As I mentioned before, Ethan and I have no luck when we decide to go hiking. I guess that is what makes our hiking trips most memorable.
For my BIO 109 course, Natural History of the Southwest, I learned to identify specific bird species by how they look and by their song and call. I wanted to test out my skills at the Saguaro National Park and also conduct a study that I was working on at the time.
Ethan and I made our way to the visitor center and got a map, looked around in the gift shop and headed out to a nearby trail. We had to drive there, except, our car was not set out for this type of drive. We feared for our poor tires as we made our way through the dirt roads filled with rocks. The bumpy ride was frightening as we realized that one of our tires could pop and neither of us knew how to change a tire. We didn’t think this through. We finally found an area to park and thanked God for our tires still being alive. We left the car quickly in excitement that I forgot my binoculars. As we were walking, I realized I forgot the binoculars. So Ethan and I had to go back to the car, laugh it off, and make our way back into the trail.
I’ve lived in the Sonoran Desert all my life, but I have never seen so many towering saguaros and I was fascinated by the desert wildlife so abundant.
Ethan and I had forgotten something else. We forgot to check the weather. It was pretty breezy and somewhat chilly. I don’t know why we didn’t think about checking out weather conditions.
We were wondering, “Where the heck are all the birds?!” We saw one. We kept walking along and made it up to a hill which overlooked the park. Amazingly, Ethan and I were bewildered by the majestic beautify of the desert. The wind was cool and gentle against my skin and Ethan’s warm embrace completed this amazing moment. We were both flabbergasted at the different shades of green. The saguaros went on for miles. The stillness of the desert was serene. A little bits of color was visible with the few wildflowers starting to blossom. Ethan and I just sat in silence basking in the beauty of nature. I was surprised that even he was impressed. We probably seemed like tourists staring out there. This was ultimate peaceful moment.
Ethan and I decided to sit there and eat our McDonald’s that I stuck in my purse. Hey, we were hungry and only had 5 dollars. We sat there and we realized, “where is that mountain that was just there?” The clouds were moving in quickly and it has completely covered that whole mountain. The dark clouds looked threatening and seemed like they were going to start pouring on us soon. We decided to rush back to the car and power-walked the rest of the trail. I was walking so fast, I tripped on a rock and slid across the ground on my knees tearing my leggings. Only one knee got cut and the blood was running down my leg. Great, we forgot napkins. Ethan was so worried. I tore a piece of paper from my notebook, cleaned the blood, got back up, and made it back to the car. We rushed to the visitor center and got some disinfectant wipes and a few Band-Aids. I might have startled a few tourists. The cut looked really bad with all the blood, but it wasn’t so bad at all, until they had to clean it. That burned bad. I got back up, we made it back and beat that storm. Once we got on Speedway, boy was it pouring down.
I didn’t get to identify any birds or conduct any time on my study. But we had the greatest time ever.