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. 


  1. great article Kristen, I also love the desert, and your description of it was great. I thought you might not be crazy about how hot it is there in summer, but it sounds like it hasn't been that hot. I posted a video from NBC nightly news, of a flash flood near Tucson, I guess that happens often. Be glad you aren't in Phoenix, they had a huge dust storm there today.Glad you're enjoying it there! regards, from Bill

  2. Kristen,
    We lived in the desert before moving to Fraser. I absolutely loved it. Of course we had a swamp cooler to keep cool at night. I love the smell of the plants in the desert when they're being baked by the heat. I love the birds who live there. But I also missed living around trees, so I guess I'm glad I had the experience of living in the desert, but am happy my life has taken me to other climates, too.
    The best signs in the desert are for "low water crossings" Ha Ha...why they aren't called "high water - don't cross unless you plan on losing your vehicle and your life" is a real mystery. Do not ever think you can make it across a flash flood crossing the road, no matter how shallow you think it is. It will wash you and your car away. Seriously...it happened to me (I was a passenger) in a ranger's vehicle in Big Bend Nat'l park - very memorable, and it resulted in a five mile slog on foot through the rain to get back to the highway, where we hitched a ride to the nearest ranger station (another 20 miles).
    Luckily, I never experienced a dust storm...let me know how you like it!
    Lizards are a riot, aren't they? Snakes can be quite frightening...be aware!
    Enjoy your new life in the desert and best of health and luck during your next ironman event.
    Susan Stone

  3. living in any desert really challenging. You can't find water which is the most important ingredients to l live on. There the hot water in the day and very cool in the night feel yo difficult to adjust. No food and just Hot weather may bring you to the death.