Monday, April 26, 2010

In Which I Take You Hiking

We here in the Nest are great hikers, and used to go hiking every other Friday with a dear friend, but life, especially full time work, intervened in recent years, and the hiking trips dwindled. As the dogs got older and less able to hike any great distance, hiking stopped. (Yes, the dogs have their own backpacks for hiking.)

But while away on my business trip last week, my team and I had the opportunity for a quick, 1-mile hike in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. I'd never been there, so was very excited even though the day was overcast and the skies sprinkled on us a few times. So come with me on a virtual tour of Palm Canyon at Kofa, so named because the furthest northern stand of native palms grow there, way up on the rock face.

The entrance. A small gravel path winds through this entrance.

The famous palms. The two other team members tried to climb up to this point, and while The Botanist had done so several times, including last year, they didn't make it this year. I'd already fallen down the sides of three mountains on this job, so I sat the climb out and just enjoyed being miles and miles from anywhere, almost completely by myself. No sounds but a twittering bird. No billboards. No telly in every doctor's office and post office. Just beautiful nature.

Beavertail cactus and brittlebush. The spring bloom was still ongoing, and the desert was carpeted in brittlebush--magnificent!

I can't believe I wasted several years without hiking. I am determined to start hiking regularly again. My eyes need it. My lungs need it. My soul  and peace of mind need it.

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