Last day of vacation before the long haul home. Bodies sore and stiff--not just from all of the activity, but from sleeping, resting, being, in places that are not home.
We unwound the climb of Mount Lemmon slowly, deliberately. Enjoyed the unfolding views of saguaros until they faded, then the appearance of ever thickening stands of trees. A diverse mountain this is, reared up into the sky.
Pavement blended into dirt, and the dirt got steep. In past years I've given (at minimum) a college try of cleaning 'the scar' on the Bugs Springs trail. This day I leaned heaving over my handlebars, feet shakily on the ground, looking straight the eff up the trail and wondering what the hell ever possessed me to care enough about it to dig that deep.
At the top we stopped and snacked, dozed lazily in the sun, giggled at the novelty of being comfy on January 1st at better than 6000' in the short sleeves we wore.
The multi-tiered descent from there is noteworthy for many reasons. Go there, do it, see why--don't just take my word for it.
Near the bottom of Milagrosa we passed a misguided shuttle monkey pushing his DH pig up the trail. Impressed by his output but confused by his trail choice, we asked what he was up to. Keeping in mind that this was New Year's Day, his response, "I'm just trying to get this hangover off of me"...
And on up he staggered.
We sessioned a few of the chunky bits that initially caught us out, finding them easy and smooth once we could see the line(s).
Arriving back at the bottom we loaded up without ceremony, spritzed goop from faces, then settled in for the long drive home.
On that drive we had time to talk--the kind of unhurried, be-present time that you take when you're wrung out from stacked days of play, yet not rushing to get to _____.
As the desert receded and the mountains came into focus, we agreed that we love to visit Arizona. Love the mild weather, the chunky trails, the funky people. And that we would likely hate to live there. Not enough seasonal variety. Not enough vegetal variety. Poor air quality, and too damn many people.
Just our underinformed and heavily biased opinions, of course. But we were giddy to be getting back to the mountains, the snow, the cold.
Home, in a word.