My last minute trip brought me to the stunning American Southwest landscape. I went with Sebastian, my car:
We found ourselves on some pretty rough roads, but little Sebastian pulled through like a champ.
I started out on 93 towards Phoenix, with the plan of camping near Saguaro National Park for the first night but Saguaro came and went while Sebastian and I carried on. There's something very relaxing about being in a car, blazing far away from home. The Dragoon mountains ended up being our final destination, and there I camped. I spent the next morning exploring the antiquated wonders of Tombstone, AZ. It's a very friendly town with a tremendous amount of old-west history (including a live reenactment of the infamous shoot-out at the OK Corral). This town has been on my mind since middle school when I saw the eponymous movie starring Val Kilmer. It was an inspired choice at the last minute, but Friday mornings will forever compete with this for the number one spot.
From there I headed north to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum right outside Saguaro NP. It was great for getting to know the comparatively more lively Sonoran Desert. After that it was on to Saguaro National Park where I watched an amazing Southwest sunset, full of deep colors enhanced by the mountains' silhouettes. I walked along until darkness came, which was nature's way of telling me to get a move-on. Sebastian braved the rocky dirt roads of Ironwood Forest where I camped the second night.
Saturday morning was an early start with climbing Picacho Peak. After that my tired legs drove slowly east, then north towards Flagstaff. On the way I was lured in by some striking canyons to the east and drove in to find out more. It was Aravaipa Canyon that had caught my eye, and I can't wait to go back with Joe to do some real exploring. (And if you're ever in Tuscan, they're about an hour north and well worth the drive.)
After a quick stop along the crystal blue waters of Lake Roosevelt, it was a straight shot to Flagstaff, then west to Nevada. A whirl-wind weekend to be sure, but so needed and worth every stop along the way (including the one when I got pulled over for speeding).
Top L: Ecological anomaly-- Joshua Trees and Saguaros intermingling
Middle L: Picacho Peak
Bottom L: Mountain Lion at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Middle: Night time in the Sonoran
R: Sunset at Saguaro National Park
Bottom R: Gun show in Tombstone, AZ