I love Arizona. It is a place of opposites and extremes. The only comfortable middle ground to be found is artificial. In its natural state, Arizona gives no quarter. In winter, the days are freezing and the nights even colder. In the summer the heat will scorch your throat until you breathe in gasps and year round the air will leech the moisture out of you until you feel that you will be thirsty for the rest of your life. At the peak of the heat of summer, another extreme will confront you. Just when you feel as though you are about to pass out from heat exhaustion, a drop of water lands on your nose. Startled, you pause. Another drop hits your forehead. For a few seconds, you are afraid that you've begun to hallucinate. A bright flash of light draws your eyes upward. As your disbelieving eyes take in a ceiling of roiling black clouds, a booming peal of thunder echos across the sky and the clouds open up in earnest. Within minutes, you are soaked through and running for cover, as lightning flashes all around and thunder cracks like some demon coachman, driving you on. Half an hour later, the sky is startlingly blue and the air around you is steaming. The edge of the mountains seems to slice into the sky like a knife. This image is helped along by the red-stained earth freshly saturated with rain, looking a little too much like blood for comfort.