This Week’s Hike: Molino Basin


I’ve been doing a lot of Thinking this week. My depression has returned with a vengeance and brought with it a huge heaping of guilt. I should be happy, dammit – I have a beautiful wife, I get to spend all day doing whatever I want, I’m healthy, our dreams are being realized, this is exactly what I want… isn’t it?

But it’s not. It may be someone else’s dream, but the insecurity of not knowing if/when we’re going to move, if/when I should get a job, not making a dime of income, the liminal state we’re both floating in is more stressful than I’ve been giving it credit for. I have an agent and no desk job – but my dream included a part time job. I’m trying to make up for that as best I can with online work, but to be honest, it’s not the same.

All that’s to say that I’m trying to accept that this point in our lives is, in fact, stressful. And I’m also trying to accept it for what it can give us. Instead of focusing on my inability to contribute financially, I’m trying to look at all the things I can do. And I’m trying to Realize that we’ve only got so many weeks left to take advantage of this amazing place we live in.

We won’t know about France for another month. That’s four weeks of not being able to plan, not being able to have anything solid, of drifting – but it is still four weeks of life. And my new goal is simply to accept that. And take advantage.

Hence my new weekly goal: going for a hike somewhere new around the Sonoran Desert each week. And not just that, but bringing my camera along.

I really enjoy taking pictures, but aside from Day in the Life type things over on LiveJournal, I just… haven’t been. So this is a three-fold goal of getting out of the house, exploring new places, and practicing my photography skillz.

This week I ended up at Molino Basin and a portion of the Arizona Trail. My goal isn’t to hike these to completion, but to hike until I’m halfway through my water and turn around. So I won’t usually make it more than a few hours. Still – it was a gorgeous hike.

Photos below!

The initial, very easy portion of the trail right after crossing the road.


After a few minutes, the trail crosses the creek and begins to climb. If you look closely, you can see waterbugs zipping about in the creek. I may have paused to watch them for a minute.

Prickly pear cactus.

The flowers from an agave. They were everywhere – it must be the second spring.

If you look real close, you can see the creek way down below as well as a cute little meadow. There has to be some way to get to that meadow.

My hiking footwear of choice is still Vibrams. I love the way I can grip and feel rocks and they’re super lightweight and dry out quick if I get them wet. I can’t wear proper hiking boots after our Hadrian’s Wall trip – my ankles just say no.

Lots of grasses – I’m high enough up to be in a scrubland, but still get the occasional cactus.

I also hike in a skirt. 🙂

Again, if you look reeeaal close, you can probably see the deer that stopped to stare at me. I stared back.

I reach the top of the ridge/mountain and discover… a gate?? I honestly have no idea what this is doing here, but I go through.

And: omg. The other side. This. This is why I love hiking in the desert. On a clear day you can just see forever.

I go down a bit, then realize my water is half gone and decide to head back up. Only then do I notice how steep my descent had been.

View from the top of the ridge, looking back the way I’d come. Not a cloud in sight. Good thing I put on a lot of sunscreen.

The leafcutter ants are particularly active on my way back. They’re large but pretty harmless, provided you’re not a plant.

Back at the bottom of the basin, more and more cacti and their blooms.

That’s it for this week!



Filed under depression, goals, happy things

11 responses to “This Week’s Hike: Molino Basin

  1. I couldn’t see the deer, but my wife could. I’m not good at spotting deer, lol.

    You might want to make a chart of what would be the best action given the two scenarios (going to France, and not going), and then the cost of picking the wrong one and having the opposite happen. And then follow the plan of action that has the least cost if the plans are for naught.

    • Hah! That’s fair – they blend in very well here and I only had a 50mm lens, so no zoom. I should bring my 105mm sometime.
      I kind of already did that, but my depression is stubborn. I should probably write it out somewhere so I can go back to it when things get tough again. ❤

  2. Yay photos! I really love when you bring your camera along, for scenic hikes or the everyday. You have a good eye.

  3. It’s so beautiful there! I think exploring the area and just letting yourself enjoy how unique and amazing the land is is perfect. Odds are you wont be there much longer, you should take it in while you can!

  4. Beautiful photos! Around here, the gates are to keep cattle who are free range grazing in one zone. Not sure if they use those fields for that, or maybe once did?

    • It could have been left over, but it just seemed so well maintained. It’s national forest land and as far as I know, there haven’t been cattle in the area for decades. But yeah, did totally look like a cattle gate.

  5. Benni

    Great photos! Hiking in a skirt seems like it would be pretty awesome for temperature control and comfort. 😀

  6. Pingback: This Week’s Hike: Arizona Trail, Molino Basin Part 2 | Speck of Awesome

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