The atmosphere contains sufficient quantities of oxygen, but very little moisture. It is amazing that anything can grow here. The vegetation is as fantastical as anything I have seen on any other planet, with spears protruding from many of the varieties. Comically strange creatures scurry from plant to plant, hugging the parched ground. Meanwhile, although the sentient beings are very sociable, they mostly hide in the shade from the unbearable heat that makes it almost impossible to travel any distance, and yet they have built structures extremely far apart.

Oops, my bad. This isn’t another planet, it’s Arizona and I’m on my vacation.

Well, I was on my vacation. Now that I am back, I get to play that game: Compare and Contrast With the Yukon.

I am immediately reminded of a conversation I had with my brother some years ago. He has lived in Arizona most of his adult life while I have lived mostly in the Yukon. I told him once that I go from my warm house, into the dangerously cold weather, to turn on my truck to warm it up and then drive it to my warm office.

“What a co-incidence,” he said. “I go from my cool house, into the dangerously hot weather, to turn on my truck to cool it down and then drive it to my cool office.”

Now, if you can just forget that cold and hot are opposites, then Arizonans are just like Yukoners: we both complain about the temperature outside, we both live indoors during the worst of the extreme season, we both have coping mechanisms that we share with one another and, when we do need to travel outside, we do it very slowly.

Arizona is one of those “Gee Whiz Regions” that are sprinkled throughout North America.

Let me explain: When you tell someone you are from the Yukon, they think, “Gee whiz.” Same thing happens to Arizonans.

Nova Scotia is another place, Québec is, too. So is Texas and Hawaii.

But do people say “gee whiz” when someone says they are from Ontario or Alberta or Idaho or Maine? No.

Another similarity I found is how transient the city people are in the Yukon and Arizona. In the smaller communities, there are many more “born-and-bred” types.

As for the personality of the people, Arizonans could be our twins separated at birth. There is a work ethic there, a disdain for suits and ties, a mystical connection to the land, a craving for freedom and an equal craving for meat cooked good … real good (my brother will be giving me his ribs recipe, but I suspect it is only because he never had a son).

And they are oh-so friendly.

Were there differences, too? Yeah, but none that mattered much. You see, Arizonans, just as Yukoners, have that special glow of someone who is in the right place at the right time.