A maple highlights the fall color along the West Fork of Oak Creek.
My wife and I have always enjoyed an autumn trip to close out the summer season. For us it has marked the end of the prime hiking season and ushered in the colder, wetter weather of late fall and winter. Typically we have gone to the eastern Sierra Nevada for these trips but this year we decided to get a little more ambitious and head down to Arizona. Our kids are old enough to really appreciate the different environment and we always want to expose them to new parts of the world and different ways of life. This seemed like a perfect time to head down to the desert, which the kids have had very little exposure to.
It was a grand trip, hitting Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, various destinations around Flagstaff, Sedona and the Sonoran Desert before heading over to Los Angeles for a quick taste of Southern California (to our kids, “southern California” has always meant San Francisco, or possibly Carmel. Little did they understand there is a lot of California further south from there!). Everything was met with a new wave of awe or enthusiasm, as they explored one new, spectacular landscape after another. In the end, the surprise stand out for them was the Sonoran Desert, which we experienced with a great campsite at Lost Dutchman State Park in the Superstition Mountains. The requests are already in for a return to the desert next year. We shall see…
For myself, it was great to get back to the southwest. California will always be my home by the southwest will always claim a significant part of my heart. I feel refreshed from our time there and ready to take on winter. Bring on the weather!