Our visit to the American Southwest filled our hearts with wonderful family memories, breathtaking views, and long, quiet hikes in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. Walking through the harsh, dry, prickly desert terrain under the blazing sun often calls for a brief retreat… an ‘oasis’ in the desert.
1. a fertile spot in the desert where water is found
2. something serving as a refuge, relief, or pleasant change from what is usual
3. a place of calm, happiness, or peace
Fortunately, having visited this beautiful part of America many times, we know just where to find our oasis! Those who live nearby have also made this wonderful discovery. We see them trailering boats and jet skis, walking with fishing gear, and even carrying huge inner tubes. There is nothing more refreshing than finding an oasis in the desert!
We often enjoy a picnic breakfast or lunch along the shores of Saguaro Lake on a day of hiking in the Tonto National Forest.
Hiking along the trails surrounding Saguaro Lake is always a delight! It’s a rare treat to find Saguaro cacti, desert wildflowers, Palos Verde trees, and Mesquite trees growing near water. Water birds, desert creatures, boaters, hikers, and fishermen all enjoy a visit to this unique oasis.
Hiking along the Butcher Jones Trail, on the shores of Saguaro Lake, is a lovely retreat from the harsh desert. At an elevation of 1, 500 feet, the trail begins with a slow incline and with time, becomes steeper and very rocky. We enjoy hiking the easier parts of the trail, stopping often to admire the view.
The Salt River winds through the Tonto National Forest creating a quiet, serene oasis for desert wildlife and visitors to the area. The lower Salt River forms a natural boundary between the Tonto National Forest and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. During long periods without rain, the river flows slowly, meandering through the desert. However, from April through October each year, a nearby dam is opened releasing rushing water into the Salt River for tubing. This popular activity draws large crowds for a wet, wild, desert adventure!
Now we are back home again in the Midwest, enjoying a busy holiday season. The weeks between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day are always filled with so many fun holiday preparations. During these busy days, it’s so nice to find a little ‘oasis’ of quiet and calm.
I just love to visit the Conservatory in a nearby park. Just a few peaceful moments enjoying the flowers and lush greenery fills me with the same happy feelings that I find in my cottage perennial and herb gardens all summer long.
Visiting this little ‘oasis’ always fills my soul with happiness in a most glorious, peaceful way! It’s so important to find or create a little ‘oasis’ of our own during these busy days ~ a pretty place for a brisk walk, a candlelit place with my favorite music, a quiet place to journal about the ‘small moments’ of each day, reading in a rocking chair near the Christmas tree, or creative time in my paper crafting studio always fills my heart with calmness.
Just a few minutes in an ‘oasis’ really makes a difference during this busy, most wonderful time of year. I’m going to try extra hard to spend a little time in an ‘oasis’ every day! Hoping you will find your own ‘oases’ this season, sweet friends!
Warmest wishes & Christmas cheer!
P.S. What place or activity feels like an ‘oasis’ in your day? Hope you will share…