I harbor a soft spot for desertscapes since I spent time in Albuquerque 8 years ago. The climate. The vistas. It’s different from deciduous Mayberry.
This year we took a family trip to Scottsdale, Arizona. It was the first time I visited the state. Plus, it allowed me the opportunity to book a tour to the nearby Grand Canyon. Bucket list!
I could share the day we traveled to the ancient rock layers, sheered off and split to incomprehensible depth by the mighty Colorado River. I could share about the incredible experience of standing near the rim. Wind whistled in my ears as ravens cawed while early evening light against sediment formations created shadow play. I could share about how I want to return and hike down to the powerful river. But that’s expected. You have to be really numb to be indifferent at the Grand Canyon.
I’ll take you instead to another water spot in Arizona. In the desert around Phoenix there’s not much water besides the Salt River unless you catch a fleeting rainstorm wash. Stockton and I hiked a bit in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, taking in enchanting saguaro, tall spiny sentries of the sand. It’s dry. When you soak up lots of sun in an arid atmosphere, you crave water. Thankfully, the resort we stayed at provided it plentifully.
Man develops many outrageous things like resorts in deserts, but no feats are as great as the lazy river. It cools on the hottest day. It soothes away worries. It’s manufactured magic. It drew me in.
At the pool, I hopped over the hot stones cooked by the midday sun and saw stacks of different colored inner tubes. I grabbed one, entered the water, and pushed my torso and legs thru the center of the tube. Fully reclined didnt feel great to my oil-reinforced eyes. I slouched and the gentle current led me away. Swimmers bobbed ahead of me and a few would follow. Stockton enjoyed splashing me. My father in law steered himself under a waterfall and laughed.
The first loop was fun, the second ride’s sun exposure encouraged me to seek the shaded spots, pushing off from bowed concrete edge to edge. Sigh. To float is to relax. Before the third loop, we disembarked to use a water slide, why not. Whee. Splash.
On my last travel on the lazy river, I caught myself getting antsy. The Arizona time would end soon and I’d go back to work. I yielded to the present. I slipped into the great state of oblivion and coasted for a few more minutes. It’s no magnificent Grand Canyon experience, but the slow flow of a lazy river gives your senses temporary relief. Take what you can get.
When’s the last time you took a blissful break into oblivion? Tell me about it.