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Monday, February 16, 2009

scoping the desert, part II

dear readers,

yesterday, i went to check out 2 more sites for biology. of course, none of the sites are close to school (well, one is) cuz if there were any sites w/in walking distance of campus, everyone would go there. since i couldn't get a ride, i took the bus. my roommate, who is also taking biology, asked to come along, and it was a good thing cuz i could use a traveling companion, especially on a seedy venue like a bus.

once we got to our 1st site, a large hilly desert basin right beside pima west, we walked around and took observations. i was sore and my feet were already horribly blistered from the expedition the day before at reid park, but as we walked into the basin, we saw loose-gravel trails crisscrossing it. we were sure to stay on the trail cuz in isolated places like basins, you dont know whats living in there. because its kinda isolated, the basin was quiet, and beautiful. the desert can be real pretty if you know where to go or where to look. we saw a lotta dead plants though. i cant imagine what that place looks like during a rainstorm-it must turn into a swimming pool when it rains.

after waiting for almost an hour, the bus came and took us to santa cruz river park. that wasnt nearly as nice as pima, but it had pine trees and a large river alongside it. the river was empty (of course), but it was filled with junk!! aside from wet patches, there were shoes, backpacks, pillows, plastic bottles, and even large dropcloths under the speedway bridge. i also saw footprints in the soft soil. they weren't recent or anything, but it reminded me of pictures of those tunnels and border passages that smugglers use to smuggle illegals into the us from places like mexico. i told my roommate that i wouldnt be surprised if illegals were using the dry riverbed as a passage to get here to tucson. i mean, if you saw the amount of junk in the riverbed, you would say the same thing. you could make the arguement that people throwing stuff from speedway or gangs dumping things or random things from I-10 that make it far enough to land in the river could explain the garbage in the riverbed, and for all i know that could be the case, but we were there to observe, not to judge the pollution.

unfortunately, the bus stops are kinda far apart, so we had to walk alot. we dodged vicious dogs, hobos, and cars that dont stop for anything. it kinda made me miss chicago a little cuz i did that alot back home. naturally, we were exhausted when we came back to our dingy dormroom.

the crowds on the bus are a whole 'nother subject. once we figured out which direction we were going and what our route numbers would be, the people on the buses were largely minorities or teenagers. on the way back, the driver picked up what appeared to be a gang, including some pothead who filled the bus with the smell of marijuana and carried a half-burned blunt in his hand. luckly, they didnt bother us, but im glad i wasnt alone. i dont think i could have made that trip alone, so im glad that my roommate came with me. plus, the trip was a good bonding experiance for me and my roommate.

would i do this again? yeah. i liked walking around in the desert. naturally i prefer to have the safety of a car to get there, but i must make do with what i have. im glad it wasnt sunny yesterday. saturday was sunny, and started to turn my naturally greenish-brown hair blonde-which i only noticed yesterday as i was combing my hair and saw the color contrast. i imagine i'll look like marilyn monroe once im done with this whole project cuz of all the time i'll be spending outdoors.

that was my day in the desert.

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