The Cienega Creek Preserve area is unbelievably beautiful!
But it can be treacherous too.
It has the full range of Sonoran desert plants including the dreaded Cholla (pronounced choy-ya) cactus.
Some call it 'jumping’ Cholla as its thorny stubs/clumps get into you no matter how careful you are.
To describe the clumpy thorns better just think of a ball full of thorns, all extruding from the sides. At least half those thorns get in you too! And those thorns hurt! I swear cactus has a toxin on the thorn tips that give rise to the pain the small thorns can cause. And the pain lasts for about half an hour.
Bend over and BANG! you are stabbed – nailed!
Just walking near a Cholla and you will hear a shout from a crewmember, "Check your right/left boot."
Some of our sites contain these nasties - other sites are calm quiet ones with just creosote bushes.
The 'jumping' Cholla nailed a crewmember in her butt. She just turned too quickly!
"Help me. I have Cholla in my butt," she called out.
We normally carry a small comb to remove the dreaded cactus’s thorny stubs.
I dropped my fanny pack to the ground to search for the comb.
While fumbling through the small pack I heard -
"Hurry! Why don’t you have it handy?"