It's crazy to find such beauty in the nucleus of urban sprawl, right off the highway in central Phoenix. The nice thing about these Mtns is that they form their own mini-valley within the larger metropolitan Valley that is completely isolated and peaceful.
It's a vast open bowl in the center of the peaks. This means you can run around without having to stick to any trail because the geography is so distinct you never loose your bearings. You may, however, find yourself on the very steep incline of a very flakey and seemingly avalanche-prone rock face. This is not-so-scarey when you have new shoes!
We saw tons of baby cacti out there disguised as rock. For example, the sneaky hedgehog cactus to the left was poised deceivingly in a rock hole. This is a tempting place to put your hand when the earth is slipping out from underneath your feet in a rock-slide.
The Falls was so good. Joyce Carol Oates is one of my favorite writers. Her words are so graceful, the story is complex and smart and emotional. It's like reading ballet, it moves swiftly and seems effortless though underneath it's intricately choreographed and supported by well-trained muscles.
Time and Erosion are two continuous themes in the book that I think about. Like the water in Niagara Falls, today I was a droplet of water on the earth eroding and evolving alongside civilization and religion. We came across this adobe pueblo. It was so beautiful in it's simplicity. One room, square windows, one door and a fireplace.
It felt very lonely. It was covered in graffiti, trying to breathe right in the smog zone above the city with broken bottles glittering off the trail. It was built right into a hill so it got shade during parts of the day. I wondered if it might have had a thatched roof originally as there were no signs of roof supports.
One thing I really love about living out West is that the sky is huge. You can see miles and miles away just by gaining a little bit in elevation. I wonder how the landscape here has changed over time. I wonder what the mountains, the people and the animals once looked like here, even 100 or 200 years ago not to mention 1,000 or 100,000 years ago.