Saguaro National Park
I was dragged to enough museums as a child to develop a deep appreciation for them. My appreciation is rarely as deep as the steep prices these days, but the Desert Museum was an exception. With recommendations from trusted advisors and less trustworthy strangers, we shoveled over the forty odd dollars they required (later we realized how short the wall was).
I’ve been to too many museums to remember, science, art, history, all of it. All of them have some interesting objects and stories, some of them have pretty sweet architecture (shout out to the Denver Art Museum), but only few are remarkably well-curated. I’m sure that the curators at all these museums are incredibly talented, but there are only two museums where I, an uncurated swine, have noticed and been impressed by the curation– those are the African American History Museum and the Desert Museum.
Half zoo, the desert museum winds through Saguaro National Park’s Desert lands, fencing in biomes that the land curated with few limits on size because the desert remains empty for miles in all directions. One quarter cave, the museum created a synthetic caving experience with hundreds of hand-crafted stalagmites and stalactites and an entire room detailing the creation of earth, from its spec of dust moment to the magma and the seas, with fragments from practically every time and space. Another half desert garden (I know this doesn’t add up, but I don’t care), with delicately wound mazes, more cacti than I knew existed, and palo verdes conveniently blooming.
Thanks to this well-curated dreamboat, we can proudly identify multiple cholla cacti, barrel cacti, saguaros, candelabra, ‘creeping devil cactus’, and ocotillos. We love the cacts.
We kissed a cougar and marinated in the palo verde pollen for nearly six hours. The rest of the day paled in its wake.