Three years ago, I decided to sell everything and leave the small river town I called home. I wanted to see the country instead of being stuck in just one part of it. I wanted to feel the energies of new places and different people, and I wanted to experience the glories of history. My adventures are a constant struggle between fear and courage, but we humans are explorers and pioneers, and we find our inner strength when the end state is the absolute unknown.
Think of the Sky Island Scenic Parkway, as a kind of time machine. No, really. Let yourself go a minute and imagine a landscape that compresses an extraordinary range of topography into one 30-mile stretch of road. The road, known as the Mount Lemmon Parkway, does just that. It takes visitors through five life zones, from Sonoran Desert lowlands all the way up to a mixed-conifer forest, the geographic equivalent of traveling from Mexico to Canada.
It’s known as the “Dripping Cave,” for the way the sedimentary rock seems to drip from the ceiling, and also as the “Robber’s Cave,” as it once lent its shelter to a band of outlaws, who used the cave as a “home base” from which to rob the stagecoach line passing between Los Angeles and San Diego, during the 1800’s. The historic landmark is the park’s largest rock-shelter.