sonoran desert lovely

September 30, 2012

Box Canyon in the Mineral Mountains, Arizona. Photo © by Mike Plagens

Back in the heartland after toastygood
shenanigans with family in central Arizona.

As a freelancer, I am able to
write and correspond with editors remotely.
(BTW, picked up a local parenting or family magazine lately?
Chances are, I have an article or two in there.)
above: Mineral Mountains in central Arizona as viewed from south of Box Canyon

me and my brother in law (ex pro football player)

One of the highlights of this trip was a 10 mile
morning hike in Box Canyon with my dad and BIL.

We will not speak of the treacherous 13-mile drive into the canyon
in a filthy van whose owner may or may not be a hoarder.
We will not mention the remnants of happy meals from 1999 littering
said van's floor, faulty brakes, or how a waify blogger began to
scat (not swear) at some particularly frightening
Dukes of Hazard boulderiffic moments.

Seeing so many of these openings in the mountains
creeped me out initially. Then I began to
hope we would see something like this:

We did see a snake and lots of lizards.
Also: my hiking companion fibbed this would be
a 'flat' hike which it was not. I did some climbing
which is fun. Running down is not as fun.

My dad (the cutest pastoral counselor in the universe)
made a walking stick, and if the surroundings
were not biblical enough, this detail sealed it.

I loved the unique chartreuse colored moss
on the rocky some areas, the hue
was electric, very 80's friendly, proving that nature
is always in fashion.

We met these bikers (on Yamaha 250s) so
of course I had to mention I was a blogger
who would appreciate a photo.

Believe it or not, one of these guys
said he rides primarily for fitness!
Apparently the upper body workout
is intense on these dirt bikes...I had no idea.

My BIL wanted to reach these very remote 'coke ovens'
which were built in the 1800s as charcoal kilns
for the nearby mine. When the mine closed,
they were actually used for residences!
Alas, 10 miles was enough for this mama, so maybe next time
we will find them.

So you see, it isn't always
rose petals and champagne
here in hellolovely land...
and couldn't we use a sonoran desert
vegetation lesson about now?

I made this just for you.

Of course, we could.

Next stop? Move over, scorpions.
It's Paris, baby.

What did we learn today, class?

Peace to you right where you are.

You Might Also Like


  1. Michele - Very interesting and beautiful countryside. But, it makes me tired just looking at the pictures. LOL


  2. your dad is cute and in good shape! sounds exciting but i wouldn't like the snake bit.
    we drove through arizona a long time ago. so beautiful!

  3. I love these pics, I´d love to see it in real life one day! :-)

  4. Arizona, we used to go to Scottsdale once a year, a beautiful place minus the snakes and scorpions and spiders:) Your dad is so cute! And you are so skinny........geez another thing I need to add to my list:)

  5. I grew up in Arizona! I LOVE it! It made me home sick! Thanks for the pictures!

  6. love AZ ...reading some of your older posts I see you are going to Paris.. I'm just back from there... don't worry too much about what to take... just don't take too much... it is fall there and everyone wears a scarves so pack some comfortable basic items.. and throw in a scarf or two and enjoy... the trip over and back is pretty awful.. the plane seats are hard ... there is less leg room than ever and the flights are packed.. Paris is however worth it Bon voyage.. oh and the most comfortable shoes you own .. the way to see Paris is to walk

  7. i have the kindest readers in the world! thank you, anonymous. i'm gonna try to take the minimum so i have room to bring goodies back.


  8. You look great and what a fantastic place!
    Paris.. nice!

  9. OMG I used to walk that canyon when I lived in AZ. We've walked the same roads! You should have gone up to those caves who knows you might have found the Lost Dutchman's Gold mine (or a really ticked off mountain goat). I know it's supposed to be in the Superstition Mountains but nobody has ever found the gold and they don't really know where it's located so one of those caves is a good enough guess. Good for your Dad being able to do that hike with you, he's very handsome....;)


  10. WOW! This looks SO cool!!

    Big hug,

  11. WOW Michele!! Gorgeous scenery and great family photos. The desert has its own special unique beauty doesn't it? I've spent some time in Arizona and the Palm Desert area and found it breath-taking in some areas.. and yep, lots of snakes, etc..

    I'm sure you are getting excited about your Paris trip!!


  12. Uhhh... i learned that i don't want to go hike in the scary canyon. That rides in a hoarder's car over bumpy roads and treacherous terrain, makes Paris sound really really really good... and that you're one tough mama!


  13. oh cindy, you crack me up. i'm taking you with me next time.


  14. Michele love all the great images from Arizona. Your Dad's face is a very good face. I have a saying about people and if they have a kind, thoughtful face it is a good face to me. He definitely has a good face!!
    I can't wait to hear how much you love Paris!! Good advice from anon reader. Pack half of what you think you need, lots of black and layers, but most important, comfy shoes, you will walk your legs off, literally. I took 5 pairs of shoes, wound up wearing most comfy for walking and ballerinas for dinners.
    You are going to love it. It gets under your skin the very first day. We flew Air france and upgraded our seats, so worth it. Love flying Air France.
    Keep us posted.
    Au revoir!!

  15. What an amazing trip and gorgeous place for hiking and so special to be able to hike with your Dad...can't wait to hear about Paris!

  16. Michele-
    Thank you for sharing these images. They are just stunning, as the most beauty is found in nature. The charcoal kilns are amazing.
    Happy Tuesday.

  17. What beautiful scenery! Your dad has such kindness in his face :) xxx

  18. he is the kindest man you will ever meet!!! his entire life has been spent feeding minds and souls.


  19. Michele, what a great time with you hubby and Dad, except for maybe the van ride up there! Your Dad is a trooper! I cant believe he hiked 10 miles. He must be in great shape for his age.

  20. Michele, what beautiful country! Thanks for sharing all the natural splendor of box canyon! Love the pix of you and your Dad!!!

  21. M,

    This is amazing!!! I can see how much fun you were having through your smile...

    Have a great week, sweetie.


    Luciane at

  22. Wow, what an amazing trip you had, and such scenery!!
    Nice to see picture of you, lovely lady!

    Wishing you a wonderful day, Michele!

    Anette Willmine

  23. WOW......I'm all for hiking but geez......that was a true test of fitness! Hoarders van......Ha Ha.......just maybe you were describing my car :). Loved meeting your family....Hi Dad!

  24. What did I learn?
    That you make every
    landscape you insert
    yourself into that
    much more beautiful : )

    So wish I had your energy,

    Happy Wednesday,
    xo Suzanne

  25. Firstly, where have you been all my life? I loved your post over at Enchanted today and I feel as if you are my identical soul mate.
    off to browse past posts here....

  26. Enjoyed your post at Enchatned Home. It was a lot of fun. Love your ideas about life, and your style. Happy to find you!

  27. I love the pics. so jealous that I wasn't there with you guys.


Your comments add to the beauty...thanks in advance for your kindness.


Farmhouse Finds!