Friday, January 14, 2005

A river flows in Phoenix

that's meant to sound a little like 'A tree grows in Brooklyn'. I've seen trees growing in both Brooklyns, the one near Manhattan and the one two suburbs over from West Footscray, Melbourne.

What I never expected to see was the Salt River in Phoenix actually contain water!

I flew home from the Philippines yesterday via Seoul and Los Angeles and as we approached the airport we circled the city. (We came in from the west but for some reason flights arriving in the 5 to 7 PM timeslot approach the airport from the east - ours was no exception). I had a window seat and was rubbernecking; I could hardly believe my eyes! There below me was a wide majestic ribbon of water meandering its way through the city.

When I arrived here two or so years ago to live my wife took me sightseeing - getting me aquainted with my new home. We crossed a sandy waste proudly sign-posted as the Salt River and I insisted we stop. 'Where's the water?' asked I. Alas there was none to be seen. Over the next year I really missed rain and on the infrequent occasions when we did have rain I walked outside to be rained upon. (I still do ).

But anyway, for the last couple of weeks the rain has been pouring down with a vengeance. On the last day of last year I tried to drive to the office but gave up a quarter of the way there; there was way too much water on the roads and Arizona drivers have too little experience of rain; they don't slow down. (The fact that it was a good excuse to not show at the office will be ignored ). I made the kind of error only a newbie could have made when I turned back. I didn't like the idea of driving back along Tatum Boulevard (having already negotiated a few spots 4 inches deep in water) so I turned left on Mockingbird Lane (with a name like that it has to be a lane - the same as in Dallas) and went east toward 64th Street. What I didn't know then is that whenever there's heavy rain the entire area around 64th and Mockingbird is flooded. By the time I found out it was too late to turn back - so I drove most of the way back to Bell Road in 6 inches of water. (Enough of the local colour !).

So now I've seen the thing I didn't believe was possible; floods in Phoenix. I can now die happy but not for a while yet I hope.

No comments: