Skin Problems

I have one last story from our wedding/elopement (that always seems like a fake word to me) to share with you and then I will return to current events in tomorrow’s post.

On the day after our “wedding,” we decided to go to Taliesin West–the Frank Lloyd Wright school of architecture that was out in the middle of nowhere the first time I visited  in the early ‘90s.  As of 6 years ago, it was on the outskirts of Scottsdale.  Now, it may be in the middle of downtown.

I like Frank Lloyd Wright buildings when it comes to interesting places to visit.  However, I wouldn’t want to live in one.  For one thing, he apparently sized everything to make himself look taller.  I am tall.  I don’t feel the need to be made to look taller and I don’t really appreciate being forced to duck through doorways just because the man had a complex.  It is a great tour, however.

Only about 5 miles away, McDowell Mountain promised a nice hike in the afternoon, so we took the long route back to the resort and made a stop at McDowell.

Mountains in Phoenix are like miniature versions of the mountains of the Pacific Northwest minus all the foliage and, of course, snow.  Without the trees and snow caps, they resemble acne.  The desert is suddenly, almost rudely, interrupted by a big old brown bump that looks like some sort of underlying infection caused it to swell above the surface of the landscape.  I mean this in the most loving of ways.

While the sudden appearance of these bumps on the landscape might be somewhat odd, one of the great advantages of these isolated, suburban mountains is they afford amazing views across otherwise flat land.

How could we resist making the short drive to one of these pimples to check it out?  Unfortunately, we didn’t really pack hiking clothes.  We had many layers and waterproof jackets/pants for the Grand Canyon tour, but waterproof clothes are really hot.  While it wasn’t scorching hot in Phoenix in December, it wasn’t “wrap yourself in plastic and hike up a mountain” cold.  Having just come from Taliesin West, we were wearing our “good” clothes.  We looked the paved, gently graded trail and decided we would be just fine.

For once, we were right.  Although the climb got a little steep, we managed to make it to the top without sweating through our shirts too badly.

And the views were completely worth it.  It was at that moment I realized why so many people move to Phoenix.  That little pimple makes for quite an overlook!