A Persistent Cold in the Valley of the Sun

Piestewa Peak in Phoenix, AZ before the heat set in (Szalay 2012)

I brought the cold with me to the Valley of the Sun — the greater Phoenix, Arizona area. Sudafed came too. For my second business trip there in three months, I hoped this time I would get the chance to take-in the hills among all the housing developments and do a little suburban mountaineering for real, I supposed. You can’t walk from sidewalk to trail in Peaklessburg.

This time in Phoenix, I had the cool, early mornings to my advantage as my internal clock was still on east-coast time. So I could get an hour or two before putting on my business attire. The hurdle holding me back now was this lingering, nagging virus.

The morning before I flew home, I looked from my patio again up again to the low but attractive summit of Piestewa Peak, formerly Squaw Peak, in the Phoenix Mountain Park and Recreation Area. The air was still and about 70 degrees. It was 6:00 a.m. That was it!

I went. I coughed a lot. I felt more tired than when I left. But I got to tread the stony terrain, admire the cacti, stave off the fear of coming across a venomous snake, and take this picture above. About an hour afterwards, I was washed up, in my charcoal suit, talking policy and popping a decongestant. I slept on the plane without any regret. The business meetings were productive and I satisfied my curiosity about the rumored chossy rock. It was indeed.

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