I'm in Tucson for a few days -- literally a few, as I flew in Wednesday and am only here to do two days of training before flying back to Vermont. I'll be in the air going and coming longer than I'll actually be on the ground -- or so it seems.
I'm a bit embarrassed by a couple of odd aspects to this trip's travel, though.
For one, the hotel with the best rate (my employer has negotiated rates with some major chains) near my customer is a golf resort, and I wound up in a "casita" room -- a multi-room suite with living room, bedroom, huge bathroom, kitchenette, foyer, and outside patio -- for a surprisingly low rate. The place has multiple pools and spas and everything. What it doesn't have is, well, guests. This place probably does a land-office business in the fall and winter, but right now, it's JUNE and the monsoon season is about to start, or so they tell me. That's, no doubt, why the rate is so low.
The other thing that's a bit weird in a nice way is that I've got a convertible as my rental car. Once in a while, like about every three years or so, Hertz randomly upgrades me to a convertible. It's usually when they've got an oversupply of convertibles on the lot and are out of the specific size of car I actually reserved. Since they give me the thing for the same rate, it's all good, but it's almost never in a city where I'd actually WANT a convertible. (I think once I got a convertible in New Jersey in late November.)
But it's nice having one here. Last night, I realized I had absolutely nothing else to do after watching the first two episodes of the revived Futurama
on Comedy Central, so I said "What the heck" and hopped into the Sebring, put the top down, and headed north out of town on Arizona 77 a bit before sunset. Lovely evening, especially once I got out of town proper and away from the malls and fern bars and into the open desert.
So there I was, not in any huge kind of a hurry, moseying along just enjoying the evening air, when all of a sudden I saw a sign reading "Biosphere 2 3 MILES".
"Huh", I thought.
I'd forgotten that "Biosphere 2" was in this neck of the woods. If you don't even recall what it was, see the Wikipedia entry
on it. Science it wasn't -- none of the people on the project had any real meaningful scientific credentials. Little wonder it was a miserable flop.
But that being said, I turned down the side road that led to the entrance, poked along looking at the desert and the occasional jackrabbit crossing my path, and found myself at a locked gate. Apparently the place is now being run by the University of Arizona and has some VERY pricey tours, but that was moot because I was there five hours after closing. But I can now say I've been to the GATE of Biosphere 2, and frankly, I'm good.