In the desert, in March, the cactus suddenly bloom with color, the lemons, and orange, and grape fruit trees are heavy with ripe fruit, bushes sprout blossoms that smell like perfume on the neck of mother nature.The sun shines every day, and the warmth of the sun and the desert breeze embraces you and swirl through your hair and soul.
These are canyon days. Days when we fill a day pack, grab water bottles, and drive the few minutes to the Lower Falls trail in Tanque Verde Canyon, which divides the Rincon and Santa Catalina mountain ranges over east Tucson. We hike down the canyon wall on a well used trail, to the bottom. There, the stream from the summit of Mt. Lemmon flows over boulders, and waterfalls fill pools with clear, cold, emerald-green snow melt. There are some hikers but not many, so clothing is optional. It’s like having your own semi-private natural pool to swim and cool. We lay on the boulders like lizards in the desert sun and melt into the magic of the canyon.
The people come here from all points, and include visitors, vagrants, wanderers, and vagabonds. Theres Desert Dave. He lives in British Columbia and comes to the desert in February and March every year. He lives in a camper on the bed of a Dodge Ram, which isn’t unique except that the camper is in the shape of an airplane fuselage…it was built by an aircraft engineer.
As March ends, he goes to Sedona, then on to Moab. In summer, he lives on a sailboat on Lake Okanagan…an altogether good life for a semi retired guy.
We moved on to Santa Fe and Taos by way of New Mexico. The saying goes, “It isn’t New and it isn’t Mexico”. The poverty and squalor here is prevalent driving south to north. Never have I seen so many mobile homes and mostly filthy, unkept, and in permanent disrepair.
Everyone told me Taos is magic. I didn’t see it, didnt feel it, and wont be back soon.
But then there’s Santa Fe. Endless art, food, art, food, and cool places to go. Might stay in Santa Fe one day.