I have a tee- shirt that says
In the journey of life, the greatest destinations can only be reached on foot.
If that's the case, then I have hiked to some great destinations: the base of the Grand Canyon, a good chunk of the Appalachian Trail, some of the highest peaks in Montana and so on. But they are not the only Greatest Destinations. In truth, the greatest destination is the end of that last hike.
It seems in my life that I go long periods without walking, then remember the love and start hiking again. Dust off the boots, find the trusty TrekPod, use the daypack for something more than a bucket to haul stuff through airports with. If you don't hike and don't love doing the trek, then there is no way to explain the experience of having gone away from it and then returning. So it was last Saturday: after a almost a year, 4 miles... an easy walk... on the PIpeline Canyon Trail at Lake Pleasant. A glorious cool (for Arizona) day and I had, for the most part, the trail to myself. It was just so fine!
Down the first long incline, the park built a floating bridge for hikers. The water at some point must require a bridge but this day it sat on dry ground, the nearest water a good 25 yards down the dry creek bed.
The trail wove up and down the gentle sides of the "Canyon." A pleasant walk with just enough climbing to speed the heart up and stretch out the leg muscles.
Nothing at Lake Pleasant is far from the water. It was a breezy day and the sailing craft were out in force.
Unique to the desert: a skeleton. Everyone knows what a cactus looks like alive, this is what one looks like after it has died and all that is left is the skeleton.
A view from the trail, coming around a bend and looking out over the expanses towards the far mountains.
Lots of little white sailboats. Yes, the water does appear that blue, not a trick of the camera.
And a lone sentinel on top of another hill.