Last weekend my husband and I attempted a day trip with the boys, heading up 2.5 hours into the mountains to get into the mountains and out of the heat. I had forgotten just how lush and rich northern Arizona is in the summer – maybe that is why the rest of the country gets so excited about summer! Here in the low desert we mostly just try to survive the summer…
The boys were excited when we first arrived to explore the trails, the sticks, the walls, the rocks, the sand, the grass, the flowers, and so on. For a while, we just hung out in the field while we waited for my husband to park the car and join us (the trailhead parking lot was full of everyone else trying to escape the Phoenix heat).
I don’t think they’d ever seen so many different types and textures of leaves in one place before! We got to feel the coarse ferns, the velvety mullein, the feathery grasses, and more. The boys hugged all the trees and marveled at the little green crabapples high above them. They sat down in the sandy trail and drew pictures, and made tracks behind them with big sticks. And I breathed in the pine scent and the clean air and reveled in the opportunity to be out of the city… I think I realized for the first time how emotionally oppressive a big city can be, despite all its benefits.
Our hike didn’t last long, unfortunately – the boys grew tired pretty quickly (the car ride up probably didn’t help, and we should have gotten started sooner), and Rondel fell in the creek and melted down because his dry clothes were back in the car. But while it lasted, it was great, and now I’ve learned a few tips to make the next time better! And there will definitely be a next time, because I need to get out of the city again, into the open clean air, to see and smell green growing things. I must admit, I’m a bit jealous of those of you who live with this kind of summer in your backyards 🙂