Monday, April 19, 2010

Climbing Uphill

We hiked up Ventana Canyon, Miss Marjorie and I.

It was hot at 10am when we met where the Blockbuster used to be and it was hotter 20 minutes later at the Trailhead and then we started walking and the breeze decided that she was unnecessary so she left us for, perhaps, your neighborhood.  It was hot and not all that interesting as we walked the trail between private homes and the resort and then we came to the water.

Yes, there is water in the desert.  There is still snow at the peaks of the Santa Catalinas but less than there was last weekend, when they were still skiing.  As the temperatures heat up and the snowpack melts, the water runs down the canyons.  We crossed and criss-crossed and rock hopped and didn't get wet and then we started to climb.  With 1300' of elevation change in a little over a mile of unstable and boulder strewn trail, we were passed by many 20-somethings carrying no water but passing us none-the-less.  Some were running.  

We were not.

As the trail climbed the temperatures dropped and, after a snack break (mmmm... Kashi Trail Mix bars ... naturally delicious ..... and the only bars I actually look forward to eating) we scampered up the rest of the way to the pools.

Okay.  We didn't scamper.  But we didn't whine, either.

Tucson looked pretty good from up there.

with the fairy duster and brittle bush and saguaros at our feet.

And then we got to the pools.  Approaching them was surprising.  One moment it was silent and then suddenly we heard running water.  It wasn't running all that fast, but it was cold and clear and was collected in these deep dark pools:

The green slime is underneath the crystal clear water.
It's thicker where the water is deeper and the rocks are less steep.

I really liked the slime.

 It attached itself to my poles and lasted all the way back to Miss Marjorie's car.  That is serious slime.

Going down reminded me that I had quadriceps and ankles and then there was the heat and the extremely persistent flies when we crossed the streambeds and the total lack of a breeze but there were also students doing plant studies, with their papers and pencils and cameras, and there were little beauties like this

just sitting there, waiting to be admired.

It was a lovely afternoon.