I’ve always felt the most connected to sparse, harsh landscapes - the high alpine, the far north – where life is fierce and tenacious, and the play of sunlight on the mountains is like a drug. The Sonoran Desert embodies all this, each cactus and thorn bush thrust up from the sandy ground like a proclamation.
Landscapes are not an extraneous thing, something apart from us - we’re part of them, human particles moving around in the larger organism. I lose myself in walking as the dust and air and scents become absorbed by my body, fill me, fulfill me, and for moments at a time I almost cease to be as a separate entity. I’m an ecosystem within an ecosystem, wilderness inside a wild landscape.
I know this much: I will definitely return to thru-hike the Arizona Trail which we’ve been crisscrossing on our day hikes these past few weeks.