We were in Phoenix during the second week in March, taking a break from the cold temperatures and enjoying baseball and some sights new to us. We saw two games. The first was at the Milwaukee Brewers stadium in Phoenix, a tired-looking older park with weird outfield dimensions. American Family Field was built in 1998, and seats 10,000. On the upside, there are no bad seats and it retains that minor league feel in that everyone is pretty close to the action. 

The Royals and Reds were the teams of record for the second game. The ballpark in Surprise, Billy Parker Field, is a bit newer. We saw Hunter Greene and Zach Greinke start. Both pitched well. Greene topped out at 101 mph. We also saw Aroldis Chapman in relief for the Royals. At 35 years old, he can still bring it—three batters faced, three strike outs, top speed 102 mph, several swings after the pitch was already in the catcher’s mitt. 

On National Nap Day, March 13, we drove to Tuscon to visit Saguaro National Park. The park is home to a collection of hills, surrounding mountains, and a whole lotta cacti. There are 1, 750 known species of cacti worldwide, many of whom call the park home. The Saguaro Cactus is famous for its size, up to fifty feet tall, and longevity, over 200 years in ideal conditions. They grow slowly and only reach six feet tall at 35 to 70 years. They begin to grow branches, arms, at around 75 years (in Tuscon). It’s those with many arms that have caught our attention for a long time. 

While driving to Tuscon we caught a glimpse of the Boneyard, essentially the graveyard for retired military and civilian aircraft. But, this boneyard has a Frankenstein twist to it in that planes that go to be “buried” there supply the spare parts for those that are still air worthy. Before the pandemic, it was possible to take a tour of the grounds (there are over 4,000 aircraft parked there), but now all you can do is drive over to the grounds and have a look from the wrong side of a chain link fence. Still, the sidebar was worth the time. I had not seen an Eastern Airline Boeing 737 in a very long time. The Beluga Whale-looking Dream Lifter is a modified 747, altered to be long enough to carry 747 parts. 

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