On route to the White Mountains, I stopped off in Phoenix to do some exploration. I knew flying in that temperatures were in excess of 110 degrees. Being a lover of heat, I thought, no sweat, I can handle this.
I landed at the airport at 10:00pm at night. Temperatures were still in their 90’s. Although it was hot, it wasn’t stifling as I had just flown out of high humidity in the Midwest, so I welcomed the dry heat.
I spent the night in a Phoenix hotel and then headed back to the airport and took a flight to the White Mountains where I spent the next three days. After completing my work assignment, I headed back to the valley where at 8:30am the temperatures were already in the 90’s. Still wanting to explore Phoenix, and being a nature lover, I headed for the Desert Botanic Gardens.
I took Uber from the airport to the gardens and quickly purchased my ticket as there was no line or huge crowd to fight and began exploring the Sonoran desert. I later realized that there was a reason why there were no people or crowds there, because the heat was too intense and only those brave or foolish enough would explore the desert in the full heat of summertime.
The gardens were beautiful as I walked the paths and trails to different parts of the park, checking out the variety of plants that grow in the hottest and driest parts of the world. I saw blooming cactus and nesting Inca doves, and spent time reflecting in the Contemplation Garden. After about 10 minutes into my journey, I felt the scorching heat radiating down on me. Unlike the heaviness of the Midwest, the dry heat baked me like a giant furnace and I found myself continually searching for shade along the way. Although beautiful, I gained a respect and understanding for the desert and life that lived there. I had always loved the sun, but even in the morning, the Sonoran Desert was a rough reminder of how beautiful and dangerous the desert can be.
As I continued my hike around the garden, I found several drinking fountains and shaded areas along the way. I stopped often to refill my water bottle. Because of the heat, I did not explore all of the trails but headed back to the entrance. Once back, I decided I wanted to get something to eat before I flew back home, but the only open cafe at the time was half way back into the garden and the heat was too intense so I decided not to trek back in.
If your thinking of visiting the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, I would highly recommend it, but unless your a camel and can take extreme heat, I would recommended going at 7:00am when they open or late at night. It’s defiantly worth visiting as there is no place on earth like the Sonoran Desert.