Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Part 3--The Mountains Cage Us In

If El Tiradito offered T and I an opportunity to pay our respects to and show our appreciation for life, our next adventure emphasized how completely insignificant we all are in the grand scheme of things.

Ho, boy. I know what you're thinking. If you're a writer, you're hanging your head in shame because I relied so heavily on a cliche. If you're anyone else, you might be rolling your eyes. Understandable. That is, until you have seen the views of Tucson from "A" Mountain, named for the giant "A" the University of Arizona maintains on what is more formally known as Sentinel Peak.

The top of this overlook provides 360-degree views of the greater Tucson area. From that height, Tucson looks pretty ugly--discolored whites on grey on tan. It looks industrial, it looks like a picture of poor America. And there's a reason: Tucson is largely made up of people who fall below the federal poverty line. But it's the mountains beyond Tucson that really emphasize that there is something more beyond this town; that things look like they suck from the city floor, but from another perspective, beauty surrounds us in the mountains, these amazing, mind-boggling wonders that have existed since before all the money troubles, fights with friends and family, and the daily stress.

Its difficult to write passionately about a pile of rock and it's probably difficult to read about such piles of rock, but these mountains are spectacular. It is in these mountains where I have accomplished physical feats, like last year's 16-mile round-trip hike in Sabino Canyon. I have used these mountains as a personal retreat and they have shown me the beauty that surrounds me. They have given me a respect for nature, a respect for myself.

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