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Meanwhile, in Phoenix…

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How hot is it in Phoenix?

Well, as you can see, The Good Humor Man is not amused. 

I haven't tried to fry any eggs on the pavement, but I can make sun tea in a matter of minutes. 

So, yesterday, Saturday, June 29 we hit an official temperature record - 119 degrees. 

But that is not the highest recorded temp in Phoenix. That was set June 26, 1990 when it was a sizzling 122 degrees. And the broiling hottest temperature in all of Arizona was 128 degrees on June 29, 1994 in Lake Havasu City, which is on the western border along the Colorado River. 

Other than the heat, I'm doing reasonably well. Funny thing is that this year, the heat seems to be getting to me more than in the past, so I've been staying indoors more often than not. I'm afraid if I stayed out in this heat, I'd end up like the Wicked Witch, "help me, I'm Melting, eeehhh!" 

Needless to say, Phiona has not moved from the garage for over a month. I am about to set her up on jack stands, since I have no intention of driving her anywhere during this extreme heat. Also, since I take all of August off and go elsewhere to find cooler climes, it makes sense to just get the car up off her tires and let her cool her heels while I'm off on vacation. (Additionally, with her polyester tires, this helps eliminate flat spots on the tires after sitting for prolonged periods).

My vacation plans this August are to drive North again, but this time I plan to start by going to Death Valley, California.    WHAT!!!??  you say? Death Valley in the summer is downright ON FIRE Hot, and you are visiting it in this summer of record temperatures? Yeah, well, I'm a bit adventurous, if nothing else, so WHY NOT? 

Initially I mapped a route that would take me from the lower end of Death Valley up through a long, long valley, through the lowest point in the continental US (and the hottest place), through Furnace Creek Ranch, and then hit an East/West road and stay at a motel on the western edge of that hellish valley. However, in watching a few shows on Discovery channel and other travel channels, I decided that was not such a good idea at this time of year. Last thing I'd need would be to be stranded if my car decided to stop running while crossing that desert. Instead, I'll be driving up through Nevada and then cut across on the East/West road, limiting my driving time across the northern end of Death Valley. My stay will be just overnight at a motel, then I will continue on northward to the Sierra Mountains and Yosemite National Park.

I've longed to visit Yosemite for some time and being high in the mountains there, I hope to enjoy the forest coolness, the awesome scenery and a lot of backcountry treks. For one week I will be on a backpack trip on a guided tour with other backpackers but not with anyone I know. Over that first full week of August, we hike from one High Sierra camp to another, camping overnights in large tents, dormitory style. This guided trip will provide our meals and water, so that makes it much easier to travel with less weight in my pack.

Then, on the second week, for 4 days, I will travel on saddleback through the same area in the High Sierras. Meals and guides are also provided. 

After those first two weeks, I have not finalized the last two weeks of my August vacation, but do want to try to visit Lake Tahoe, driving around it's perimeter, then come back south and stop for  visits in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks (south of Yosemite). Seeing all those giant Sequoia trees is going to be amazing!

Yes, I do plan to write in this blog, recording my experiences and photos when I am able to get to internet access. There may be many days between stories.

In a nutshell that is my travel plan, but I have quite a bit of preparation ahead of me, gathering up  equipment and supplies, checking my camping gear, packing my car and trying to get out early in the mornings, when I can, and do some hikes to help condition myself for the weeklong hikes in Yosemite. 

I'm getting pretty excited about exploring up there in the Sierra Mountains and experiencing more adventures, scenery and making new friends along the way.

Here are some more photos depicting the current heat wave in Phoenix. It was 115 degrees on my outdoor thermometer yesterday, Saturday, at 5 p.m. - in the shade.

But it's a DRY heat. 115 degrees

Talk about cooling your heels….

Horse in trough