Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hiking Tumamoc

Last night, J and I rode our bikes to Tumamoc Hill and hiked up it. I love this little urban hike - about 800 feet of climbing up a paved road that cuts through pristine desert. The hill is owned by the University of Arizona, and has been a desert research site since 1906. The hike is short but steep, with gorgeous views of the city from the top.

The view from the top of Tumamoc Hill, with Sentinel Peak
("A" Mountain) in the foreground and rain over the Rincons.

Hundreds of people hike the hill every night, making it far from a wilderness experience. Almost the opposite - the hill is an urban gathering place where people come together to do something good for their bodies and souls. Strangers of all shapes and sizes share the experience of the climb - the steep curves, the skinny deer nibbling at a creosote bush, the continuous drama of a monsoon evening - lightning pricking the Rincon Mountains to the east, the sun igniting the Tucson Mountains to the west. On the hill, we are in the great middle of it, and we see our city for what it is - an unlikely settlement nestled in a horseshoe of mountains: gritty, sprawled, and beautiful.  

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