I follow the dirt road just past Lost Dutchman State park to the trailhead. No sense in paying an entrance free when a little extra effort and distance can connect one to the trail system for free. It’s forty degrees in the desert this morning as I look at the Superstition mountains in front of me. The heavy, foreboding, and uneasy feeling of heading into sacred territory swirls around my aura as I venture towards the area known as Massacre Grounds.
I feel the pain of this lands Native ancestors and the loss of life from this country’s past sins. I would like to think that perhaps the corona virus is Nature’s way of leveling the playing field, except that once again, Native populations are being adversely affected by Covid. Injustice continues to prevail it seems.
Of course, nothing about the virus was known as I was hiking along on this winter’s day. I was letting the spirits of the ancient’s guide me through the mountains to see if any waterfalls remain from earlier rains.
Silently I move along, mile after mile, slowly climbing in elevation. It seems that I have just missed the waterfalls, but what I do experience is the calm of watching the sun slowly light up the endless desert valley before me. Saguaro cacti glow as morning light touches their prickly skin, birds of prey circle for a meal below.
Some say the desert is a barren place, seemingly empty and ugly. It is all about perspective and perception though, as with most things in this life.