Riding The Tucson Mountains with Southwest Trekking, Professional Guide Services. We updated our ride at The Tucson MOuntains. Noah, Brent and John werre at it again. Then Brent got a hold of the digital media and turned it into what you see before you.
Brittney called the other day and asked what I was doing this afternoon. We, Brit and I had planned on going for a ride. Bri is a new guide with Southwest Trekking. But she was not feeling good enough for a ride and wanted to know if I was up to do a hike and she would play her violin for me. Heck yeah, I am up for that. So we go for a hike to the top of a ridge off of the Bowen Trail in The Tucson Mountains. And she played her violin for me and well, honestly for herself also.
It is amazing how wonderful live music is, but especially when done outside, in the back country.
So, thanks Bri. We will have to do this again soon.
Hike with us, bike with us, to a mountain top, into the desert, where Bri will be there ready to play for you too.
A week ago last Saturday a gunman ripped a hole in the collective psyche of our community of Tucson, and in the face of such loss and horror many of us are searching for healing. A few days ago President Obama offered words of compassion to those affected by the shooting, and because human lives are so intricately intertwined we were all affected. I’d like to offer to you another source of solace: Nature. I sit here beneath the shade of a creosote bush in Saguaro National Park scribbling on my trail map because in gazing at the Rincon Mountains I have been granted a peace that has been hard to come by these past few days. I am reminded that our human world is not the only world. The plants and the animals exist in a realm somewhat immune to our human dramas, and they exist with an order and sensibility that is not always found in human actions. Generally speaking, animals kill because they must. They do not set out to wreck havoc upon members of their own species. And plants are quiet beings that stand in companionship with one another – the hackberry next to the mesquite, the palo verde shading a baby saguaro. It is comforting for me to remember that this is what everything returns to: the stillness of the warm earth, the certitude of the mountains that endure through thousands of lifetimes. Looking at the white evening moon resting over the peaks is to me an embrace, a reminder that goodness is fundamentally at the root of it all, and that the spirits of those we have lost ultimately rest in the peace of the hills.
I have a book to add to the “life-changing” list: “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. Spurred on by nagging athletic injuries that go unsolved by expensive orthotics and running shoes, the author sets out to meet the Tarahumara – an indigenous tribe in the Sierra Madres of Mexico who hold running at the heart of their culture. The young and old of this tribe are capable of running extreme distances by our standards – well over the length of a marathon – and they do it without fancy footwear, with nothing but homemade tire sandals on their feet. It’s good to be reminded of what the body is capable of, and for our health and well-being it may be crucial to remember what our bodies evolved for. McDougall’s journey investigates both our physical adaptations and our psychological bent that suits us for running, and for running with others. He investigates running as a communal act, one that binds people together in the moment while also uniting them in the arc of humanity that extends to the runners of prehistory. The book has opened my heart to an activity that I previously slogged through in junior high gym classes. To be accurate, it has ignited an obsession within me: trail running. So read, enjoy, and then go run.
I was riding along in the Tucson mountains when lo and behold, a saguaro on a distant hill began walking in large lumbering steps. I nearly tipped over in shock – Bigfoot was before me! Or at least a large hairless primate, well suited to its desert clime, was darkly silhouetted in the afternoon sun. Something about the perspective, something about the slant of light made the figure seem other-than-human. I now have a sense of why the Tohono O’odham attributed human characteristics to the saguaro. These tall cactus with arms bear a striking resemblence to us (or maybe I should say we bear a resemblance to them). I could have sworn I was looking at a cactus until it moved. But better than a cactus or hiker is the thought of having seen Bigfoot. Mythical primates aren’t just for the Pacific Northwest anymore – we’ve got a Sonoran Sasquatch roaming in our hills.