A Climb Up the Mountain (in Pictures)

Living in the desert in the summer can be a form of sensory deprivation. The sky becomes so pale it’s almost white, the brightness of the sun is unrelenting and all the colors are muted. Nothing has scent in the desert until it gets wet and our blessed summer monsoon season hasn’t yet begun.

Tucson is in a valley surrounded on all sides by mountains and in less than an hour, you can be in a pine forest 30 degrees cooler than the desert floor. On Saturday, we took a drive to up to Mt. Lemmon, a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

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It doesn’t look like much of a mountain from here. You would never know from this view that there’s a pine forest up there.

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The road is twisty but it’s an amazing view if you don’t get car sick.

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As you make the climb, the landscape starts to change from desert scrub…

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to pine forest! And if you do tend to get carsick, you can always let your 5-year-old take the pictures.

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The Catalina Highway is so steep that bicyclists use it to train. Better them than me.

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Before you know it, you’re in the forest listening to the sound of the wind through the trees and remembering what green smells like. It’s an easy place to find God.

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There’s lots to do in the forest…

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So much to explore…

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My daughter got some sap on her hand and freaked out because she didn’t know what it was! We need to get out of the desert more often.

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Then, we drove up the mountain a little further to explore the little town of Summerhaven, which was decimated by a forest fire 11 years ago. You can see how long it takes a mountain to recover.

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We went straight to the Cookie Cabin where a family of 4 can split one cookie (as long as two of them are under the age of 6).

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See, they have small mouths.

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And I couldn’t forget to take a selfie to remind myself what I look like when I’m refreshed, rejuvenated and satisfied.

26 Comments on “A Climb Up the Mountain (in Pictures)

  1. I went to check out your profile to see who is following my blog… and I see you’re living in Tucson! Made me feel nostalgic! I lived there for around 7 years, then moved to Santa Fe and now in Poplar Bluff. Gets hot here too but with the humidity it pushes on me just as much as the hot summer days did in Tucson! Peace!

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  2. Reminds me when our kids were little and we lived in the outback, isolated, really hot, dry with scrubs and spindly trees, no forest, but really happy times when kids were young full of hope and life.

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  3. Your two remind me of ours when they were little. Close in age and always together. We had some great trips with them out west. Even went to the Grand Canyon driving from South Florida. You really should go. It’s beautiful πŸ˜‰

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    • It’s definitely a trip I’d love to take! I have great memories of cool trips that my dad took me on as a kid. When I think of the Grand Canyon I think of the Brady Bunch episode where Bobby and Cindy get lost. πŸ˜‰

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  4. Oh, I just love this! This is a great example of sober fun! Woot woot! The picutes are amazing, and you and your family are all beautiful! I love the one with the kids under the fallen tree! Cool hideout. 😁

    I am trying to remember to take selfies too, because I am always behind the camera, but I want to remember these moments too!

    Thanks for sharing Karen! Hugs.

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    • Thanks Maggie! I know what you mean about never being in any of the pictures! I’m trying to get better at recording that I was there too. This day trip reminded me of all my drunken camping trips in the past. I can’t believe some of the stuff we did!

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  5. Love the interesting narrative intertwined with photos of your lovely family (plus selfie!). Sounds like a magical day trip, a great reminder to get out and explore the different worlds so close by.

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    • Thanks Kristen! I didn’t realize how much I needed a day trip until I could smell the pines. And the cookie was practically worth the drive by itself!

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  6. great post.
    I took a big southwest trek 2 septembers ago, by car and saw all those beautiful pine forests up in Flagstaff and heading into Sedona. So gorgeous.
    You all ooh like you’re having a ball! And a lovely dad’s day.

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    • I love Sedona but have never made it to Flagstaff. I’ve lived in Arizona my whole life and have never seen the Grand Canyon! I think that’ll be a good trip with the kids. πŸ™‚

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      • Flagstaff is great. I had the thought in my head that it would be a nice place to live until I realized how much snow it can get…ugh!
        And the Grand Canyon was on my list for the trip, but in New Mexico I saw a very lodge gorge and couldn’t get within 100 ft. of it, so i figured I’ll just look at pics of the grandCanyon and ended up going back to sedona for a few days.
        Also, Thelma and louise….right?

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  7. Looks like a wonderful day with your family! You look so completely relaxed. It’s amazing what a little fun can do for us!

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  8. The look on your face and those of your family just says it all. Ahhhhhh……And now, you have me feeling that way, too.
    Thank you for this wonderful mountain trek (I’m a photo geek) and for ‘sharing’ that chocolate chip cookie with us. What a great way to start a Monday!
    xo

    (PS: thanks for your kind words on Chad’s post this morning…I know he was a little nervous to be posting in a new community.)

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    • I kind of wish I had more of that cookie this morning. It would go great with coffee! I really enjoyed Chad’s post. Your blog always makes me want to see our beautiful country!

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