The Between Place---someplace and no place; here and there; then and now--- I wanted a walk that did not tax my mind or my body. I wanted the desert and the southern maricopas fit the bill.
Early a bit of a nip in the air, soon the sun came and all was lit with the early morning glow. Cholla glow, saguaro glow, the creases in the hills in shadows.
Nothing is great and glorious here. It is the same regime as the Table Top wilderness to the south. I have read disparaging comments in the register for the Table Top trail about the lack of spectacular scenery. This area suits me fine. The rocks sparkle, and there are places that seem untouched for many years. The closed Jeep roads make good trails now, and you can make all sorts of loops as you like, the low passes allowing access to bowls full of saguaros, and the rolling bajadas are laced with surprising gullies and washes with a character all their own.
Started up a closed Jeep road, leaving that to cross a low rise with wonderful compressed dark rock, then the wide open cross country. The vegetation light and easily dodged, except for the occasional persistent cholla ball. A mine, of probably 60's vintage, awaited. Pottery shards, considerably older, were revealed upon the walk. The return was decided upon, a large wash, with flowers still blooming here and there, lots of butterflies and singing birds. We saw no surface water but it's indication was there.
The wash closed down and we left it to cross over to another pass, and marveled at the small alcoves in the washes we crossed, some would provide at least some shade from the sun. Wonderful to hike in shorts and tank top in December, and let the sun warm and tan our skins.
Distance is deceiving. It seems we should be close to the car. Feet are sore from walking in the sand. On we go, and time flows. We tag the Jeep road again, following it's straight arrow line. The Jeep awaits alone, we have a picnic and sit with our shoes off. The light is lowering, and I drive out, switching to 4 wheel drive when I bog down in some sand. It seems forever since I have felt the desert touch, and now I have my fix, and anxiously await what winter will bring.