I drove to Tucson to find a place to sleep, grocery shop, do laundry, and take it easy for a day. I didn’t really realize that this is the perfect city for that. All the buildings are one or two stories high and everything is very spread out. The roads are not crowded, there isn’t any traffic, the people are friendly and relaxed. I stopped at Wal-Mart to restock on food. I used the bathroom there as well and found a girl with an uncontrollable bloody nose. She was an older teenager, trying desperately to get it to stop. She’d filled the waste basket with blood soaked paper towels. I asked if she needed me to call someone. She declined so I left her. I had heard of someone else who had a nose bleed like that… she ended up at the hospital where she tangoed with a cauterizing tool.
I drove on to find a battery store (to get a battery tester) at goodwill, and then the Laundromat which was right across the way. It was called Dean’s Village Laundromat. The place was almost empty, spacious, and very bright. We were immediately greeted by the attendant and set up doing two loads of laundry. There was a nice little spot outside to go, with a playground for the kids. Inside was a lovely little waiting room with two vending machines, lots of magazines, and a TV. I also used their bathroom and it was very clean.
I sat back and just lounged for awhile. This was a welcome respite, not to mention a cheap one. This was the cheapest Laundromat I’d come across at $1.25 per load of laundry and $1.00 (four cycles) to dry my clothes.
The store owner came in to refill the vending machine, which soon became possessed and decided it’d dispense two of every snack it had onto the floor as he tried to figure out what was wrong. It also beeped angrily. This went on for quite some time and I was both laughing and joking with the poor guy, along with some of the regulars who had come in. Apparently the guy changing the vending machine was the owner of the place.
I ended up talking to the regulars. They all had travelled various amounts to and pointed out some places I could go. When asked where I going next a slightly fuzzy-sounding “Phoenix?” was offered, to which they replied with disdain, “Phoenix, why on earth would you want to go there??” This is never good, when locals from a surrounding town give such a vividly concerning response. On that note, Hi Fitchburg MA! God knows I love ya!
I finished my laundry and went on my way to check out the local park, Saguaro National Park. Apparently they had cactuses, lots of them, the kind you see in cartoons that stretch to the sky and have two outstretched arms about to hug any passerby. However driving there I saw in residential neighborhoods every cactus conceivable even these big iconic ones, which as it turns out, do not look anything like they are normally depicted. Instead of two perfectly symmetrical arms they had arms jutting out from every corner and angle and growing in such odd fashions, some growing sideways, some upwards, and some even downwards. These cactuses looked like the eight-legged frogs that kept showing up in the 90’s. They looked like mutants! Still they were very big, some stretching over telephone poles and roofs. People had cactus gardens in their front yards filled with bright pink cactuses and all sorts of odd shapes and funny colors. I even found one house, surrounded by a six foot fence, which seemed to be in the process of being eaten whole by a huge forest of overgrown cactuses.
In any event when I finally reached the park there was a $10 admission for seven days but I didn’t want to stay seven days and I saw everything there was to see just driving there. I turned around and instead spent the $10 to help pay for a dinner at Chipotles. This was my first time there and I was so hungry I ate it all! Life was good. I moved on.
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