Tucson and onto Phoenix Foreword
My rhythm of travel changed once I had crossed the US/Mexican border. I felt I was more able to catch my breath (despite it being unbearably hot). Leaving the warmth of Ron in Tucson and his great hospitality.
I’ll remind you of my intentions when leaving Mexico, was to do some hiking, climbing and parachuting when I was to get to the USA. However, this idea had no fixed or set plan where or when or what not even a how! While I was in Mexico, there had been many things I had needed to buy, replace or upgrade that were either not available or affordable there. Therefore, on my start back in the USA was mostly recollecting packages from places: from a wheel spindle, a tripod to new ~decent~ clothing and so on. A lot of the things I ordered were mail order and either had to be collected in store or needed a mailing address before I could ride from Tucson and onto Phoenix. 😛
Couch Surfing in Phoenix
Awkwardly, one of my packages was being delayed on being sent to Phoenix (which was only 100 miles from where I was), and yet I was now getting irritable in Tucson and wanted to move on. I had researched a bunch of free camp spots near Phoenix, I thought I could roll in there, collect what I wanted, and roll out of there without having to stay. I’m not a big fan of big cities, nor am I of camping in extreme heat. I had tried my luck at advertising that I was travelling to Phoenix on Couch Surfing and didn’t expect anything of it. I also tried looking for Airbnb and hostels in the area but there was a ComicCon event going on and all accommodation was taken that weekend.
My experiences of CouchSurfing in Mexico were mostly men inviting me to their houses for some man-on-man romance, and as enticing that that may have sounded for some, it just wasn’t my calling, and left me stepped away from those invites rather rapidly. However, now that I was in the USA, I hoped things would be different! My first email invitation was from a Mexican guy (who slipped in how good-looking I was, and that how his humble home would be a cosy place for me to stay)… my heart slumped. I carried on looking for accommodation on other platforms, frankly kind of disgusted at the type of people on Couch Surfing; but eventually Alyssa sent me an invite and was overly friendly. We agreed on me meeting her at work and take from there, and that’s exactly how it went.
So one of the wonders that the internet has brought us is the availability of anything you like to be delivered next day to your home. It came as a huge delight to me to find that Amazon Locker is a new service that permits you to send things to a location where you do not have an address. It seemed wonderfully convenient and saved me having to keep asking favours of people. This soon turned sour as I got to Phoenix for my long-awaited package, only to discover on opening the locker it was empty. I felt it was a joke, standing in +40ºC on the forecourt of a petrol station looking up and down round and round at an empty locker thinking I must have made a mistake. I tried re-entering my code to open the locker, yet it’s a one-and-done code, you can’t use it twice and it only opens the locker once.
I soon got on the phone and spent the preceding 40 minutes explaining to the telephone operative that I had indeed looked inside. …And I had put the code in … And thus: had been able to open the door to indeed look inside (again)… Yes, I had also looked at the door and looked at the sides and the rear and indeed I had even looked all over the damned thing. I was interrogated about the prepositions of every possible way I could have examined the empty locker (three times at least) before the agreed to refund me my money. In that heat, I assure you this Amazon Locker thing soon didn’t seem such a great idea. I resorted to trying to acquire the things I had ordered in person and then discovered that to get a Joby GorrillaPod DSLR Zoom cost almost 2-3 times what I had paid for it on Amazon. I humbly got in contact with friends further down the way and saw if I could use their address to receive my package.
I stayed quite a few more nights in Phoenix with my new friend doing odd jobs and socialising with more friends who were in town and all in all it was great! The nights were so nice sitting out in the yard under the stars chatting and getting to know each other.