Friday, April 23, 2010

Last morning in the Sonoran desert

The last morning on my green patio chair, listening to and watching the birds fly in and out of their spots in the saguaros. We've been staying in little casitas here at the White Stallion Ranch, with a broad boulevard of cactus in the garden outside the door.

Yesterday we took a long desert horseback ride, back to a destination of Rattlesnake beer and Cheetos. (I like Cheetos, but don't like Doritos: Queen Anne is addictive.)

Russell, the owner, was out on the trail with the beer coolers, ready to visit and tell stories about years on the ranch: how cool was that? This place is family-owned, by smart people who are right there at dinner, on the desert outposts, in the saddle, even teaching guests how to throw a rope. They seem to take great care in keeping the place real and the service personable: a fantastic spot for a vacation or something like Dialogue.

There have been quite a few people from England and Germany here, their flights disrupted by the Icelandic volcano. "It could be worse!" they say, over common meals on the patio and in the dining hall.

The staff here will get you up on a horse pretty quickly, too. It's true that on a horse you see the wide and shallow view, the panoramic view (as a horse does, sort of, but not really), whereas when walking you have to be so much more focused on your feet, narrow and deep.

Crisp and cool today...and then comes my plane ride, the aerial view. Kind of hard to say goodbye to the desert and the wonderful people I've met. Like summer camp for adults. (I like summer camp, but I don't like leaving – that's the feeling, even in April.)

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