I've been following some folks who are tearing up the trails here in Tucson. By "follow," I mean I sit here and read about them tearing up the trails here in Tucson. They've been teasing me with their fancy-schmancy crested saguaros until I couldn't bear it any more.
|You seen on saguaro, you seen 'em...hey, you seen my nest?|
I headed for Tucson Mountain Park and a nearly-sure bet to see one. Crested (cristate) saguaros are a special kind of weirdo, but I'm pretty fond of all these desert oddballs.
|This cactus is not named Russ.|
|WHAT THE...nevermind. I don't want to know, and you don't, either.|
I'm not a long-distance hiker (yet), but Pam estimated 1.6 miles one way to the crested. Three point two miles - I can still do that, right? Right? There was a lot of self pep-talk going on inside my bonnet.
The first part of the hike is in sight of civilization, although not much of civilization was hiking the trail that day. I don't mind being alone on a trail. I prefer it, except when I want someone there to carry me the rest of the way.
Once around the bend, the trail becomes pure wilderness beauty. A jet overhead will remind you that you're not all that far from the 21st century, but the jet passes and you're alone again. An hour later, a helicopter passes directly overhead, reminding you that he's not there to rescue you, keep walking slacker.
I pass a cardio-hiker and I make him stop. Did you see a crested saguaro back there? Indeed he had, and he told me where to look for it.
It's funny how a lazy mind works. If Pam had told me the Great Crested was two miles into a trail (it is), I would have gone to see the one in the Sonora Desert Museum parking lot. But, 1.6 miles? No problem! This is the power of always forgetting to take a map because you're pretty sure you've memorized the way.
|I may or may not have been on the ground here. I don't like to say.|
Now it was time to head back, and there's never a choice there.
It's all been worth it, though, because I captured the elusive Crested Saguaro. Sure, I had to walk for hours to see one, but that's okay because
ARE YOU KIDDING ME
I decided to walk into the labyrinth. It's a symbolic thing. I kicked down the walls to leave. It's an exhaustion thing.
THIS JUST IN: Lisa from Metamorphosis Road says:
It's funny how almost every hike we've done in the Tucson area has turned out to be longer than the posted mileage...don't believe everything you read!
ARG! There is no way to know how far I really walked. I estimate 22 miles.