Well, my life's adventure started yet another new chapter as I moved to San Diego last week. 5 different companies scheduled me for job interviews there and my father was clearly continuing to do fine without help, so I packed up my car and drove from Florida to California.
The landscape of the desert Southwest was especially beautiful to me. I saw several century plants blooming, which I especially appreciate because an individual plant only blooms about once every 25 years. Here is a picture (not taken by me) of a century plant in bloom:
The desert is a harsh environment and it always amazes me that so many plants and animals live there. Here is another photo (not mine) of the landscape along I-8 through Arizona:
I drove a route that got close to the Mexican border several places in Texas and then California. ALL the traffic on I-8 was stopped at least 3 places in California by the U.S. Border Patrol, I guess to search for illegal immigrants. I had no problems since I had proper ID, but I was surprised they would stop all traffic to search since the road actually stayed entirely within the U.S. People have to be desperate to risk crossing the border in some of these locations. The climate is so hot and dry in those deserts and mountains, many people die every year from dehydration when they get lost and run out of water.