Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An Ode to Thunderbird Conservation Park

I discovered Thunderbird Park about a year ago, when some folks from the city of Glendale drove me out to give me a tour of the area. We piled into a pickup truck and drove all around the mountains, as they told me about the city's dedication to preserving the desert environment and how they were planting new saguaro cactuses to line the road into the park.
I was out there to do a video story for the Arizona Republic's web site, but I knew I would be back. It's one of those place in the Valley that is just down the block from an endless line of strip malls, and yet it's easy to imagine that you're actually in the middle of nowhere.
A year later, it's my go-to hike. If I want to hike after work, I'm short on time or I'm just not up to the adventure of finding a new trail, I head to Thunderbird.
See, I'm a creature of habit. While I enjoy trying new things and seeing new places, I also just like what I like. I eat at the same Greek place for lunch all the time (and they know my order). I shop at the same Target because I know where everything is. I want to take yet another cruise to Mexico and am not even considering cruises that go to other locales.
Why mess with a good thing?
And so for each new hike I try, I hike Thunderbird at least once, as well. I can't neglect it.
Let me take you on a tour to show you why I'm so loyal.

You see flowers like these:

And hike up trails like this:

And take in views like this:

And catch sunsets like this:

See what I mean?

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