Sunday 29 March 2020

Another memory from twenty years ago on the Arizona Trail

On this day in 2000 I walked through the splendid White Canyon Wilderness on the Arizona Trail. Again much of the route was cross country following cairns. The views were tremendous and this was one of the most impressive sections of the walk. In the evening I wrote in my journal "fine desert canyon and mountain scenery all day". The seemingly dead dry sticks of the tall ocotillo shrub had burst into life and were covered with tiny emerald green leaves and topped by nodding red flowers. The hedgehog cactii had bloomed too with bright purple flowers. Vultures soared overhead, quail scuttled over the ground and flew low and fast over the rocks. Bright lizards raced for safety. A squirrel watched from a bush, a snake slid away. The air was full of the sound of crickets chirping. It was a magical place to be.

That night I slept out under a brilliant starry sky in  a desert garden of paloverde, sagebrush, ocotillo, century plants, prickly pear, barrell cactii and tall saguaro cactii. A desert in name but full of life. An owl called in the darkness. Dawn came with bird song and a woodpecker drumming.


  1. I recognise the rock in your picture. White Canyon Wilderness was perhaps my favourite section of the entire AZT. I saw a Gila Monster not far from where your picture was taken and the desert was in bloom. It was awesome!

    Fortunately we can still enjoy thinking about our past adventures while self-isolating in our homes! :)

  2. Yes, reliving past trips is wonderful. I wish I'd seen a Gila Monster!