Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I live in the Sonoran Desert

There is a 9,000 foot mountain right outside my window. There is not a puddle of water anywhere.

Sonoran Desert - sounds exotic.

Monsoon -  sounds exotic, too. They happen throughout July and August. Flash floods, lightening, thunder.

I thought I was moving to the dry heat of the desert. No one told me that it was going to rain every afternoon and the humidity would be over 70 percent.

I’m actually really liking it; not that I'm shocked about liking it. Okay, I love the desert.

Driving south into New Mexico and into Arizona I would see the green signs that there was a river. I would look down to the ground from the bridge on the highway – there was no water.
On googlemaps there is a river that flows through north Tucson. There is no water in that water bed. I think it is actually a “wash” – a new term for me. When the monsoons come, the wash fills with water for a few hours or a day. Then it is gone.

I am amazed at the green and the flowering cacti and trees and flowers. The  landscape is beautiful. After the rain there is a sweet smell in the air. There is always a wonderful smell in the air after a rain, but it’s different here in the desert. Different from the mountains of Colorado, and different from the east coast.

I am amazed at “different”.

Since I arrived here in July, I missed the dry, heat of May and June. The people I talk to about the weather and landscape comment how they couldn’t wait for the monsoons and moisture.
There are so many birds I hear outside my apartment, and a ginormous, Sonoran toad jumped past Daisy on a walk. There are rabbits and humming birds. Bob cats sightings are numerous; and I want to see it all.

Now that I’m on week 2 of living in Tucson and the Oro Valley, I am really just liking everything: landscape, people, paved bike lanes, master swim classes, rain, animals, and just learning about something I know nothing about.

Yesterday I was able to turn off the A/C and open the windows and enjoy a cool, 80 degree breeze. 

Tonight, the A/C is on.

I’m looking forward to all the changes of all the season in the desert.

As far as July goes, I love the lizards and the rain, and the sunset – ah the sunsets. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Living in Tucson and the Oro Valley

I'm here in Tucson. On day 5 I finally get to the library to get a library card. It's one of the first things I do when I move to a new town: get a library card. 

Here is the path from my apartment to the library.

Here is the Oro Valley's government offices.

I have much more of an appreciation of town government after being a community newspaper reporter.

On the way to the library is the Oro Valley Police Department.

Here is the Oro Valley Public Library.

And a sculpture with a view of the Tucson mountains behind it.

The library. Great books are here.

Cacti on the walk to the library.

I now live where today, Outside Magazine named Tucson the #1 bike town in the US. That's one of the reasons I'm here.
Click to view the article:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

3 Lessons from a dog, Abbey Dog

3 life lessons’s my 11-year-old dog Abbey has taught me this month:

1)    Sometimes you have to ask for help: help up on the bed and in the car; and back down again.

2)    Walk slow and stop to smell everything, and look around a lot.

3)    Sometimes pain and anti-inflammatory pills are okay, and they make you feel better.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Changes after changes, we are more or less the same

Today I was able to change all my plans and move them to adjust to the move to Tucson.

I had to change a flight in August, cancel a reservation for a hotel in July, change Tribike transport, and the biggie: change the Full Distance Triathlon to November.

It’s all arranged now.

During all this change and rearranging, there are moments of terror and depression, and moments of life affirming happiness.

There are some people who go through life creating as little change as possible and are happy with their lives. 

I’ve never been like that. 

Whenever my life gets some semblance of steady, comfort, I throw it into chaos. It’s not on purpose, believe me. But sometimes change is needed and when it happens, it is exciting and alternatively frightening. At the end of the day, I want to have a fabulous, amazing life, and I’m not going to do it standing still, comfortable, stagnant.

Wednesday I went on my last (for a while) bike ride into Rocky Mountain National Park with my friend George. It was a great ride because 1) the weather was perfect, meaning no wind 2) I was with my friend George who was my first biking partner in Grand County 3) there wasn’t much traffic because we started early and 4) I knew I had to bike 6 hours and I came very close to it.

(Taking a break in Grand Lake behind me is Shadow Mountain Lake and Mount Baldy)

I feel fortunate to live in a beautiful place and have great friends. I am going to find this again, in Tucson, I hope. 

Now that my full distance triathlon is moved to November, I can just concentrate on Timberman 70.3 in August, get situated in Tucson, and find running/biking/triathlon partners. It is sad to leave this place, but it’s not forever. I have my condo here and like I’ve said before, “stranger things have happened” and with my crazy, unpredictable, amazing life, who knows what tomorrow will bring. 

I wouldn’t want it any other way.