“ Summer is coming” -hiking an Arizona desert


Repost- This one holds the spot of number 4 in most popular posts of mine. I wrote this up after watching Game of Thrones one weekend, so I had Game of Thrones on the brain. Sometimes this will happen, the things we are dealing with or experiencing will show up in our art or what we talk about and write about and that is exactly what happened here. This is also when I realized that hiking post are some of my most viewed posts. It amazes me how every day there is always something different happening on every hike. The people you meet, the plants you see, and even the weather plays a part in the stories hiking adventures have to tell. I also like sharing these hikes with you all because I know there are some of you out there that may not be able to get out as much because of health reasons. I like to think that others are right by my side with the photos I take and the descriptions I try to share with you all. Walking these desert trails always makes me think of my hiking adventures with my dad, so it’s a wonderful thing to share with you all.


“Fear cuts deeper than swords”

Arya Stark


Just a little laugh there for all you Game of Thrones fans. The series is over but the real world around us isn’t. In my world right now we are all dealing with Summer prepping. Actually summer is already here but the really hot months haven’t hit Phoenix yet so we still have time to prep our house.


I could do a whole post on what it takes to survive a summer here in Phoenix Arizona, but that is boring. Who wants to hear about how hot everything gets. Everyone who is stuck here for the summer months already knows. We will be hearing about it for the next 4 months.

Everyday now, our local news will be reporting, several times a day, just how hot it is. The desert starts drying up pretty fast once the real heat hits us. All the flowers are gone and the little critters everywhere start looking for water. It’s a pretty sad situation. Please, if you want to visit our state, save it for the cooler months. If you decide to take advantage of our summer deals though (I love a bargain) then bring plenty of water with you wherever you go. Maybe I should do a safety post about the heat here.Right now that still sounds boring to me.


So instead, I will share this last hike with you all. Last hike as a post that is. My husband and I will try to stick with hiking here in the valley as long as it is comfortable, even getting up at 5 am to hit the desert but more then likely we will use the pool to get some sort of exercise and movement in.


If we are up north and we are exploring the cool pines and creeks up there I will try to share those outdoor adventures with you all. It is important to get out there and walk, garden, and work. The outdoors are just too beautiful to keep doors closed on them.


This hike I am sharing with you will be posted a little later then the actually hike. And it happens to include rain, a rarity here in the desert. My husband and I were a little surprised when a cloud opened up on us during this hike. I have posted about rain in the desert before and it is spectacular.


It was another gift, this rain in the desert. When everything is wet out there the colors shine so bright.


We were not expecting this little storm that opened up on us during this hike.


We both got soaking wet. I told my husband we look like a couple wet dogs and we still needed to pick up some food after our hike. We ended up shopping in wet clothes.


At one point during this hike a black beetle crawled out from one of the rocks I was leaning against. Can’t imagine what getting bitten by something like that would feel like…ouch.


Remember, there are lots of creepy crawlies out here in our desert. I love to watch them from a distance but believe me, it is no fun being bitten by any of them. I have been bitten a few times over my life with runs in with the creepy crawlies. Spiders are the worse because their poisons make you feel like the flu is coming on and the bite mark swells up like a giant ball…it is awful.


When I am in the moment, just like baking cookies, creating art or whatever project I decide to do, lets just say I tend to get too caught up in it. I get too focused and forget about my surroundings.Mostly flowers distract me but once and awhile something will crawl out and I will jump back with surprise.


Seeing that black beetle crawl out of nowhere reminded me of a incident that happened to us once while hiking out here. Several months back, my husband and I were approached by a fellow hiker, actually she was running in the desert so I should say Jogger

Or maybe she was just running from fear and I would rather believe she was a jogger and not terrified. I tend to stick with the glass is half full kind of mentality instead of half empty…so she she was a jogger…yeah that sounds much better.


She was out of breath and bent over waving her arms everywhere, trying to stop us as soon as we walked near her on the trail. She was frightened of something.

My husband and I stopped and waited for her to catch her breath. We were wondering if she was hurt or needed help in some way. My husband always carries extra water with him because some of the tourist get out here and forget to do this and they get turned around and lost.

The jogger finally started to catch her breath enough to speak. Wow, did she have a story to tell.

“ Don’t go over there, there is a GIANT lizard that just ran across here” she kept turning around between each word in her sentence checking I guess to see if that lizard was still around.



She continued with her warning “ I mean…I never seen anything that big” she turned around again to check, looking over at a cluster of cacti.


Then she said in barely a whisper so I had to bend down to hear her “Like a dragon”.

Maybe she was speaking to herself by that point. Was this poor girl in shock I wondered to myself.

My husband and I both slowly peaked over the joggers shoulder, nervously expecting a fire breathing dragon behind her somewhere. I turned toward my husband wondering if he was thinking the same thing as me, which was that someone has been watching a little too many Game of Thrones episodes.

I am sure my facial expression gave my thoughts away once my husband saw my expression. My daughter always says that I am terrible at hiding anything because of my facial expressions, which crack everyone up. My face always gives my true feelings away. That is probably why I can’t lie, just can’t pull them off.

Was there really a giant lizard behind her. I think for a second there, my husband and I were both wondering the same thing and a bit frightened as well. For a second that is, at least in my case.

This girl was truly terrified. But when she whispered that it was like a dragon, I perked up.

“Dragons, no way, we have dragons here, where?, show me, I want to see this” I started to step around her now, no longer afraid. Checking to see if I had my camera with me and realizing I left it at home that morning…darn it.

All I could think at that moment was how many years I had been hiking and not once did I ever see a dragon. When I started to walk towards the area she was telling us to stay away from she looked even more terrified. With eyes as big as saucers she took off again.Looking back as she ran off in the opposite direction I thought to myself how I have never seen anyone run backwards before. This was a day of first for me, Dragons and backwards runners.


We watched as she ran to other hikers off in the distance. We could see her waving her arms around, pointing to us now and looking back every now and then. You know, that poor girl was still out of breath. Let me tell you all something else, those joggers are fast.

My husband and I continued on with our hike and then the cutest little lizard ran across the trail in front of me. I started laughing and my husband turned around to see what was so funny.

I must have laughed pretty loud because my husband has some hearing problems unless you speak to him directly. It’s something I noticed with my daughter too. I blame earplugs turned up too loud. Anyway, I had the biggest giggle fit ever and in between each giggle I tried to get my words out.

“ The cutest little lizard just ran across the trail, do you think that was the dragon that poor girl was talking about?” giggling away I turned around to see if the jogger was still behind us warning everyone about Dragons in the area.

Hmmm…I couldn’t see her anymore and the couple she was talking to were also not around. I have to give it to her, she was pretty convincing with that dragon story of hers. Probably scared a whole desert of hikers away.


I started to feel a little guilty about laughing about it.


“ Hey, you think that was the first time that jogger back there saw a lizard?”  I said to my husband still looking for her off in the distance. I still couldn’t find her, man those joggers are really fast aren’t they?.

My husband always shakes his head and laughs whenever I ask him a question he can’t possibly answer. Well actually, he can answer in a way and it’s always the same answer.

“I don’t know” he said looking for her along with me now.

Then whispering mostly to myself I said “What planet is she from anyway, to have never seen a lizard”.

Sometimes my imagination goes wild. Maybe we have visitors from another planet we bump into and maybe that jogger was one of them. Just another reason to always be nice, just in case, don’t want any hostile take overs from other planets.

Maybe on her planet they don’t have cute little lizards. And lets just say she was from another planet and decided to spend a weekend streaming the whole series of Game of Thrones. And maybe there was no one around to tell her that none of that is real, it’s all pretend and make believe.

There are no giant fire breathing dragons around, no Jon Snows. No Daenery’s mother of dragon queens…nope, all pretend.

Okay you guys, you know I am kidding…right? Just having fun with you.

My husband and I never saw any dragons the rest of the way. But a few weeks later in that same area guess what we saw, sunning on a boulder like it didn’t have a care in the world? Yep…a baby dragon.


I jumped up and pointed to it as soon as I saw it, waving my arms all around, trying to get my husbands attention.


“Now that is a Giant lizard” I said to him while smiling.This was the first time that I can remember ever seeing one of these out in the wild. It was a special moment for me. And I just happen to have my camera with me that time.


I don’t have a zoom lens so this was as close as I could get without it taking off and running away. Lizards are fast.


In the photo below that is a huge boulder that lizard is on and the tree next to it is pretty big too. There were two of these lizards sunbathing close to each other. The second one crawled behind a boulder when I got too close to it.


And to think I was laughing about that poor girl being terrified of a little lizard. You see, this is why we should never laugh behind others backs. We have never walked, or hiked in this case, in their shoes.That terrified jogger was right all along. There are dragons out here. Only babies of course.


Hope you all enjoyed this hiking adventure. Have a wonderful summer where ever you are and watch out for those dragons. Summer is here everyone.

aaa lizzie.JPG

“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. You may miss out on a good story.”


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