Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wandering in the desert

I had trouble deciding where to go on Sunday. I wanted to go someplace different, but I didn't want to drive a long way. I decided to wander around just west of Saguaro Lake. I had been to a couple of places in that area and decided to go to a place I hadn't seen back behind the mountains.

The buckhorn cholla flowers are coming out.

I also wanted to go someplace quiet, and I thought I'd be able to get away from the road noise back there. I did manage to get away from the road noise, but there was other noise I'd forgotten about. Boats. I could hear them for most of the time I was out there.

Teddy bear cholla flower.

I wandered around trying to go in a generally westerly direction. There are a lot of horse trails out there. I would follow them for a while, until I decided they weren't going the direction I wanted, then I'd follow the path of least resistance, then I would meet up with a horse trail, etc.

A horse trail.

Some of you might be wondering what makes them horse trails and not just hiking trails. No, it isn't the horse dodo on them. You find that on a lot of hiking trails, but that doesn't make them horse trails. Horse trails seem to be used almost exclusively by horses. So now you curious people are wondering how I know there aren't many people walking on the horse trails. The rest of you have gone on the the pictures or have dozed off in your recliner and now have drool running down your right cheek. Anyway, I know that not many people walk on these trails because people are sloppy. They couldn't color in the lines when they were kids and they refuse to do it now but now they call it freedom of expression instead of lack of skill. They continually wander off the edges of trails and trample the plants and kick the rocks out of the way and their trails get wider and wider and the edge is always diffuse and poorly defined. Horse trails, on the other hand, are narrow with sharply defined edges. In places the cut a foot into the dirt but they don't get any wider. I don't know why horses do that. Maybe a horse doesn't get distracted by the beautiful scenery surrounding it, which would be a shame. Maybe it doesn't dare offend its master by straying from the designated path, which would also be a shame. I'm sure there are good reasons for the people's sloppiness, and we would be a pretty dull species without that.

Ocotillo flowers.

Speaking of dull, that reminds me of my next rant. Remember the boats? These aren't fishing boats (though that might be the story fed to the wives) or ski boats (at least not as used by any serious skiers). They sound like they have very large engines and no mufflers. Their roar echoes through the canyons around the lakes for miles in every direction. As I walked along listening, I noticed that they would roar for 20 seconds or so and then die down. Does it take them that long to cross the lake, and they have to slow down to turn? I couldn't see the lake, so I didn't know. In between admiring flowers, cacti, rocks, mountains, etc., I kept getting back to thinking about the loud boats. I decided that the boats must be owned by young males and that they owed their existence entirely to testosterone. The guys were trying to impress the girls by having the biggest, loudest boat. Some of you will argue that girls don't like loud boats, and I agree that that is probably true. What girls do like is guys with money. Unfortunately, they are often duped into believing that guys who spend a huge wad of money on something as frivolous as a muscle car or a loud boat has a lot of money. They don't wake up to the truth until one or two babies later when Bubba is spending half his paycheck on a new chrome plated air clean for his baby (the car). Also, I've always kind of suspected that the guys were trying to compensate for some deficiency in their manhood. That's what was so funny when I finally got to a spot with a good view of the lake. I could watch the roaring boats strut their stuff. They would get lined up at one end of the lake. They must use a water jet for thrust, and the direction of the water jet can be changed; side to side to steer, and up and down to adjust trim. These guys would adjust the trim so the water jet was shooting into the air. I guess that doesn't leave them with much steering control, and that's why they have to slow down after crossing the lake. Anyway, they make a huge rooster tail as they cross the lake. The analogies are hilarious, but this is a family friendly blog so I won't go into details.

Deep voice (trying to impress): "Man, that water's cold."
Deeper voice: "Yeah, and deep, too."

There are lots of brittlebush flowers.

Near the beginning of the hike, I decided that I didn't want to cross a ridge between me and where I wanted to go, especially after I saw a swarm of bees along the top (there have been lots of killer bee attacks in the valley this year). I wound up walking along that ridge, though. The sun had gotten low enough that it wasn't hot by then, and the breeze up there felt wonderful. It was a pleasant stroll through the desert, and near the end I found the route I should have taken to get where I wanted. Next time.


1 comment:

Lauren said...

wow I haven't read your blog in a looooong time. I had actually forgotten about it till you mentioned it today... I have been missing out <3 it's funny how much your life changes when you have a kid, the things you forget about... lol