|Sunset in The Superstition Mountains|
(Click on any photo to enlarge it for better viewing.)
Plank pose. Downward dog. Three beach towels provide an almost adequate replacement for my yoga mat, although my feet slip on the towels. I'm grateful for the heat pressing into my back. The pool awaits for when I finish my yoga.
Our first full day in the desert. Pat and Bill have gone off to Scottsdale to visit friends. We have the house to ourselves. Quiet surrounds us. Close by, songbirds perch atop saguaro cactus and hide in cholla, startling us with beautiful melodies that are foreign to our city dwellers' ears. They sound happy to pass the day in the desert. And why not?
Closer still, wind chimes the size of small organ pipes hum bass notes that hint of timelessness. I think of monks at prayer.
|Past Its Prime, With Mid-Day Moon|
|Last Days of Winter|
|Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The photo that separated Carol and me.|
|Cactus Flower, Arboretum|
Saturday Morning, Temperature Seventy-Six and Rising Mary Jo, our house/dog sitter, texts us daily with an update. Rowdie and the house are doing well. This morning she reports a coating of white outside and icy sidewalks.
Other Times, Other Thoughts The massive, dramatic and stark Superstitions loom over the desert in the moonlight. Coyotes howl.
Strike It Rich Drive, Strong Box Lane, Desert Dawn Drive, Louis L'amour Lane, Gold Canyon Way, Mountain Vista Road, Apache Way, Pony Rider Lane, Tomahawk Trail. Talk about a sense of place.
Carol and I walk each morning after breakfast, as far as she can handle, which is a little farther each day. The air temperature is still in the 70's, but the sun's heat is fierce. The dial is turned to high.
I don't think I've ever been to a movie theater with twenty-five screens. Twenty-five! The Harkin Superstition Springs 25 is my first. Every staff person is not only unfailingly polite but also engages us in brief conversation - the ticket seller, the ticket taker, the concession worker who sold me my popcorn. At the end of the movie as we exit the theater, a young man with a large trash barrel and a broom waits at the door for the theater to empty. "Thank you for attending," he says. "I hope you enjoyed the movie."
We see "The Lady in the Van." Carol and I always end our movie discussions with the question, would you recommend it? Carol: to someone who just loves movies or is a Maggie Smith fan. Marc: to any one who likes a good story well-told.
|Past Its Prime, Sunset|
Other times, when the cat isn't asleep on a favorite chair, she sits patiently by the side of the sliding screen door, waiting for one of us to drop our guard as we enter or exit. The call of the wild is strong.
Each evening as the sun sets, we walk the perimeter track of the golf course, which lies just beyond a small patch of desert outside our patio. Each night we walk, until Carol gets tired, toward King's Ranch Road, a few hundred yards away and a small fraction of the perimeter. Last night we set out in the opposite direction and kept walking until we had circled the perimeter. A small victory on the road to recovery.
I've laughed out loud a lot this week. Something to savor.
|Ocotillo Under A Full Moon|
|On Our Evening Walk|
Our Last Day in the Desert Carol and I are up early for a drive to Tortilla Flat (not the Tortilla Flat that John Steinbeck wrote about, which later became a motion picture). We stop early for a mini-hike in Lost Dutchman State Park, on the other side of the Superstitions.
|The Superstitions in Lost Dutchman State Park|
|The Superstitions in the Morning, Lost Dutchman S.P.|
Tortilla Flat can't be much different than it was when it was founded in 1889. In short, not much there. It's a turn-around point for us. Beyond Tortilla Flat the road narrows, becomes gravel and, according to an article in the March 12 Star Tribune, Arizona's Wildest Ride.
We are back at Pat and Bill's, after a stop at the Apache Junction Library to print our boarding passes, in time to loll away our remaining hours by the pool.
|Little Church in the Desert|
|Bill and Pat Proulx, Good Friends, Crafty Card Players|