After having a few too many glasses of bubbly-ness on New Year’s Eve, we did the only logical thing we could think to do – hike in the desert. I only had 2 nights in Tucson on this trip so I wanted to see the mountainside up close as soon as I could. After powering through some soul-healing scrambled eggs, we went off to attempt the 5-mile mile Seven Falls trail in Sabino Canyon. You’d think that the blazing sun and 65-degree air would be surprising to me in January, but we came into this after experiencing a 72-degree Christmas Eve in NYC. The climate in today’s world has basically become a grab bag of randomness.
Since we got a late start (blame the $5 glasses of wine…a shock to my city-girl brain), we chose to forgo the shuttle to the trail head and walk the extra 2 miles on flat ground. After getting hopelessly lost 3 separate times and having a child-like tantrum in the middle of an empty desert road, we caught shuttle halfway up and completed about ¾ of the hike before the heat became too piercing. It’s difficult to compare the intensity of desert sun to anything else, and there’s really not much that prepares you for its draining effect. Or maybe, hiking in zero-humidity with cactai all around you is a less-than-intelligent decision after imbibing copious amounts of wine until 1am with your mother. At least nobody can call us lazy.
It’s usually about the second day of being on the road when I start to relax. It comes in spurts of increasing frequency, as I release my brain of the ten-thousand-and-seven things I try to keep track of on any given day. I feel like a different human being whenever I am road-bound, and that part of myself feels more genuine than anything else. It’s very cathartic to come out here and let the anxious parts of me dissolve into the sand.
We drove home with perfect views of the sunset over the Catalina Mountains in the distance, a light show that glittered the sweeping peaks with purple and pink. That night we picked a local Mexican restaurant called El Charro Cafe, which boasted unusually large plates of cheese-smothered goodness, but the slow service and hyped image left us feeling that the place was a bit overrated. With the remnants of my hangover and poor choice of daytime activity, I couldn’t even manage to finish half of my portion. This probably should have been a salad-centered evening aimed at replenishing my nutrient-starved body, but alas, the sangria calls. I slept like a log.