|Arizona Falls Mechanicals, During the Dry-Up|
Two key elements of an oasis are the sound of water and a sky full of blue. An alternate test is a sky full of stars. I used to camp with people who always had to camp near water, even if we didn't use the water for drinking, cooking, or swimming. Of course, when it was hot we jumped in, but on some of our cold camping trips, we still had to be near water. I finally figured it out: in a dry place, it was an oasis thing.
|Also: shade, and drinking water at Arizona Falls|
I don't think there's a sign up indicating that there's drinking water down by the falls. You just have to follow your oasis-seeking impulse, and head toward the sound of the falling water. If you are heading east, there's more drinking water ahead (Scottsdale Waterfront, the nature viewing area near Hayden Rd), but if you are headed west, it's a long way to canalside drinking water, or purpose-built shade for that matter. Although the tunnels under the street crossings do have a certain cave-like oasis quality about them in the summer.
But, I guess I imagine an actual, desert oasis type of setting. The LoPiano Mesquite Bosque down in Tempe would be an example of an oasis authentic to the Sonora Desert, but we tend to be eclectic in our appropriation of art, landscaping and architecture here (Tuscan home, anyone? eck), so I think I would be equally happy with some date palm encircled shady pond with places to tie up camels, or horses nearby. Just give me the sound of water, some open sky, a quiet place to sit with my bicycle, and I'm good. Get up. Go ride.