Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WHAT A GORGEOUS DAY FOR A HIKE!

Tuesday, February 21 - We returned to Tucson Mountain Park this morning to hike among the Saguaro. It is a very short drive from Justin's Diamond J Campground to the desert full of trails. Actually, we could have walked right out the back of the campground into Tucson Mountain Park but that would have made today's hike way to long.

Tucson Mt. Park

Thank goodness Paul has a great sense of direction and was able to keep us in the correct general direction. We eventually found Prospector Trail and followed it to the trail head, but it was not at our original starting point.

This is a very rocky trail. Have your boots on.
Tucson Mt. Park



















The terrain changed as we changed elevations.
Tucson Mt Park



















Tucson Mt Park



















We decided to cut across country making our own trail. We ended up wandering around the desert until we found a road. We then continued across country keeping the road in sight as a marker. After another mile or so, we stumbled on the truck parked beside a picnic area.

This guy sure has the arms.
Tucson MT. Park

























If you do this trail, be careful of the fishhook cacti. They are close to the trail.

Fishhook cactus



















We decided to eat our snack at a nearby picnic table before returning home. 

snack





















It was a good hike of about 4.5 miles, but we would have liked it if the trails were marked. There are so many trails in the area it may be very difficult to keep them all marked.

The birds were enjoying the gorgeous day too.
Tucson Mt. Park



















Our first black cardinal.
Black cardinal

Black cardinal



















After relaxing and cleaning up at the 5th wheel, we headed over to friends Pam and John’s for happy hour. They are staying at the Lazy Day's KOA here in Tucson. Sue and Dave Bank are also staying there and joined us for a couple hours of snacks, beverages and great conversation.

We say good bye to Tucson. Tomorrow, Thursday, we will be in Sedona, AZ. The weather is much colder. We will make the best of it for sure.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!







Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SWEETWATER TRAIL...ONE OF OUR FAVORITE HIKES

Monday, February 20 – This morning we hiked one of our favorite trails here in Tucson, AZ. It is located on the west side of Tucson in Sweetwater Preserve. This is a very popular trail area so if you want to hike here we recommend heading out early to beat the crowds. There are also many mountain bikers that ride in this area so you find yourself sharing the trial with them. We hiked on President's Day so that may have added to the number of people out of this beautiful day.



The parking area is large so parking is not a problem. We started west on the Saguaro Vista Trial.



This is a very memorable area. Thousands upon thousands of Saguaro Cactus dot the mountainside.





We even found a crested Saguaro along this part of the trail.



We continued on taking most of the perimeter trails until reaching the “Spine” trail intersection.

Here we turned east picking up several trails until we returned to the trail head. The trails are well marked with signs showing “You are here” spot on the trail map.






We covered about 4.2 miles in under 3 hours (We stop often for pictures.) and took just over 12,000 steps. The elevation gain is minimal. As mentioned above, we hiked this trail previously and have always remembered it as one of the best for seeing Saguaro Cactus. We weren't disappointed!

This baby was sure a strange one.


A garden of prickly pear cacti greeted us along the tail.



















That is Mt. Lemon with snow on the top.



















Birds were every where.

















We no more arrived home when a car pulled up. Here were Mary and Dave, long-time readers of our blog. We have never met them. They are staying at the campground right down the road. It was wonderful chatting with them and learning more about their home in Canada. Thanks for stopping by Mary and Dave. Their dog, Houdini, had to wait in the car. He liked Bella a bit too much....lol It was great to meet you three.

Mary and Dave




















After a quick bite to eat, we took Bella, our cat, on a hike in the desert near the campground. She loves the desert!

Miss Bella



















We then relaxed for several hours before cleaning-up to meet RV friends for happy hour at Buffalo Wild Wings. This is the first time we have had the opportunity to meet up with Monaliza and SteveSue and Dave, Lisa and Hans. Thanks for a great time, and thanks Monaliza for the photo.

L-R: John, Dave, Sue, Marsha, Paul, Steve, Monaliza, Lisa,
Hans, Pam.
The gang

















Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK

Friday, February 17 – We headed to Saguaro National Park on the west side of Tucson this morning. We enjoyed a hike among the magnificent Saguaro cactus. We just love the cactus, rocks, and desert environment!

Saguaro National Park


















We started our stop at the Visitor's Center to get information about the available trails and what they would recommend for our physical condition. We prefer not to get on a trail with too much elevation gain (over 750-800 feet) over a short distance. With their help we decided to connect a couple short trails together to end up with a hike of about 4 miles. The trails roamed up and down of the side of the mountain keeping elevation changes to a manageable level.

Saguaro National Park


















We started on Wild Dog Trail which meandered among the Saguaro cactus and the rocky foothills of several nearby mountains. There were hundreds of “Kodak” opportunities, and Marsha took advantage of many of them.

Saguaro National Park



















Saguaro National Park


















Saguaro National Park




















Saguaro National Park








We then walked about half a mile down a dirt road and connected to the short Signal Hill Trail which wound up a small rocky outcrop filled with numerous petroglyphs. Some possible purposes of rock art (petroglyphs) include: hunting, fertility or spiritual symbols; boundary markers or landmarks; records of important events; clan symbols; and solstice and calendar markers. This was an interesting addition to our hike today.

Prehistoric Hohokam Rock Art.
Saguaro National Park
prehistoric Hohokam
prehistoric Hohokam















We finished the hike by retracing our route back to the trail head. We covered 4 miles in a little less then 3 hours and taking about 10,794 steps. A perfect hike in the mountains around Tucson, AZ.

Saguaro National Park



































Guess what! We are finally caught up with our posts. We hope to never get that far behind again!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope y'all come back real soon. Have a great day!