Most of my blog posts have mentioned how excruciatingly hot Arizona is in the summer. Our DukeEngage survived the hottest June on record and 39 consecutive days of sweltering 100+ degree temperatures. My image of Arizona consists of cacti, sweat, and sunburn.
But up a mountain we climbed, and up a mountain we passed through biome after biome. Saguaros disappeared, my ears popped, and we were surrounded by conifers at 8,000 feet. It seemed like a miracle to me. It wasn’t quite my deciduous oasis, but it was close enough!
We camped out for a relaxing night on the sky island called Mount Lemmon. It was chilly enough for me to be comfortable in a fleece jacket, and there was even running water in the creek beds. It didn’t feel like I was in Arizona anymore. I was in a forest surrounded by tall trees, lush ferns, and lichen-covered boulders.
This reminded me of the biodiversity in the Sonoran desert region. Mount Lemmon, located about an hour and a half away from BorderLinks, gave me another firsthand glimpse into the multitude of environments contained in a single state. No wonder the Sky Island Alliance is working to protect the wildlife found in these areas.
These photos capture Mount Lemmon more than my words ever could!