Surreal Desert Experience

I am at a team meeting, otherwise known as an off-site. They put us in a hotel, keep us off email and do team things. We are in a resort in the desert outside of Phoenix. As you expect there isn’t much around here outside the resort. This morning I had a surreal experience.

I got up early and rented a mountain bike from the ‘spa’ here. I did the same yesterday riding for a couple of hours each day before our meetings. It’s cool in the desert in the mornings. I was almost cool at 62 degrees and moving 10-12 mph on the bike. They have ‘recreated’ a river here on the resort. It runs about 1.5 miles from the entrance past the hotel, around the golf course. Earlier I had been riding out in the desert, very few animals, no water around to support them. Around this river, wildlife was everywhere.

They have an interpretive trail they have built along the river. Basically this is a gravel desert path cleared along the river. The main entrance road, river and interpretive trail intertwine with each other for the 1.5 miles with golf course on both sides. I had a very nice ride today. Not extremely hard exercise, but enjoyable. About 1.5 hours in I took a stop and got the chance to have some water to drink. I was on a small wooden bridge that allows the golf carts to cross the river and the trail. But the carts go under the entrance road. In a tunnel just across the river. In the river I could see the stocked fish. Ducks and baby ducks swam in the river. The river flows nicely as they pump the water back up to the top of the run. Animals were everywhere. A road runner family was just about 10 feet from me. Bunnies hopped downed the trail behind me. But then I was brought back to reality. Fedex trucks, workers, and food delivery trucks rumbled down the road to support the 600 room resort.

Then I looked up. About 20 yards from me was a coyote on the golf green. It was about 30 seconds before he realized I was there. He looked up. We made eye contact. He hesitated and then took off into the brush. It was amazing. Here I was near civilization, but on the edge of the world. It seemed so surreal. I was trying to balance out the exposure to nature, the exercise I was doing, take in all of the nature, and figure out was all of this just created by the fake river I was next too? It was still interesting morning. I still don’t know if it was real or not.

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