Desert Beauty

September 28, 2011

Growing up in the south and living most of my life in the deciduous forests of east coast, I find the desert of Tucson, Arizona absolutely fascinating.  The Sonora desert feels almost Jurassic Park like in its flora and fauna with two hundred year old saguaro cactus, mesquite trees, and enormous succulents blanketing the mountains and canyons.  Not to mention the road runners, javelinas, bob cats and coyote roaming the ranch. It is such a special place for me and such a departure from my everyday.

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Hiking Ventana Canyon at sunrise

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Am spending a few days with my mom and my sister at Canyon Ranch in Arizona.  Thank you, thank you, thank you mom for this amazing treat.  Just what this “beginning to really feel pregnant” lady needs.  I’ve got a ton of cool travel and a crazy work schedule coming up so stay tuned.  Hope you are having a great week.

Barrel cactus flower

Desert Rose

October 4, 2010

It seems my September, October and November are chock-full of travel and adventure, which of course I love and thrive.  I am writing this from Boulder, Colorado, but more on that later, because I still have my Canyon Ranch, Tuscon, AZ experience to share.

Growing up in the Southeast and living most of my life on the east coast, the landscape and animals of Tuscon, AZ seem like a different planet.  With an almost lush desert landscape, wild animals unlike any on the east coast and mountains jutting up to 9000 ft, it was as if I could feel the age of the land where dinosaurs once walked.  The Canyon Ranch resort itself is one of life’s great indulgences.  Hiking everyday, yoga classes galore, beautiful scenery, blissful treatments and the best food I have ever tasted. (That is good for you too!)  If only I could live like this everyday.

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Ventana Canyon

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Hiking up

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Looking down

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Mount Lemon

At 9,157 feet Mount Lemon takes you from the cactus rich desert of Tuscon to an evergreen forest with ferns, pine trees and wild flowers.  The change in terrain is like driving from Mexico to Canada in an hour.  We did a lovely cool hike up there one day, literally in the clouds.

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They said on a clear day, you can see over the planes to New Mexico, but our cloud covered day made for some beautifully, spooky silhouettes of trees lost in a fire about 7 years ago.

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Full Moon Hike

Some long exposure, night shots from a full moon hike.

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Desert Flowers

Who knew the desert was so lush and fruitful.  Prickly Pear cactus yield these bright red fruits.

Blooming from the top of a cactus, these fiery flowers would open in the heat of the day and close up each night.

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I truly felt worlds ways from my east coast life and came back feeling rested and renewed like no other vacation.  It was wonderful.

Back at the ranch

September 23, 2010

This lucky duck is spending 5 days at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ with her mom, her sister and sister-in-law.

It is like another planet here.  The mountains and terrain, not to mention the amazing plant and animal life.  Oh and all the spa pampering on top of that.  I am  one spoiled little girl.  So many photos to share upon my return, but for now :

Oh, and a full moon hike tonight!  I can’t wait.

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