Lake Pleasant, Arizona, USA
An Oasis at the Oasiso·a·sis
1. a small fertile or green area in a desert region, usually having a spring or well.
2. something serving as a refuge, relief, or pleasant change from what is usual, annoying, difficult, etc.
Lake Pleasant Park in Peoria, Arizona serves as both definitions of "oasis". A reservoir used to provide water and generate electricity for the metro Phoenix, AZ area and surrounding farmland, the deep blue waters set amongst the rugged red rock, dotted with cacti is really quite stunning. Only 30 minutes from my front door, it also provides a welcome rest from the hustle and bustle of daily life. This was taken from the Pipeline Canyon Trail on a beautiful late February day. The trail is 4 miles roundtrip. Once you get past about the first 1/2 mile you don't encounter as many casual hikers and really do feel like you could be alone out in the vast desert. You will certainly see many towering saguaros, ocotillos and jumping cholla cacti. Wildlife you might encounter include javelinas, jackrabbits, turkey vultures, red tailed hawks, and coyotes. There are even wild burros in the park. We have never spotted them, but there is plenty of evidence of them deposited on and around the trail. Of course, you always want to keep your eye out for the other desert denizens...rattlesnakes and scorpions. It is easy to forget how close you are to the vast sprawling metropolis of people hurrying from one place to another.