Okay. I have an assignment for you while you are in AZ. (If you are busy or uninterested, just blow it all off!)
1) Listen for NATIVE SPEAKERS (as opposed to those who were born/raised elsewhere and moved in there...). I want what their true speech sounds like -- any regionalisms that they have, characteristic thought/language patterns... ESP for Native Americans and rural peoples.
2) What nationalities (I know Mexican) are present? In my story, I have a guy of French background, two Germans, several with generic American backgrounds...
3) SOIL in the canyons. In the Four Corners area, what is the soil like? Sand? Clay? Rocks? Are there saguaro cactus there, or only further south? I've been through there, but I was NOT watching for the kind of details I need now to make the story fly.... (Gai Carousel went to the Grand Canyon with me as a three year old... She's now 25, so it's been a while.)
3) Old timer's stories/tall tales of incidents camping out/hiking/dealing with local flora and fauna, adventures on horseback especially... Ranching stories -- anyone who wants to email on such topics would be great! When I went to Wall, SD, I found an old time cowboy with stories that were just GREAT. I took copious notes and wrote them up...I'd love to make connections with that same type of character in AZ with a host of the old time stories he/she wants to tell. (I talked with Indians and a few others, but mostly with TOURISTS, not the types I want to pick the brains of now...)