Arriving into Arizona, I had the parents of a good friend eager for me to stay with them. This was delightful as I had spent some time with them before while I lived in Arizona and it would be good to reconnect, and for me to spend some time in a somewhat familiar city as well.
Each experience with them involves stories, laughter, being quizzed about flora, fauna, trivia, learning things, and tons of eating anything I want and trying some new things too. One example is my friend’s mom takes prickly pears, blends them up and makes ice cubes from them. You then drop a couple cubes into a glass of water for a drink. Not only does the color become a pretty pink, magenta look, but it’s a nice subtle flavor and apparently has anti-inflammatory characteristics.
One night we ate chili and grilled cheese, but bountiful amounts. There are always snacks too of different vegetables, crackers, fruit and so forth. I felt like a king having so many different foods available to me!
Due to my mission of completing the meetings, this trip would be a little different in that I would go out on my own, but they did suggest we check out Biosphere 2 at some point. Being the curious person, I am, I was excited to do so, knowing I’d have a nice bed to crash on for a couple nights.
Getting into my first day, I had 1 brewery and 1 gym scheduled but needed more. I was hoping to complete them all in Tucson as it’d be easier to move on. I headed out to Old Pueblo CrossFit and they agreed to meet with me. I heard how despite the amount of work it can take, it’s extremely rewarding working with great people increasing the quality of life.
I then had my scheduled meeting with CrossFit Purgatory and heard how striving for excellence daily leads to growth in and out of the gym. It was one of many things that truly resonated with me. Upon heading out, they kindly gave me a t-shirt too!
There was some time before my final scheduled brewery meeting, so I decided to pop in and cross off my last brewery. I had been to all the breweries in Tucson back when I was living in the area, which just felt different. Usually its something completely new, but this would be fun to meet the people behind the places I’ve been to.
I struck out at the first place, but then had an owner willing to meet with me at Thunder Canyon Brewstillery, so named because they have added a distillery to their brewery operations as well. I heard how cleaning and sanitizing well can enable a great product to be created.
After that meeting, it was time for a workout and then my final meeting for Arizona. I had been to Copper Hop Ranch Farm and Microbrewery when living in Arizona and enjoyed it. It was a little way from town, but you just instantly felt relaxed and able to enjoy life while out there. Just before starting the journey, I had reached out about a possible meeting, thinking maybe I could get one under my belt before it was official. Timing wasn’t good then, but they were willing to meet me during the journey. They said to reach out and that I did.
When I got there, I was a bit surprised to not find anyone. Shortly after, I got a phone call and she said she was a few minutes late, but her husband would be out in a minute. Once he came out of the house, which is also on the property, he offered me up a beer! Quite a nice way to start things off. We chatted a bit until his wife was there and then we were going to get started. Well before we got started, they wanted to make sure I had enough beer and got me some more!
While talking, I heard how important it is to have a good team and enjoy life. Not only did they share this wisdom, they actively lived it. It wasn’t merely a question-answer session, rather a rich and fun discussion full of tangents, stories, and laughs.
At one point there were some flies, being that we were on a farm and all. They asked if I had ever used a salt gun, but when said quickly I thought I heard assault gun. I didn’t immediately respond as I wasn’t sure I heard right and thinking that an assault gun would seem pretty extreme for some flies. I quickly found out that it was, in fact, a salt gun, meaning the gun would shoot a little blast of salt and take out a fly.
It was a pretty entertaining way to rid an annoyance. I can report I had over 90% accuracy as well, after being encouraged to give it a go. We chatted and enjoyed beer, them making sure I wasn’t ever experiencing a dry glass.
After a while, it was time to do some farm duties and so I went and helped round up some chickens and get some hay to feed them. I haven’t had much experience with the farm life and I was only there for this short bit, so it was all a fun opportunity for me to experience.
It was a few hours from start until the end, but even then, they said I could crash there and we could keep drinking more beer! I had an even now get a big smile when thinking about the fun and kindness I experienced. Talk about enjoying life! I told them I sincerely appreciated it and had I been in numerous other states, I would have taken them up on the offer. As it turned out, I had a place that night and plans the following morning. It was just a special experience to have and I’m grateful to them for enabling it to be so!
The next day, it was time to check out Biosphere 2. It was a cool and informative experience. I find it fascinating that so much effort went into this project, choosing the teams carefully and hearing how they would live their lives within this confine and conduct experiments. It was also a neat experience to feel drastically different climates such as a jungle and then desert by simply walking through a door.
It was after this experience that I had to say goodbye to my friend’s parents. I was grateful as I always am when I get time to spend with them. In their kind way, they sent me off with numerous snacks of cheese, fruit, beef jerky, smoothies, and more that fed me the rest of the day.