I learned later that our hailstorm moved west to become a freakish haboob in Phoenix. Here's what the haboob looked like, rolling over Phoenix. End-of-the-world fans were ecstatic.
Coming home two days later we watched carefully for the roadside spider, and I managed to get this somewhat blurry photo with my iPhone. It's out in the middle of nowhere, south of Hermosillo. The only landmark is a shrine to San Francisco nearby.
Who created this wacky bit of roadside kitsch, and why? For that matter, how? I do hope it's securely stabilized up there, and well-fastened to the ground. Imagine, if you will, driving Hwy. 15 in a powerful windstorm, when a huge black spider tumbles onto the road in front of you...
Back home, first thing yesterday morning we rushed my car to a mechanic to deal with the air conditioner. Turns out it was some problem with the compressor, and it cost about $85 to get it working perfectly again. When I picked it up in the afternoon, I cranked it up to Max Cool and chilled all the way to the market, where I grabbed two liters of coconut ice cream. Aaaahhhh.