Road Trip: Casa Grande, Arizona

If you don’t live in sunny, warm Arizona, it is hard to truly comprehend just how gorgeous it is down here. Jumping on Interstate 10 from the Phoenix Airport, I was pleasantly reminded how many days of blue sky and sunshine Arizonans are blessed with. This trip was in mid-March, and the morning air had a cool, crisp Spring feel to it that was comfortable and inviting, making me want to spend all day outside. If you’ve never driven around central Arizona, it might surprise you. Sure, there are a lot of flat parts of Arizona. High desert, and flat views that go on for miles. But there are also several mountain ranges, both large and small. As you drive from Phoenix to Casa Grande, you are rarely out of sight from mountains or large rocky cliffs. As my exit approached, nearing Casa Grande, I was immediately taken back to the last time I had visited here, about 6 years ago. My, how things change! A couple of my friends lived in Casa Grande for a few years, and over the years they have mentioned all of the growth and change that has been occurring here, but hearing about it is never the same as seeing it. The path of progress and growth has definitely begun to spread this direction in a very big way. Driving around Casa Grande, looking at the properties we own, as well as the newly sprouted development, reminded me of several other places around the country that I had visited several years ago, and have since revisited. On the first visit, it was apparent there wasn’t much going on. Things had a faded look to them, no growth, no new roads, no construction going on, no progress taking place. The signs of stagnation were everywhere. And then, on my next trip, a few years later, voila! Growth, change, new blood, progress, and expansion. Not in an out-of-control way, not explosive by any means. But a new store here. A 2-lane road turned into a 4-lane with a turn lane. New restaurants and retail stores. The kinds of changes that tell me values are on the rise, new jobs are being created, and new people are moving into the area at a much faster pace. It was great to see. As the day began coming to a close, one of my favorite parts of the Southwest began to emerge, such as the stunning sunset, unique to Arizona. There is a very special, warm, glowing hue that the sky adopts down in Arizona that I have never seen in any other place. I’ve heard several different opinions about what causes it, but the theory I like the best is the way the sun reflects off of all of the rock, quartz, sand and stone as it begins to set. It creates a phenomenal bright blue, that transitions to bright orange, that slowly turns to bronze, and finally transitions to crimson and that nebulous green flash. What a fantastic day in Casa Grande.