Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What John Wesley Powell Felt Like?

I cannot imagine walking real estate not previously traversed by norte americano humano sapiano, but to feel, to really feel what it would be like to do so seems exciting. My imagination leapt outside it's weedy and rusty playground and fired me up Monday morning.

Anna and I went for a hike in the Tortolito mountains. The trails, recently opened, cross through a minor mountain range north of Tucson. The range, lower in elevation and a little distant from the more popular Catalinas, is probably overlooked by locals and visitors. But thanks to Marriott, the modern day bank-roller for studs like John Powell, we could ride the coattails of the rich right into some high desert that was more virgin than I'd ever seen. Because his kingdom built a Ritz-Carlton right at the foot of the mountains and supplied funds for trail--really good trail--building.

The range also houses a perennial stream, a stream that runs ALL YEAR LONG. You're more likely to get eaten by a shark than jump over a perennial stream out here in the desert.

In the mountains, wildlife is there. The plant variety is enormous-- not to mention the quantity--and the trash is none. With 65 degree weather, a slight breeze as a companion, and no clouds, we forged through the Aspen Loop trail. The area was home to ranging Hohokam Indians from 500 AD through 1300 AD. I would've stooped in search of arrowheads but I didn't want to hold up Anna. My goal in life is to get Anna to like arrowheads. The last time I mentioned them she said she didn't need any bottled water :)

So, we hiked. And my imagination was going. And I felt like I would want to be a modern-day Powell, laying out new maps for a growing and blessed nation. I just don't think I could do it with one arm...

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