December 28, 2013

Arrival in the Excited State of Arizona

On Boxing Day we set off for the Excited States. First we had to clear US Customs for our flight to Arizona, and when the Homeland Security Officer asked me when was the last time I visited the land of the free, I answered "I don't know." That seemed to surprise him to no end, though it was an honest answer. It has been years since I ventured south of the 49th.

"You don't know when you were last in the United States? Just what exactly is the purpose of your visit?" It might have gone easier if I had answered in a one word answer, like say, "Shopping." That sounds Canadian, eh?

Arizona is one of those few places in the world where people can carry guns, openly and not so openly too. This is a state where there are few limitations on the ownership of weapons, including assault weapons. The 6.5 million who live in Arizona are proud to be independent and free.

In the 1860 census Arizona had a population of 6,482 of which 4,040 were defined as "Indian." There were 21 "free colored" people and the rest, 2421, were "white."  Times have changed. Today there are 6.5 million living in Arizona with 73% classed as white and only 4.6% from First Nations. Hispanics, of any racial group, make up 30% of the population.

So here we are, in the Excited State of Arizona. Guns, snakes and shopping malls everywhere. And wide open skies, desert, and a beauty beyond words.

Photos by Jim Murray.  Copyright 2013.

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