Thursday, July 8, 2010


I'll bet you didn't know that Safford Arizona is 1,952 miles from and 164 years behind Washington D.C. The population in 1990 was approximately 7,359, give or take migrating Mormons, illegal immigrants and snow-birds, as we call the winter tourists who move down to Arizona to escape actual winter in the rest of the United States.

Google maps insists that the driving time from Palominas to Safford is 2 hours and 39 minutes, and although I kept almost exactly up to the speed limit the entire drive (75 mph on the freeway), and only got lost for approximately 5 minutes (W. 16th St. ends and does not reappear until about three miles east), it took me over 3 hours both ways.

It was a nice drive - I passed Texas Canyon, which was an amazing tumble of HUGE rocks, outcroppings and just bizarre stackings and piles of TONS of boulders - the only logical explanation of which would be giants of another age playing an elaborate game of Rook or (even better) the infants of the aforementioned giants heaping the prehistoric equivalent of alphabet blocks.

Safford was slightly larger than I expected - newer housing projects blooming between 110 year-old farm houses tossed randomly across farm land and irrigation canals - it even had a Home Depot and TWO Burger Kings (McDonald's lost a lot of my business when they stopped providing extra-large sodas, and BK got it with their 64 oz cups of caffeine-rush).

But it is also a typical Mormon town - wide streets, grid-oriented with carefully kept yards and houses - lots of LDS chapels but also a significant number of Baptists (New Testament Baptists, First Baptist, and Anything But Mormon Baptists) in addition to the Real Life, Seventh-Day, and Victory Fellowship (which I don't know if should be taken seriously since a review of it on the Internet begins "It is extremely clean, the popcorn is great, the prices are most reasonable").

And I didn't know that Safford and Thatcher are essentially the same town. I imagine they were once very distinct and separate, but now with a highway connecting them, any barriers have dissolved.

However, this lovely drive and/or cultural enrichment was not worth being told that yes, my glaucoma is not normal glaucoma and yes, there is nothing that can be done about it.