Saturday, October 25, 2008

I went riding!

Big deal, right? Actually, yes. The very fact that I not only went riding, but am sitting here writing about it is huge. Did you happen to notice that seven month gap in my blog from Sept 2007 to April 2008? Last year I had one full time job, two part time jobs, the odd gig and student and a summer job. That doesn't count all the practicing that happens when you're "off duty." Plus I took a number of auditions (aka job interviews, the preparation for which totally consumes you and your life for weeks or even months at a time.) On a good day, I found time to brush both my teeth AND hair. On bad days.... In this case correlation DID equal causation. Riding (or anything else "optional," although I think of riding as mandatory) wasn't really in the picture. Well, a few things have changed, at least for this year, and I can not exaggerate how pleased I am to not be working every waking minute! Funny, I FORGOT all the things I used to like to do. A few weeks ago, it dawned on me: "Hey, I used to do yoga. I could DO that again!" Or, upon contemplating a ride, my instantaneous response to myself was "no time." (See, not even enough time to form a complete sentence.) But wait, I DO have time! So ride I did, down to Madera Canyon one afternoon earlier this month. I didn't really eat anything remarkable as I recall (I think I had a sunflower seed roll with Alouette cheese, plus the half eaten gasoline scented granola bar tucked away in my tank bag), but the very fact that I got out is blog-worthy, in my opinion. Just a little ride, with a walk along a short trail, but wow! It took me a good two weeks between riding and blogging, but still, what a quality of life improvement! I hope I can manage the same for next year...

Madera Canyon is at the base of the Santa Rita Mountains, south of Tucson. It's one of our "sky islands." We've got a number of these small mountainous regions poking up from our desert floor, and they really are remarkable. The climate, flora and fauna atop these islands couldn't be more different than the Sonoran Desert. There are things like pine trees and snow up there! Each sky island is unique, since they are isolated from each other by the desert surrounding them. This was clearly demonstrated to me by the deer I saw that day. I have never seen a deer in the Catalina Mountains, north of town (including Mt. Lemmon.) I saw at least half a dozen on the 1 mile stretch of road in Madera Canyon.

Here are a few more pictures from my day.

The Santa Ritas

One of the cute little B&B's

There were fuzzy caterpillars everywhere!

Edit: I woke up this morning to this article in the paper about Madera Canyon.

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