Are we finished travelling the length and breadth of The Grand Canyon State? No way! On every visit our Arizona love affair grows exponentially. Over the years, Jim and I have explored from Tombstone and Bisbee near the Mexican border, through the Tucson area, the dramatic Apache Trail and kooky Tortilla Flat, up the Mingus Highway (a heart stopping127 turns in 12 miles) to quirky Jerome and down into breathtaking Sedona (at least 5 times),
twisted our way up Oak Creek Canyon through the majestic aspen stands near Flagstaff and on to the awe inspiring Grand Canyon. Hiking the hair raising 7.4 mile Rim Trail east from Canyon City to Hermit's Rest, for me, was the experience of a lifetime.
All those miles travelled and we have barely scratched the surface of what Arizona has to offer. Our want to see check list grows each year - the slot canyons, a Colorado River trip, and Monument Valley to name a few. But that is, God willing, for upcoming years. This was our year to smell the local roses.
Jim and I promised ourselves to remain active and that we have thus far accomplished. Lengthy early morning hikes in the desert and walks in beautiful Terravita and charming Old Scottsdale have allowed us to truly enjoy not just the desert vistas but the diverse floral and animal life that exist within. I have been able to indulge myself with my camera. The Sonoran Desert is truly at its most beautiful in April and we have had the time to savour every stunning moment.
Golf games on exquisite local golf courses, time spent with good friends, and much too much southwestern food and drink. I'll pay for that later. Grrrrr!
Fascinating museums relating the west's history, glorious Indian art galleries, shows and markets, even the famous (or should I say infamous) Cave Creek Town Dump...we've been busy....and locally!
With the exception of dinner in three restaurants without patio dining, every dinner and evening has been spent outside, enjoying blazing Arizona sunsets followed by starry desert skies, cooling desert breezes and NO BUGS. ( Did you hear that Ontario?) To say that we live outside is an understatement.
As I proofread my musings, I realize that my desire to relate how rewarding it is to stop and smell the roses has morphed into a love letter to Arizona. So be it!