Desert Rain

Rainy desert

There must be something about me and deserts.  When I went walking around the Sahara, we had a rain storm on the first night and thankfully were able to walk under overcast skies for the first few days.  And now that I am spending a July afternoon crossing the state which boasts temperatures above 100° Fahrenheit (38° C) every day from May to October, am again under overcast skies and we had some rain along the way as well.  More rain on the right side of the train than on the left.  Which was odd.

Having spent all day travelling through various deserts I was impatient to see one of the typical cacti with one straight stalk and two or more ‘arms’ coming out at 90° and turning upwards vertically again.  In Texas I was told that they were more common in Arizona and Nevada.  Having crossed southern Arizona, I’m going to revise that to claim those cacti are more northern and are Nevadan.

In the middle of nowhere there was this industrial set-up which I think is a mine, although I don’t know what is mined in the Arizona desert and it was the only one around, so there can’t be that much of whatever it is.

a mine perhaps?
a mine perhaps?

We passed through Benson, AZ which doesn’t have anything in common with its namesake in Oxfordshire, a quaint village and with an RAF base.  Another high amenity station along this route:

Not quite Benson, Oxon!
Not quite Benson, Oxon!

We also stopped in Tuscon for 40 minutes and we were again released from the confines of the coach car to wander around.  The waiting room is not quite as historic as the at El Paso, albeit historic enough to qualify as a historic Arizonan monument

Arizona historic monument
Arizona historic monument

The decommissioned switching panel which had been used to control the depot and surrounding tracks has been donated to the station museum and is on display in the waiting room

Points switching desk
Points switching desk

Outside, locomotive 1673 is on display

Locomotive 1673
Locomotive 1673

And on the platform I posed between Wyatt Earp and Doc

Wyatt Earp, tash, 'Doc'
Wyatt Earp, tash, ‘Doc’

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