I recently spent 3 days in Tucson for the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild meeting and a fourth day all to myself to explore. I have a strong affinity to Arizona having gotten my BS degree at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff and then living in Tucson for another year. I have fond memories of hiking canyons; Walnut Canyon, Sycamore Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon and oh yes, that big one, the Grand Canyon. I do love the mountains of Colorado but I miss the canyons of Arizona. Canyons are inviting, they are more feminine in my mind than mountains. In a sense they are like entering the womb.
Our conference was at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. I was immediately happy and comfortable being in a canyon and outside my hotel window was a gorgeous view of the canyon, a waterfall and saguaro cactuses in bloom. The grounds of the resort had a paved sidewalk that wound around and to a waterfall. A nice walk to do between meetings, but I also had a few adventures away from the resort.
One afternoon I simply crossed the parking lot to hike the Ventana Canyon trail. The first part of this trail is fenced off from a housing development. I was between sessions and didn’t have much time so didn’t go very far up the trail. I did notice on the trail sign a nearby hike that looked worth doing. Finger Rock Canyon was in the same area of the Santa Catalina Mountains and a short drive so I headed there the next day. This trail started off flat as it entered the canyon. I had forgotten how sandy trails in Arizona were, like walking on a beach almost. Soon the trail got very steep as it rose on the canyon wall. Finger Rock was visible most of the way and views of Tucson were also visible. I didn’t quite make it to the ridge as I was worried about running out of water. I’d forgotten how much one has to drink in Arizona.
On Friday I had the whole day to myself and drove north to Catalina State Park. I enjoyed a short nature trail through ruins of a 1000 year old Hohokam village. I always love ruins and learning of the original people that inhabited the southwest. This trail offered beautiful vistas of the Sonoran Desert and Santa Catalina Mountains. I then drove further into the park to hike on Romero Canyon trail because the guide indicated some small pools not very far on the trail. I ended up accidentally getting off the trail and hiking into a dry stream bed through a canyon. I turned around when my water supply got low. It was still a beautiful hike and I loved being in the desert seeing the saguaros.
I then just drove to the west through Saguaro National Park. A beautiful drive through a very dense saguaro forest and many other types of cactus. On a short walk on one of the nature trails I was pleasantly surprised by the sounds of a guitar and walked past a man along the trail deep into his playing.
I love Arizona, but glad to be back in Colorado, my new home that I also love. I may seek out more canyons here to hike though. I got some good photos of Colorado Aromatics products in the Arizona Desert too and you can be assured that these skin care products not only work in the Colorado climate but also in the Arizona climate. Here is Springtide Gold, Oasis, and Knuckle Balm.