Tuesday, October 29, 2013

And Nicolas Cage Is Nowhere To Be Found

This morning I woke up in a state that I had never been in before last night. I arose from a bed absent of my wife, reached down, and shoot out my shoes just in case because you never know what may have crawled into the room during the night from the arid surroundings. Today I woke up in a small cabin/suite at Rancho de los Caballeros in Wickenburg, Arizona with a full day ahead of me to try and get up to speed with the details of one of the clients for which I work.

Having not been able to fall asleep until about one in the morning (local time) I was not too happy with the blaring iPhone alarm at 6 AM. After hitting the snooze button a few times I managed to get up and out the door not really knowing what direction I needed to walk to get to the dining room next to the lobby. Camera in hand I slowly retraced the path I think we drove the night before in the pitch black desert night.

It wasn’t long until I took my first pre dawn photo of the day.

Somehow I managed to find my way back and, looking off to the left, I caught a glimpse of the sun as it illuminated a tree at the far end of the small parking lot.

After a prolonged breakfast with my boss and our client we made our way to the first class of the day to absorb as much as we could during this short trip. A few hours later and with a much better understanding of both what the company does and how we can best serve them, it was time to head back to the dining room for lunch but not before I called my wife.

While I was on the phone wishing that she was here with me I took note of the small island in front of the main entrance where the flower bed was full of colors encompassing the entire spectrum.

Lunch went very quickly as I hopped from table to table trying to talk to as many people as I could and hear about all the perspectives and experiences from those in attendance. It seemed like in no time we were back in the classroom drilling down into the minutia. I’m just glad that I find it interesting or else my energy would have completely left me in a post travel daze. However, having spent much of the day planting in a conference room chair I took advantage of the thirty minutes between meetings to walk around the property and take a few more photos.

The first of which during my after class walk was when I finally took note of one of the large cacti against the blue sky (the first vibrant blue of an otherwise overcast day)…

…followed soon after by the sun radiating around a cactus on the other side of the narrow road.

I meandered between the buildings…

…and enjoyed the mountains in the distance…

…before heading into the last, but informal, meeting of the day.

With everything taken care of, the running around completed, and the list of task having grown to dominate multiple notepad pages, it was time to head out further into the desert for a cook out to close out the day. The manicured oasis provided a wonderfully relaxed means of getting to know participants and attendees just a little bit better without the primary topic of conversation being work related. After all, that is an inevitability when you have a campfire going.

With just a handful of us left creeping closer and closer to the burning embers during the brisk evening it was time to call it a night and head back to our rooms to rest, relax, and prepare for another busy day. It is also another day when I can attempt to not get lost on the way to and from my room but obviously I managed to get back tonight, and in the dark no less, so I guess I’m making progress. One more full day in Arizona but also another full day away from my wife.  

*Note: The title makes reference to the Cohen brother's movie "Raising Arizona" starring Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter. Sometimes I find I have to spell out my obscure references.