Driving N. Sandario Road towards Saguaro National Park (its western part to be more exact) I noticed more and more Saguaro cacti on both sides of the highway. I liked a lot to see them there.
And I asked myself why don't they grow in other warm/hot countries I already visited like for example Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey - any ideas? Are they copyrighted by USA Southwest and Northern Mexico or what? :-)))
Cactus is any of many types of desert plant with thick stems for storing water and usually spines (= sharp points).
Hmm... better do NOT touch them and do NOT sit on them :-)). But what about drinking water from cacti?
Btw plural from the word "cactus" is either cactuses or cacti - both forms are correct but which one is more popular among Americans?
It's made from agave or maguey (pr. "mah-gay") plant. This plant is actually related to the lily and amaryllis (it has its own genus, Agave). Did you know that?
Tequila? What's that?
Saguaro cactus is Arizona state flower - it grows in desert areas (Sonoran Desert) of southeastern California, southern Arizona and northwestern Mexico.
You can find this one giant Saguaro Cactus as on my picture just in business area of I-10 Exit 236 in Marana. That's why I stopped our Buick there hehe.
The stem of Saguaro Cactus is tall and thick: 18 to 24 inches (46 - 61 cm) in diameter.
The stem can absorb a lot of water (not Tequila :-) when it's raining to save it for looong no rain periodes. So the diameter of a stem can change.
It's just a number or... a filling station chain in the USA. I have never see them in Europe.
Gas was less expensive there than in California (at least 10%) but more expensive than later in New Mexico and Texas. Is the West more expensive?
From my friend Nat:(b1bob):
There are good reasons why petrol in California is more expensive than elsewhere:
1. State environmental standards require extra oil refinement.
2. As Arnold Schwarzenegger points out, the petrol tax in California is among the highest in the country.
Because California is trying to become a socialist utopia (under Gov. Gray Davis) like Sweden, it is also expensive like Sweden.
Some Saguaro cacti have only the one stem but most of them have several large branches (arms) curving upward just as you can see on my picture.
What an amazing and characterictic for Southwest USA shape!
This highway on my picture goes southwards to Saguaro National Park. It's called North Sandario Road and starts in Marana at exit 236 on I-10.
Driving this road I passed, on the right side, by... an airport in Marana (Avra Valley Airport). I was very surprised to see airports or better to say airfields in so small communities like Marana. Hmm... do they travel by air so often?
From my friend Palo_Verde:
Did you see all the stored airplanes in Marana? That is where all the American commercial airlines store their spare airplanes, they can be ready to fly in 3 to 6 hours, ready to fly and replace other airplanes.
No, I didn't see them, I only drove by the airport :-(.
I stopped in a business area just at exit 236 on I-10 driving westwards.
What does it look like? Hmm... strange and exotic for me.
Large, very large empty area with a street or better to say highway to Saguaro National Park (called North Sandario Road) in the middle, very wide and unpaved (dirty) shoulders and a few businesses (pizza, restaurant, gas station) on both sides. Add heat, dust and sun. Lazy southern atmosphere :-)
No water ---> no plants. Hehe, except some bushes and saguaro cacti, I could see. What else? Just rocky earth with dust and stones. Nothing more there! No palm trees as well.