Sunday, December 26, 2010


Suzanne and I headed out to the McDowell Mountains the other day. We'd never been out there before so we just picked a random loop trail on the map and off we went. It was a perfect hike for us. Before we ended our little adventure out there though, I found I was getting ticked at a few discrepancies I noticed. Scottsdale isn't terribly far away. This mountain preserve is only about 30 minutes from our house. You can easily see the McDowell Mountains from the Phoenix Mountains, and vice versa. So I'm not talking about a land far, far away. This is just the next mountain range over. Yet . . . somehow the good people of Scottsdale are being provided certain amenities above and beyond what the people of Phoenix get.
First of all, the view of the valley was better than any view I've ever seen hiking around Phoenix. (Ok, Scottsdale doesn't actually "provide" a better view, it's just that it had rained all night and there was no smog anywhere in the valley that morning. It's rare to see clear across the valley with no smog in sight.)
There is a doggie water fountain. (We didn't actually have dogs with us, but if we did . . . they could totally enjoy the water fountain.)
The trails have crisp clean edges, smooth, level . . . practically paved!
If you should get lost or hurt, there is an emergency marker to guide you and find your place on the map.
The buildings are architectually pleasing. There are 3D topographical maps of the mountain ranges. There is plenty of parking. Even the trash cans are styled and designed.
But this is what REALLY bugs me. The bathrooms have mirrors. There is soap at the sinks. And there are doors on the bathroom stalls. DOORS !!!!
Why would this seem unusual?? Because down the street at the Phoenix Mountain Park where I hike, this is what the bathrooms look like:No doors. (And yes, that is a padlock on the toilet paper.)
The trail markers have a sort of arrow shape painted on the posts. Many of them are faded beyond recognition.
And these are the fancy Phoenix trash cans you see around the park. Don't they just blend in? (and there's a mangy cactus under the picnic table)
BUT . . . all was redeemed the next day. Up on a mountain, just after sunrise, looking toward Camelback Mountain in PHOENIX. . . . was this stunning view:

Breathtaking, I tell you!
(Scottsdale has nothing on us after all!)

1 comment:

Suzanne Barker said...

Great post, Cynthia! And yes it bugged me too!