Into the Desert


With the car packed to the brim, we traded our Phoenix, air-conditioned Air BnB for unpredictable life on the road.  Today marked Adventure Term On The Border program’s first day in the field.  Through this project, we hope to explore the Southern Borderlands and examine the effects of human development on imperiled species in the region. We started off the day as all good adventures should, with some change of plans… 


Our first destination was to hike within the Superstitions Wilderness.  However, upon arrival, we were told we would be unable to enter for our hike, as there was a fire nearby.  While this was slightly disappointing, it did allow us to be able to experience nearby Ghost Town, in all its charisma, while we reformulated our plan for the day. 


We then piled back into our adventure mobile and decided to head off to McDowell Sonoran Preserve for some hiking.  Upon arrival, we were instantly greeted by what will surely be a close friend for the next 10 days—the Arizona heat…


While some acclimating was involved, there was much to draw the attention away, from breathtaking mountain landscapes to some of the most unique plants.


Not only did this hike allow us to adjust to the elements, but it also gave us opportunity to get used to the equipment we will be using to extract stories from these spaces. 


Our trusty leaders, T and K, as they fondly call each other, were able to share some super helpful knowledge about photo and video taking.  Many things to learn that will surely get easier as we continue to gain more experience. 

After breaking under a convenient shade structure for some lunch (which included some nice, car-warmed bread—no need for a toaster here folks!), we retreated to Barnes & Noble for some AC and further trip planning.  We also got to view some of the footage we obtained from our hike and learned some ways to improve our footage going forward, while downing some cold beverages, of course.  We ended the day at our first campsite of the trip—Desert Tortoise Campground at Lake Pleasant, which we are all big fans of (thank you Kyle for your spidy-good camp selection senses).  The lake which the campsites surrounds seems to draw many to this spot, for good reason.  Spirits ended high today as we were able to cool off in the lake and chow down on some good food.  To cap off a great first field day, the sky also treated us to both a breathtaking sunset and mesmerizing moon.  While being turned away from the Superstitions could have had its symbolism, our luck seems to be headed in the right direction.


Blog by Olivia Reda, 6/16/19