Ahhhh, to be a denizen of the twenty-first century.
With my new sound system installed in my Subaru, I headed up the freeway this evening from Phoenix--coming back to my soon to be former haven on Beaver Creek.
The freeway! That mid-twentieth century creation that seems so pedestrian, yet is so revolutionary. It cuts its well graded, well designed way through the deserts and mountains of Arizona, making eighty mile an hour travel a breeze while climbing thousands of feet through treacherous terrain. The route from Phoenix toBeaver Creek Ranch is now an easy one. As recently as thirty to forty years ago, the same journey would have taken many times as long--dominated by less direct highways and more miles of dirt roads (only the final mile remains unpaved, thank God!).
The sound system! Not only did I upgrade from the analog technology of cassette tapes to the digital technology of compact discs, I also became an adopterof that twenty-first century innovation: satellite radio. With 110 stations available no matter where I travel, including up the canyons of Beaver Creek (as well as far more remote areas), the programming that is available is astounding. The program mixes “fed” to me by my satellite provider--Sirius--were outstanding. I chose Sirius over their competitor XM Radio, because they provide NPR as one of their feeds. I guess this means I really am a liberal! (Oh brother.)
And the wilds! About halfway between the metropolis ofPhoenix, and my remote ranch on Beaver Creek, right on the interstate freeway, a large mountain lion ran in front of me. Even with our fancy roads and sound systems, wild America lingers on. The cat was huge and graceful.
As I prepare for an all too brief, slightly less than three week tour of the West Coast, I am reconnecting to the grid via satellite and cell phone. No more remote Arizona ranch life for me. I move to Phoenix on July 12, unemployed and looking for work.
Jim and Jackson
At Beaver Creek Ranch under intense starshine
June 17, 2004