In the month of February 2021 I was able to get out to my happy place again - the Sonoran Desert. It was an especially enjoyable trip for a number of reasons but, primarily because it, "cleared my head". I honestly believe that that human race is a mess but since the pandemic we are a mess times 2 - at least. While I like to see myself as a bit above the madding crowd - I'm not - and the pandemic made me a bit kooky too.
So it was with relief - blessed relief - that I escaped to perhaps my favorite place on earth - the Sonoran Desert. I was also able to meet some of my dear pals along the way. Thanks to Paul, Holly, Joel, Scott, Jen, and Liz. Love you all...
My first night was in Chiriaco Summit near the southern entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. I love it out there.
Next morning I hung out with Paul and we made some photos - then on to the magnificent Superstition Mountains in Lost Dutchman State Park in Arizona. There is nothing like them in all of the West.
I was disappointed to discover that the Apache Trail scenic drive was closed due to a washout with NO plan to fix it. I've been traveling that road since I was 9 years old on my first trip to Arizona. The trip that I fell in love with the Sonoran Desert. I've often thought that it would be a great place to toss my ashes. Alas.
Nevertheless I did travel what I could of it and made a few photos.
After a few fabulous days in Apache Junction I drove to Gilbert Ray Campground near Tucson and Saguaro National Park . The following photo went kind of "viral" on the twitter machine giving further pause as to what I think is good vs. the rest of the world...
Arizona certainly has some sublime sunsets.
I spent a marvelous day in the eastern section of Saguaro National Park. It had been years since I'd been there.
The Signal Hill trail, with it's petroglyphs, is a treat in the Park.
From Saguaro I went to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument driving through Tohono O'odham land. I have been distraught over what is happening at the border. The wall is destructive and does not impede border crossings. Candidly, only fools would believe that to be the case. It does, however, mar and, in some instances, utterly destroy important natural resources and the ecology of the borderlands - and its beauty too. I try in these pages to bring joy and not sorrow but this is a sorrowful story. Here is what I found on my drive to magnificent Quitobaquito - a desert oasis and sacred land to the Tohono O'odham.
I was so grateful to find that the springs still had water although geologists fear it may have been irreparably harmed. Time will tell. The wall is right next to it. I did spend a few hours there - breathing in the beauty and history and was joined by only a few people. As I was leaving a number of Tohono O'odham friends arrived. It was good to see them too.
Here are a few more photos from my trip.
I am grateful to each of you who reads this blog. I hope that it provides a bit of fun and relief. I also want to tell you that next year will be my 65th on earth and my 20th of sobriety. I plan on celebrating in epic style with a 2 month long trip around the USA - literally from sea to shining sea. Perhaps I will be coming to your town? Or perhaps you'd like to join me for a portion of the trip? I will be writing a blog post about this trip soon - let's talk! I am planning on seeing many of my friends along the way...
Thanks for joining me on this little trip. I feel like a weight has been lifted - and now to get vaccinated... and back to concerts, restaurants, and the ballpark!
4/1/2021 03:35:51 pm
As always, a treat to see your moody images and humbling words, Doc!
4/4/2021 04:25:47 pm
Hey, Robby! Awesome to hear from you and thanks so much for your kindness and coming along...
4/1/2021 04:54:11 pm
I prefer the mountains, but I get the magic of the desert and feel your happiness.
4/4/2021 04:26:57 pm
Thanks, Deb. - I lived in the mountains for 30 years...perhaps that's why the desert speaks so loudly to me..
4/1/2021 05:51:22 pm
This whole year has me needing to travel again.
4/4/2021 04:27:33 pm
Thank you, Charlie!
4/1/2021 06:49:55 pm
You know I love your writing and your gorgeous photos. These photos are among your very best, imho.
4/4/2021 04:28:58 pm
So kind of you, Carol - thank you very, very much...
4/2/2021 04:29:38 pm
Looks like you had a wonderful journey. There was a time where I thought the desert held no beauty for my eyes. Now I know better. There is a stillness, vastness and majesty that I had not seen before. Additionally, I like the way life finds a way, even under (what I deam) ,the harshest conditions. Hoping your soul feels refreshed. Count me on the map during your 65 and Alive adventure. Take care. Blessings to you and your family.
4/4/2021 04:32:32 pm
Hi Darla, my soul does feel refreshed - that's a perfect way to put it.I love that name for the trip - 65 and alive! I can't wait to see you... you are ON the list to visit. Much love back...
4/2/2021 07:37:52 pm
Hi Doc! I'm a bit biased, having been born in Arizona (Phoenix) and a U of A grad. Nonetheless, these latest photos are my all-time favorites since I began following your blog. They capture so much of what I love about the state. We're now fully vaccinated (as of last week), so I understand your excitement. And if you ever come through Columbia, Tennessee (an hour south of Nashville), you must come see us -- for a meal or a night. (It's beautiful country.) Hope the rest of 2021 is good to you!
4/4/2021 04:34:19 pm
Hi Carol! Thanks so much for your kind words - and, you know, funny enough - I AM planning on spending some time in Nashville - Let's definitely have a meal!
4/4/2021 05:35:21 pm
Jeff/Doc—Sounds like fun. Keep me posted (firstname.lastname@example.org).
4/19/2021 09:41:34 am
Oh wow - so much beauty! I love the Sonoran desert too, now I miss it even more. Thank you for the sneak peak. Stop by if you come through the Sierras! I'm happy to drive a ways too!
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This will mostly be a journal of my travels. I may include other items that interest me. Feel free to join in.