Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 10: But It's A Dry Heat...

After tearing down camp, it was time to repeat the marathon drive of six days ago, this time heading east back to Arizona. Immediately after leaving the relatively mild temperatures of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, we drove through Anza-Borrego Desert State Wilderness, which holds the record for highest temperature ever recorded in the U.S. That wasn't hard to believe, with the temperature knocking on the door of 110° before the clock struck 10AM. The region is also a contender for most boring park in the country, with mile after endless mile of dirt and shrubs. Continuing east, we passed by the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. Having had our fill of so-called "scenic desert wilderness," we decided not to make that stop. Besides, I already saw a U2 album cover's worth of Joshua trees back in California. The marathon drive continued through Phoenix; not to be outdone by Anza-Borrego, Phoenix posted an impressive (if not oppressive) 119° temperature on the car's thermometer. The 7.5 hour journey finally ended at the target destination of Sedona, with my clothes and the driver's seat both soaked in sweat after I drove with the windows down for a substantial leg of the trip. There was enough daylight left for a quick four-mile hike on Marg's Draw Trail, which happened to be conveniently located directly behind the hotel. It was a flat and easy trail, but the views were still impressive. After, I lost about four pounds of dirt in the shower, sending a trail of days-old, multi-colored dust and grit down the drain. Fortunately, tomorrow calls for much less driving and much more hiking, so I can start to re-accumulate all that dirt.


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