On The Trail Of The Lonesome Cactus

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This Midwestern boy can’t help but goggle at the desert plants and scenery — and of course the cactus plants are the most alien to the Midwest, and therefore the most interesting.

For most of my hike up North Mountain the sky was overcast. I appreciated that more and more as I huffed and puffed up the trail, and wondered what it would be like to do so with the sun beating down relentlessly. As I descended with the aid of gravity and passed this solitary cactus sentinel, however, a patch of blue sky appeared on the western horizon.

On Top Of North Mountain

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One of the trails near our hotel leads you to the top of North Mountain — which must be tall,, because at the very peak you will find a cellular tower.

All around is the vastness of Phoenix, which stretches out into infinity until its contours are lost in a kind of smudgy haze. North Mountain is a welcome respite from the urban and suburban sprawl.