At the beginning of the year, I step onto the dirt track in front of my 1890s stone house and climb the old mule road in Bisbee's Mule Mountains. The road contours Escabrosa Ridge and Banning Creek. Where my route steepens and shrinks to not much more than a footpath, mountain mahogany and iron-hard branches of manzanita encroach. Silverleaf oaks reach out with pale, narrow fingers. A too-early two-tailed swallowtail drifts past my shoulder - Arizona's official butterfly. I take it as a sign.
- From Chasing Arizona: One Man's Yearlong Obsession with the Grand Canyon State by Ken Lamberton