Arizona Heat : Experiencing the Desert on Foot

Here’s what I’ve been up to – to see the rest of the my team’s updates, go here.

Amid southern Arizona’s vast landscape of dry foothills, valleys and mountains it’s easy to feel very small.

The people that I’m writing about move through this land, sometimes on a daily basis — they include hikers and hunters, law enforcement and humanitarian volunteers, and the people illegally crossing Arizona’s section of the U.S.-Mexico border.

With the land playing so much of a role in the stories I'm reporting, I decided early on that I needed to see it and experience it for myself. On my first trip I was confident that I'd kept track of where we'd parked the jeep — only to be completely wrong. During the second trip I witnessed dramatic shifts in weather and vowed to be better prepared next time. Most recently, exhausted from the heat, I felt my head swimming despite all my efforts to stay fit, rested and hydrated.

There are rewards — glimpses of elusive wildlife, the fiery wildflowers, unforgettable sunsets. But people who underestimate the harshness of this area are taking a huge risk.

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