It was a typical, sunny, June day in Phoenix, Arizona.
For Phil, it was hot. He exited the car putting on sunscreen lotion. He wore shorts, which were newly minted from a pair of his holy jeans while they were recently in California. Among his many other virtues, the man is also a recycler. He is a good husband to my niece.
For his wife and partner extraordinaire in the Trash Blog, it was a day for a sun hat, a cool dress, and sensible shoes. Margaret hails from Phoenix and probably knew better than to agree to an engagement outdoors at this time of the day, at this time of the year, in this type of climate.
However, the eagerness of foolish uncles to show off their trash treasures is difficult to refuse for a couple as gracious as these two are. This is why they found themselves at the Cave Creek Golf Course when common sense would normally dictate that visitors to the Sonora Desert remain in more shaded areas and surround themselves with cooler air.
The full story of the Cave Creek Golf Course will appear elsewhere; and will be written by better authors. My spoiler, issued to explain our presence there, is simply that this course (the most used in Arizona) is built upon a landfill.
Instead, my objective, as a guest poster on the Trash Blog, is to convey the discipline, dedication, and ambition that these two bring to their investigations of trash. For example, earlier on this day, Phil and Margaret had an extended interview with Republic Services, Inc., the second largest solid waste hauler in America. Republic’s corporate offices are located in Phoenix; and this dynamic duo is not shy about talking trash with the big boys.
Our run around this golf course in the blazing Phoenix afternoon heat, and the attendant obligation thereafter to write about this adventure, as well as their interview at Republic Services, soon yields an understanding of the seriousness with which these two approach their Trash Blog duties. It also yields an understanding of the wide scope of investigative activities that this couple has placed before themselves.
These two know few bounds. This day was one of many, between now and August, associated with a car trip through at least 26 States, which has already covered more than 5,000 miles. Having started in Washington, it will end in Maine, via a path that takes them on from Arizona through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida (in that order), before the Trash Bloggers settle, albeit temporarily again, in Saint Louis.
Their path will generally be over smaller roads and hardly ever in a straight line. While this journey will leave a carbon footprint, few doubt that this is well worth the environmental damage because of the attendant adventure, discovery, and learning for them, as well as for us.
Nearly every stop has been planned in advance for an interview, a tour, or an observation associated with this blog. Instead of staying in luxury hotels, camping overnight is common. Instead of eating in luxury restaurants, discovering wonderful foods at places like the Tillamook Cheese facility is part of the experience.
This is a learning experience for Phil and Margaret. In addition, it’s consciousness raising at its first-hand best, for them and for us. Its associated conversations are alternately interesting and hilarious.
What is perhaps most touching is that Phil and Margaret indulge their obtuse, conservative uncle during his rants about government not being the solution to every social problem. Their charity truly knows no bounds.
They were here in Phoenix for five days. I saw them at the Cave Creek Golf Course for a couple of hours. Then we met again for another half day to form a caravan to Flagstaff where we viewed the Wupakti ruins of the Sinaqua Indians. There’s an 800-year old trash dump there, yanno.
They left me to continue their many journeys and their daily installments on the Trash Blog by heading east, after we had all had lunch together. They are missed here in Phoenix by those whom they left behind. We all eagerly await their next posting . . . as well as their eventual return.
More pictures of Phil and Margaret in action available upon request, but only in the form of another guest post (heh, heh, heh . . . . ).