Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sweetwater Trailhead... and Beyond

This is where Miss Vicki and I turned around today.

It's a very pretty sign, isn't it?
The Happy Ladies' Club Serious Hiking Group (of which I was once a member) did the entire outer loop last week.... all 14.5 miles of it,
Today I managed about 10% of that, and, for the first time, I understood the wisdom behind
 "don't compare yourself to before"
My right now was pretty wonderful.

That's the path adjacent to the parking lot.
Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation gently developed this multi-use park
15 minutes from my driveway.
It's not Mount Tam, but it's mine.

I could pause and take a picture when a crested saguaro appeared.
There's not much change of elevation, which was a good thing.

When I got tired, I could stop and wonder what happened to this guy.

And what's this guy's story? 
He certainly has one, don't you agree?

Is he carrying a loaf of bread home from the market?
Is she holding her baby?
Are they pals, arm in arm?

Don't you want to wave right back?

Felix the Cat... the wonderful, wonderful cat....

We wondered, botanically speaking, what caused these furrows between the ribs.

We sighed over the wanton destruction done in the 1930's by a fool with a chain-saw.
Though he hacked off the tops of many of these saguaros, they just went ahead and grew some new arms.
I like their style.
Miss Vicki examined leaves and butterflies and flowers as she walked steadfastly behind me, making sure that I didn't fall down or trip or collapse in a heap.  Notice that she left her hiking poles in the car.... the better to catch me, if need be.
This mallow was the only touch of orange we encountered.

This white chickory was hiding under the brittle bush.

This is the up-close version of the yellow flowers in the next few photos.
Was this the volcanic rock Miss Vicki remembered from last week's adventure?
After several hundred years, they topple over and dessicate.
The root ball, such as it is, is the dark matter near the green bushes.
The long ribs of the trunk and arms are home to all sorts of little critters.
This web covers somebody's home, nestled beneath the saguaro ribs.

The damage goes all the way around this saguaro....
and has this wounded space that just begged for a hug.
Yet the cactus itself is tall and beautiful.
The desert is not for sissies.

We wondered about the apparently imminent collision of these two arms.... brothers in arms?
Coming back down the path, I noticed the twisted, perhaps growing to become crested, veining on the outer arm of that guy with the loaf of bread... or the world's largest pickle.
It was a beautiful day, and I was out and enjoying it.
Life is good.


  1. Love the pictures (and comments). I've never been to your part of the country. So beautiful.

  2. So amazing! Who would have thought the desert could be so beautiful. Has totally changed my perception that it's an arid wasteland. I love all the cacti and how you see them. Reminds me of looking at clouds and imagining what shape they are. So much fun and a great way to take in nature's beauty. Looked like it was a really lovely day weather-wise. Glad you had fun.

    Megan xxx

  3. Thanks for the pics and comments. I am completely captivated by our beautiful desert too!

  4. I'm so happy to read that you are out hiking again. What great photos you have to show us and to remind yourself of your accomplishment. I have a feeling it won't be long before you, too, will be doing the whole loop. Cheers!

  5. Aren't saguaros fascinating? I never tire of looking at them... The desert is so pretty right now with the wildflowers in bloom, glad you're getting out to enjoy!


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