More Secret Pools of the Catalinas

May 24, 2009

Eight years of living in Tucson and hiking in the Catalina Mountains, and I still don't know all their secrets! Yesterday we bushwhacked just a half-hour from one of our favorite trails and discovered a set of deep amber pools created by a tumble of giant banded gneiss boulders.

It was Memorial Day weekend, and although we were close to heavily used trails, we had this outdoor spa to ourselves. The pools had been replenished by several days of heavy rain in what is normally the driest time of the year.

With humidity plus temperatures in the mid-90s, the first part of the hike was uncomfortably warm. But after the first bone-chilling dip, we acclimated to summer hiking and achieved that trance-like state that comes with hiking in excessive heat.

We swam in five different pools on our way out of the canyon, and were cheered to note that some of our favorites are not only back, but longer and deeper than they were before the flood of 2006!

That's the problem with living in the desert. Nothing to do in the summer but hang out at the mall or a movie theater with good air conditioning ...."