A dream fulfilled
We are excited to provide a beautiful space for guests to relax and enjoy the wonders of the Tucson desert – a green desert with spectacular views of sky and mountains and the Tanque Verde Valley.
View of the Santa Catalinas from the front yard
I first dared to dream of operating a B & B when I turned 40. I was at a retreat where we talked about life goals and I decided that my interests in hospitality and creating a retreat space for beauty and peace could be realized in a B & B. At the time it seemed very unlikely that this would ever happen. I had a young family of 5, and we had very little control over where we could live, since my husband is a pastor and assignments were limited. But a mentor at the retreat encouraged me to hold on to my dream.
Fifteen years later we moved to Tucson, Arizona. We were captivated by the beauty of the surrounding mountains and the green desert in the Tucson valley. The year my husband turned 60 he said, “If you are ever going to have a B & B, now is the time!” I couldn’t believe my ears! We put our house on the market and began to search for the right place.
On Easter day, after services, we decided to go for a hike on a favorite trail in Saguaro National Park East off of Broadway. On our way home we spotted a For Sale sign for a property that our realtor had not mentioned. On a hunch we followed the signs that led us down one dirt road and onto another. With only 2 houses on this short road it, was not hard to find the modest home for sale at the end. We drove up the driveway and looked around. The view we saw took our breath away. “This is it!” we thought. We felt like we were out in the country, and yet the location is only a short distance from shops and main roads. The space fit our hopes of having beautiful views, natural surrounding acreage, and a feeling of peaceful retreat.
We moved in on Memorial Day, and living here has been memorable.
Each day I feel gratitude for the land we have in our care and for the natural beauty that surrounds us. We love nothing better than to sit outside and look at the mountains and watch the ever-changing sky. We see sunrise and sunset and amazing cloud formations. We watch the rain come in with lightening and see the rainbows that follow. We are awed by the starry nights, when we can see the Milky Way and maybe a couple of shooting stars.
This is the spot that fills my heart with gladness each day.
Welcome to Gladden View!
After several days of clouds and rain, it felt good to feel the warm sun on my face and shoulders. I would catch a walk on a desert trail before the next rain came later in the day. But no, as I drove down the drive, the rain came down. I turned around, and decided a walk in my own neighborhood, down the dirt roads, with an umbrella, would be a better choice. And the rain is good. The rain is always good in the desert. As it turned out, only a little rain fell that hour. More would come later. But the desertscape was washed of dust, and the green of the palo verde and cholla were almost a-glow. As I walked, my eyes kept lifting to the Rincon mountains, this time showing a depth of blue that comes out under deep gray skies. I love how the mountains change under different skies, under the influence of reflecting light. Rose and gold are common colors at sunset, grey and moss at dawn. It’s this sapphire blue I see today that catches my breath. Like the rain, its rarity makes it all the more beautiful.
In this one afternoon there were so many moments of interaction with weather and landscape. I am reminded that each moment is a moment worth living, worth drinking in and savoring. The present moment is the moment we are living. I want to stay aware so I don’t miss any of it’s beauty.
It’s a family tradition to go on a walk or hike on Thanksgiving Day, usually after a big feast. This year all our kids and grandkids are in other states, but we enjoyed a hiking adventure on our own.
We set out from Gladden View late morning on a blue-sky, cloudless, warm day heading for Mt. Lemmon. Specifically, our destination was San Pedro Vista, where we got amazing northern views beyond the Catalinas, overlooking the San Pedro Valley and the next range over. Mt. Graham at over 10,000 feet was clearly visible, and we remarked at how much we want to get there sometime soon.
We easily found the trail at the northwest side of the parking lot. We have not hiked this one, and we were eager to discover what it offered. It was totally awesome. Mostly an uphill climb from the parking lot with many vistas especially featuring the north. After about 45 minutes of hiking in t-shirt weather, we found a comfortable spot for our Thanksgiving lunch, a little reading, and a short nap. Lovely! Here is a sample of the trail near where we picnicked.
And while we ate, we could see some climbers nearby scaling the cliff and rappelling.
We talked about our kids, about some of our hopes, and about the power and importance of gratitude. A good Thanksgiving Day!