Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Thursday, May 01, 2008 - Rest Day in Safford, AZ

We took a rest day from picture-taking today, too, so no new pictures I'm afraid. I thought we'd catch-up on sharing some information from our resourceful readers, though.

Sue Ludtke from Colorado (Pat's daughter's mother-in-law) had written us about a flowering shrub we saw in New Mexico and says it's probably tamarisk. In her words: "Tamarisk was introduced by some gardeners into the southwestern US some years ago. Since its introduction, it has taken over many of the riverbanks in the southwest. It reportedly chokes out the natural growth in the area, and then proceeds to change the nature of the soil to a more saline composition which works best for tamarisk, but prevents willows and other native plants from growing there. There are continual attempts to eradicate the tamarisk. I wonder if the burnt shrubs you photographed were tamarisks the local people were trying to get rid of? They're kind of pretty, though, aren't they?" Yes, I agree they're pretty, and we've re-posted the pictures below.

Shane, Pat's niece, informs us that her love interest, Sky, is a former New Mexico resident (they currently live in San Francisco). He explains that, in her words: "Hatch which, for a chile-loving New Mexico boy is the Holy Land (for the chiles, anyway). Hatch ships those chiles all over the country to New Mexico ex-pats who miss them. Something about the combination of soil and weather there makes them sort of like Vidalia onions, and they can't be gotten anywhere else. He says to make sure you try some enchiladas with green chile while you're in the area. I say to make sure you have sopapillas with honey, which you'll hardly be able to avoid since they usually bring them to the table with every meal at Mexican restaurants there." We haven't seen or heard of sopapillas yet, and if they've brought them to the table, we certainly didn't know that's what they were, but we're going to try to remember to ask for them. As for the green chile, I'm nervous about eating "real" chile peppers, since I expect them to be off the scale in hotness. But I will be adventurous at least once, hopefully. Anyway, I've re-posted some reminder photos of Hatch below.

Arizona does not use Daylight Saving Time. This means we are three hours behind the East coast. We will remain three hours behind when we enter the Pacific Time Zone, so we will be three hours behind for months. This means our postings will be even later than usual for you night-readers. Tomorrow, we're off into the Arizona wind. Our weather resource, NOAA, says the wind won't be as bad tomorrow - we'll see. It'll be a long day at best.

Tamarisk bushes

The welcome sign to Hatch, highlighting their Chile Festival

A vivid display of chiles at a market in town