Canyon Ranch

April 12th

View up Sabino Canyon I had signed up to go to Sabino Canyon for a hike this morning. So many people signed up that I wasn't sure I would be able to go. I was around number 13 or so on the list and they only take 8. I got lucky and a lot of people changed their minds and didn't want to go. The others that signed up and didn't make the cut off were put on another hike. I had to be there at 7:00 am for the hike and I wanted to eat before I left. I figured I would wake up with no problem and indeed my body was still on Boston time and I woke up at 4:30. I stayed in bed to 5:30 resting, but then decided just to get up. They have a continental breakfast at 6:00 that I went to. The granola was wonderful.

At about 6:45 I was over at the hiking office. I asked them if I could bring my own backpack they said as long as it carries enough water it is ok. Their backpacks have two, quart water containers and a breakfast inside. The breakfast was a hard-boiled egg, string cheese, granola, blueberry cobbler, pretzels and some oj. I looted my pack for a few snacks. I took the string cheese and the pretzels. I worry about the low salt diet they feed you here and all the sweating you do. I have a tendency to get cramps in my left calf and it aggravates my ITB in that knee. I brought a little Gatorade for the hike so I wouldn't have problems. I was happy that at least for the hikes they allowed us some salt.

Looking down on Tucson

We all loaded into a van that took us to the bottom of the canyon. In the canyon valley there is a road that is off limits to vehicles, but there is a tram that takes people up and down. We were hiking along the ridge above the river and road and would meet the tram at the top. This was the perfect hike for me. Mostly uphill so I didn't have to worry and baby my knee, but still with some elevation gain so I could get a good work out. The hike all told was about 6 miles with1000ft of elevation gain.

The trail was beautiful with all the flowers in bloom. There were lupines, poppies, penstemons, mallow, phlox and a whole lot of others that I'm just not sure of. The cacti were lovely too. The hedgehog cacti were just starting to bloom. And just a few of the prickly pear, but the flowers were all still closed, since it was early in the morning. Most of the time we hiked in the shadow of the canyon wall, occasionally breaking out into the sun. It was very cold in the morning and I brought my fleece jacket with me in the van but decided to leave it in the car. I wore my desert cloths. Long nylon pants and a sun shirt with ventilation, but it all totally covers my body so the cold breezes of the early morning didn't make me too cold. Then when it heated up the sun was kept off. I spent a good portion of the hike taking photos. It takes a while to get the photo just right. At the start I hiked between the first group and the group behind. Everyone hiked at their own pace and I had to find a large enough break so I wasn't constantly passing people then having them pass me. The path was too narrow to make it easy to pass. Later after a break I dropped father back to a larger break in the pack. It was very nice. I would stop and take photos then walk fast to catch up to the person in front, then I would take photos for a while and get behind. Before the next couple would catch up I would take off quickly down the path again. It was like doing intervals on the trial. There were so many lovely plants to photograph. And the hillside was just littered with saguaros. Hopefully I got a good one. But one photo I tried I just kept taking it just a little different each time, but never could get a good composition with it. The digital camera is nice since you can see what photos are working and what is not. And you can tell if something is grossly out of focus.

An old tree

The front of our group made it down the to tram just as it got there. But we still had to wait for everyone to make it. By the time everyone was down off the ridge the tram had left. They come every half-hour so we decided to walk down to the next stop. We stopped at number 7 and stretched and waited.

I usually keep up with my journals, not getting too far behind, but this trip I just can't seem to find the time to write. So most of the following is done from memory and if you know me my memory is pretty bad.

I came back and ate at the chuckwagon by the pool and ended up sitting with someone I met during the hike. Our table was soon filled with other women to chat with. It seems like a nice place to take a vacation by yourself. Not many vacations are like that. There is always someone to chat with and the rest of your time is taken up by classes.

I took four classes this afternoon. The first was a nutrition class, most of the things I knew about but now they think the cause and effect of fat and insulin resistance is the opposite of what it was. Now it is the fat created by the insulin resistance. Before they though diabetes was caused by it.

Prickly pear blooms

The second was Yoga Basics. It has been a long time since I have done any yoga but I still liked it. The third class was Wet Workout in the pool. I ran over there changed and put on some suntan lotion but it didn't have enough time to dry. Luckily I was only in the sun for about 50 minutes.

The fourth class was stretch and relaxation. I loved this class. We stretched for a little over 30 minutes then relaxed for about 10. The stretches were wonderful.

We had dinner at 6:30 and I had the seabass. It was quite good. The best however was the lemon chiffon in raspberry sauce. Yum Yum.

The last thing on the schedule for today was a salt scrub. I relaxed in the hot tubs at the spa for about 10 minutes, not nearly enough. This would be a good time to talk about the spa. All the massages and treatments (with a few exceptions) are by the spa. The woman's locker room has attendants that hand you fresh orange juice as you go by and they have everything you could need there. Even a cool down room and the attendant will give you ear plugs if you need them. They have combs, lotions, emery boards. Well, just about anything you would want. I love the showers there. I like them better than the ones at our hacienda. You go to the shower in your robe, which they provide along with some sandals. Then by each shower they have a large pile of fluffy white towels that I just love. Each shower has shower gel, shampoo and conditioner. If you want you can get razors and shaving cream. Right by the showers is the lemonade table. Lots of ice and water and lemonade if you start to get thirsty or hot. And you can get hot since the hot tubs are right there, plus the steam rooms and sauna. They have two hot tubs of varying temperatures and a cold dip that is just under 50 degrees.

Anyway after taking a hot tub and washing off I went for my 8:00 pm salt scrub. It lasted about 50 minutes. She scrubbed me with salt then with a luffa and an herbal lotion. Then I showered it all off and she rubbed in moisturizing lotion. I felt so smooth after the treatment. When I get back, I fell asleep so quickly (for me at least).


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Text and images © Copyright 2001 Joel and Daphne Gould. If there are any problems or questions email Daphne Gould.