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Some things in life can become mythical within my thoughts.

My hiking experiences encompass several decades as a Boy Scout, hiking trails in middle and southern Missouri. To becoming a Scout Leader hiking portions of the Appalachian Trail and many other forested trails in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina and West Virgina.

Nothing prepared me for my first short hike in the Saguaro National Parks East and West. Yes, they share the same name but two different locations near Tucson AZ.

For years, I have walked without a compass because most of the Midwest and East coast trails are very well marked. The trails are usually a single track and easy for me to follow and if unsure just follow the footprints along the trail if unsure.

However, my first desert hike, caused me fear and shock after I stopped to take some photographs. When I began walking again, I could not determine the trail because of the sparseness of the vegetation and no painted marks on any Saguaro cactus. Every sandy direction looked the same.

After calming down to slow my heart rate, I backtracked to find my boot prints, and I realized I needed a compass for my next wilderness desert hike.

For years my thoughts of hiking the desert wilderness was a mythical belief until experience burst the myth.

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