Baldy Mountain which is about 10 miles from where I live is a real study for that. The peak is at about 7400 feet and the top 800 to 100 feet is all rock after it leaves a very nice forest. There are trees on the very top and they are all stunted and very small for their species.
There is a smooth and pleasant flow to many things in nature. I often like to take off on a deer or elk trail and then just drift (and that’s usually when I encounter wildlife too). I keep pieces of trail like that in the “sticky” part of my memory, where they are right next to the surface. Hiking on them is a compulsion I hope I never lose!
It would indeed, at a time when there was no wind. I know of a spot very much like that on another peak where just slightly below the ridge top the is a shallow depression where a tent of bedroll can lie just out of the wind.
It is pointing west toward the second piece of the Cataract roadless area, a very nice place to visit. The trail number is that of the Forest Service trail system. It was another old pack trail started around 1930. Now the animals use it hundreds if not thousands of times more than humans do. I have a deep love for deer trails and elk trails too by the way. Sheep trails, not so much.
Now that I live in western Montana where I started life and where home is still outside the city, returning from a trek is much easier. When I lived in Phoenix and had to travel hundreds of miles to get out into a wild forest, returning to the valley was a burden.
I’m sure that makes it easier…and given what I understand your station in life to be (retired?), it must be wonderful to have that time on your hands, to go when you wish…and essentially live out there. I don’t remember knowing that you had lived in Phoenix…was there for over 20 years myself…and didn’t make those hundreds-of-miles drives to go out into the wild. It’s such a pleasure to have the forests so close to me now…. I love the images of your home, Terry…wonderful that you can be there again.
Yes, despite the vow of poverty that seems to go with it, retirement in a place like this is about as close to heaven as I can imagine on earth.
I lived in Phoenix from about 1968 to 1993 except for a three year stay in Denver in the early 70’s. Lived in Phoenix itself for a couple years, then Tempe, then Chander and finally out in the east part of the valley in Queen Creek. Spent all available time above the rim north of Payson in summer and all over the desert in the winter. I still miss the desert very much.
I’m sure there is that adjustment-to-income issue that often comes with retirement…and it looks like it’s a worthwhile trade-off…in your Montana heaven.
It looks like our time in Phoenix overlapped for about four years…I was there from 1989 to 2010…lived in Glendale and Peoria the entire time. My wife and I always seemed to work opposite schedules and had a houseful of kids, to boot, so didn’t do much traveling or participate in outdoor pursuits…. I never did enjoy the heat, didn’t escape to the mountains. I know there is beauty there…but so prefer the landscape of our current home. I will be down in the Tucson/Phoenix area this coming week…and will be looking to capture some of the desert beauty with my camera…which wasn’t a hobby/habit when I lived there….