Archive for June, 2012

Take a moment

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Mateo from Southwest trekking here reminding everybody to take a moment and stop to smell the flowers.


Thursday, June 28th, 2012

The Arizona Daily Star is reporting 1011 temerature records have been broken around the nation this past week; including 251 daily high temps on Tuesday alone! I thought July and August were supposed to be the scorchers.  Check out the article online.

In the summer heat trekking adventures are still very much possible. The Sky Islands to the east of Tucson offer a great beat the heat destination. At 9100 feet in elevation th etemperatures drop dramatically. Contact Southwest Trekking for more info on this great summer escape.


What is a monsoon exactly?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

It is officially monsoon season in the Sonoran Desert. Here we know this change brings about RAIN! This precious change in temperature is caused by a shifting of winds. Throughout the year winds in dry subtropical areas tend to blow from land to the sea. Graphic 1: Mean seal level pressure and near surface flow over India, January (dry season)

Mean seal level pressure and near surface flow over India, January (dry season)

In the summer, solar heating causes these land masses to warm at a rate that causes air pressure to fall. These thermal lows allow for a shift or a “monson” to shift directions bringing humid air from the cooler oceans to the warmer land masses.Graphic 2: Mean sea level pressure and near surface flow over India, July (monsoon season)

Mean sea level pressure and near surface flow over India, July (monsoon season)

The moist unstable air moves over land masses and when it meets a break in topography (aka the Catalinas in Tucson or the Tibetan plateau featured in the graphics above) the air releases moisture in the form of an awesome and breathtaking storm. The humidity released only triggers more storms. The cycle continues until eventually the ground cools and the winds push on back to the ocean.


4 cornered

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

A little history from the Navajo nation. to read more visit

to trek it visit

History of Monument Valley

Before human existence, the Park was once a vast lowland basin.  For hundreds of millions of years, materials that eroded from the early Rock Mountains deposited layer upon layer of sediments which cemented a slow and gentle uplift generated by ceaseless pressure from below the surface, elevating these horizontal strata quite uniformly one to three miles above sea level.  What was once a basin became a plateau.

Natural forces of wind and water that eroded the land spent the last 50 million years cutting in to and peeling away at the surface of the  plateau.

The simple wearing down of altering layers of soft and hard rock slowly revealed the natural wonders of Monument Valley today.

From the visitor center, you see the world-famous panorama of the Mitten buttes and Merrick Butte.  You can also purchase guided tours from Navajo tour operators, who will take you down into the valley in jeeps for a narrated cruise through these mythical formations.  Places such as Ear of the Wind and other landmarks can only be accessed via guided tours.  During the summer months, the visitor center also features Haskenneini Restaurant, which specializes in both native Navajo and American cuisines, and film/snack/souvenir shop.  There are year-round restroom facilities.  One mile before the center, numerous Navajo vendors sell arts, crafts, native food and souvenirs at roadside stands.

Average Temperatures (°F)

Min Max
JAN 25 43
FEB 26 47
MAR 33 54
APR 40 65
MAY 47 73
JUNE 58 85
JULY 63 90
AUG 62 88
SEPT 57 82
OCT 41 66
NOV 30 50
DEC 24 42

A uel a sechaled (turtles are our friends)

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

While exploring some of the remote islands of the Pacific I woke to find some interesting tracks on the beach. It happened to be a full moon the night before so it was obvious to me what these tracks were from. Turtles nest on a full moon. This one made it’s way 25 feet or so to the edge of the bush line. The nest was clearly identifiable. In Palau there is a popular campaign to stop the hunting and eating of turtles. You can often hear the children say the tagline to the rubak (elders). The children are the biggest supporters of the “uel a sechaled” campaign. I support there efforts.

An odd pear

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

The time is NOW! With monsoon season here (officially) the prickly pear cactus is now ripe for the harvesting. All you do it yourselvers grab a pair of gloves and a sharp knife and hit the trails for some sweet fruit.  The prickly pear is a paddle shaped cactus that bears a round red fruit from the top pads. A large number of of the Sonoran animals take advantage of this delightful treat; you should too!

 One cup of prickly pear fruit contains about 61 calories. Most of these calories come from sugars and fiber. The 5.4 grams of fiber per cup is about 15-20% of your daily value. The fruit contains high amounts of magnisium (30-40% of DV) which helps to regulate heart beat, contract muscles properly, and stabilize blood sugar. Wow, sounds like a trail super food already! Along with these benefits the fruit also contains high amounts of vitamin C which is water soluble so it must be replenished regularly. Vitamin C helps to heal cuts and regulate stress levels. 

If harvesting the fruit is not your thing then you can check with your local grocer to see if they have some in stock. They are usually despined for you. If you take that route then make sure you are still hitting the trail to see them in their beautiful natural state. Did I mention that trekking is also another good way to regulate stress levels….

Contact Southwest Trekking for information on guided tours.


Matt in the hat

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

While on a hike yesterday with my favorite ladies,  my sister took this photo of me explaining why the the saguaro like the full sun. It was later in the day when we went for our walk so “full sun” was definitely a factor. When I saw the picture later I was impressed at the fine job my hat was doing at blocking the sun from my face and neck. I owe this benifit to Mr. John B. Stetson who was noted for creating the first whide brimmed hat on a hunting trip out west in 1865. The hat today remains relatively similar to the one he produced jokingly out of fur. The style has served me well over the years. Sun, rain, and other elements are no match for a proper fitting cowboy hat. These hats have accompanied me on my travels far west through the Pacific. It seems that no other style head wear can envoke such conversation and insight about American culture and style. It is recognized instantly by most for it’s mystical link to the wild west days where gunfights and whiskey were just as much a part of western expansion as gold was. The proper hat is essential to trekking in the sun. Take a lesson from those vaqueros. Have it be the first thing people notice about you on the trail and the last thing you take off before you rest your head at night.


A Good Morning Hike

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Southwest Trekking is proud to offer complementary morning hikes to the guests of the JW Marriott Star Pass resort in Tucson. Due to the rising mid summer temperatures the hike will now begin at 6:00 am daily. The morning hike is a great way to start your day. It is a slow down hike that gives participants the opportunity to observe the natural beauty of the Tucson Mountains. Highlights of the hike include spotting some of the many different wildlife species that abound the area, including mule deer, javelina, and coyote. The Tucson Mountain park is home to over 1oo different bird species! Bring your binoculars, a sturdy pair of shoes, and a sense of adventure because we’re going trekking.

If after you have sampled the pleasures of the Tucson Mountains on foot, and would like to experience more; then Southwest Trekking has that covered as well. There are great trails that lead to all sorts of delightful destinations. You can schedule a mountain biking excursion that is sure to awaken your sense of adrenaline while satisfying that itch to get back in touch with nature. Safety is always a top priority so helmets, gloves, and water are included with all rentals. But above all equipment, it is peace of mind that SWT provides in it’s professional and personal guiding. Let us take the guess work out of trekking so you can enjoy yourself and enjoy the Sonoran beauty.

Call or email today: (520) 296-9661 or


Jungle Trekkin’

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

When long jungle trekking leads you to a series of waterfalls like this one you know you’ve found a Garden of Eden. This was after two hours of carving our way threw the interior island of Babledaob in the Palau archipelago. The jungle brush is thick and relentless. but the pay off is tremendous if you can make it into the cut for a dip in the cool inland rivers. I was so excited when I got the opportunity to show my sister Trish this beautiful place.

SWTrekking knows about the desert. That is a fact after 25 + years in business in Arizona. SWTrekking also knows the rest of the globe. Mr Heiman is North right now exploring the great national parks this continent has to offer from Arizona to Alaska. If you have a dream outdoor vacation in mind. Chances are, SWTrekking can accommodate.

Happy Trekking,


The heat is real.

Monday, June 11th, 2012

In the Sonoran Desert the heat can cause real problems.  The autopsies of two tourists hiking in the desert last month confirm that it was the high temperatures that caused their deaths. Please check out the article link below.

This does not mean that trekking in the summer is fatal. It just means you need to be mindful of what is going on with the elements as well as your body. Plan appropriately and set realistic goals for your outing. If you are new to this type of recreation or are unfamiliar with your destination then please seek a professional writing service. At Southwest Trekking we have the knowledge and know-how to ensure your safety. Call today to schedule your trip.  520-296-9661