ArizonaOur encampment beside Sycamore Wash was one of our favorites. We listened to water surge down a once dry (for 10 years) river bed and were enamored by the beauty. The grass was sprouting and the cactus were alive. The sycamore trees were host to the most vibrant of greens and the entire scenery was verdant with ferocity.

I adventured off to into the canyon to sight-see when I came across a lady resting in the shade. I stopped to chat and she had told me of her mission.

She was hiking into the canyon and removing rocks of amazing structure. Each only a few pounds but composed of the many colours of Quartz, Jasper, Sandstone, and even some semi-precious stones. She found this place unique for her rock collecting. I offered to walk with her on her next trip in and carry out a load of her choice specimens.

We entertained small banter when I noticed her belt of weaponry. She told me of the dangers of rattlesnakes, coyotes, gila monsters, and even a creature we had plenty of imagination for, the javelina. I was happy to explore this canyon with someone so knowledgeable and fortified from animal attack.

Although I saw none of these creatures during our time there I was most impressed with the Giant Saguaro. Droves of these human-like plants dot the hillsides as far as one can see. Standing erect and without motion they are resilient to the wind. I found them especially creepy and completely interesting. One of my goals in life was to travel to Arizona and see these plants.

About Clint Valentine

Clint is currently enrolled in two undergraduate degrees in Biology & Environmental Science at Northeastern University. He enjoys pursuits of endurance and distance which have included summiting many peaks in New England during winter alpine ascents, sailing the Atlantic in a vintage gaff-rigged schooner, rock climbing in five states including Oregon, and cycling 5,000 miles across North America. He has goals of pushing the envelope of his limits and combining his many outdoors interests into one big trip. He has a passion for photography and hopes to one day produce a documentary for a round-the-world tour.
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