It was the best birthday present Amster and the kids could deliver.
It wasn't a very long hike; a one mile loop at the top of a long steep sandy incline.
My poles and I did just fine, thank you.
We did just fine, indeed.
It was beautiful.
A soft breeze and temperatures in the 70's
(no, I don't know why you aren't living here)
made for a picture perfect afternoon.
The parking lot provided a giant stick that The Littles recognized as bearing an uncanny resemblance to a Winchester rifle. They annihilated bad guys while Amster and I locked cars and herded them to the restrooms for a prophylactic pee...just in case.
The grasses were rustling and the mountains were hovering and I was glowing.
This really does feed my soul.
I can feel the earth growing and the tectonic plates shifting when I see this.
The flowers were blooming.
The kids were thirsty.
I made it around the entire loop, stopping only to help Miss Texas read the interpretive signs.
We picnicked before the second half of the adventure.
and cookie eyeballs to be admired
and Dagwood sandwiches to be eaten.
And then it was time to move on, down the path where the trees were beginning to bud and the saguaros were straight and tall.
We were looking for water.
It wasn't in the wash 100' from the cars.
I wasn't planning on two, one mile hikes, but that's what I got.
We had promised the kids that they could get wet.
Reneging was not an option.
Some years this wash is impassable; I've held onto scrub to make my way along the edges.
The summer melt hasn't filled the gullies yet, so Elizibeth and Summer could only slosh their feet.
The boys collected stones and tried to swim in 3" of water.
While Miss Texas trod delicately through the algae.
Mr. 8 accompanied me back to the picnic tables for a rousing game of Connect The Dots (sadly, he trounced me) while the rest of our party continued onward and upward, seeking more thrills.
He and I were content to sit in the shade, sharing the moment.
I didn't interrupt it for a photo.
There's apparently a field of poppies within my abilities off this same trailhead.
I think I'll be exploring it this week....now that I am hiking once again.