"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Friday, February 12, 2016

Bear Canyon's Seven Falls

Temperatures have been unseasonably warm in the 80s. If we were going for a longer hike, we had to set the alarm clock for 6 am since Sabino Canyon is 45 minutes with morning traffic from where we are staying.
It was a perfect sunny day with a temp of 50 degrees when we started. Many people heading up Sabino Canyon dressed very warmly as we headed to Bear Canyon. We were in the shade most of the hike up and had to peel off a layer by the time we got to the top.

We crossed the creek seven times without falling in too many times. A couple of weeks ago, the creek was impassable unless you just waded through the water to get across.

Talk about a payoff for a hike. The air was cool and peaceful sounds of the falls. Of course, some crazy college students were swimming in a very cold pool and made us laugh.

The brittlebush likes the warm sunny side of the slopes and have started blooming with the warm days. I am looking forward to watching the desert bloom over the next two months.

Behind Mike is a shear drop and more waterfalls. What a nice place to rest and cool down before returning. As we set off back down the path, the sun was higher with less shade and many people coming up the path. It was pretty warm when we got back to the trailhead and we just sat in the shade for a bit before heading home.

As we travel, I find groups to practice my Spanish in conversational groups or classes. I spent time with a nice group of people this week and realize my Spanish will always be asi asi or so so.  I understand EspaƱol but the speaking gives my brain a strain. It can be intimidating but they will probably never see me again. If they remember me, it will be "that poor nurse that tried so hard".

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tucson bike trails

 Pima County is developing The Loop around metro Tucson with links to Marana, Oro Valley, and South Tucson. More than 100 miles of shared-use paths that have already been completed. If it doesn't have a motor, it's good to go on The Loop.

Work is ongoing to add more miles of paths. When completed, The Loop will total 131 miles and connect the Rillito River Park, Santa Cruz River Park, and Pantano River Park with Julian Wash and the Harrison Greenway.
 The RV park has a gate to access the trail. When we returned to Tucson, we decided to check out them out 
For two weeks near the start of every year, Tucson becomes playground number one for the world of international gem and mineral trading, buying, bargains and bragging rights.  We stopped along our ride at one of the tents.

These amethyst are from Bolivia

I believe this is tourmaline from Arkansas. The people exhibiting the gems and minerals were good to explain about the mining process and where they were found.

Good thing I bring my own bike mechanic along. Mike had the flat changed in no time.

We saw Bob and Ann riding along the path and joined them and some of their friends that had also moved to Tucson from Colorado. They were like Pied Pipers gathering Colorado friends along the way.  They were on a burrito ride to El Pueblita Taqueria which served wonderful Jalisco style food.

The next day they took us south on the Julian Wash Trail and ended up in another great place with a total of 82 miles of riding. We are here for another 2 months and are looking forward to the places these paths will take us. In all of our travels, this has to be the best trail system we have experienced in the US other than Anchorage, Alaska. 

Old Town Artisans had a great feel and featured local musicians that were quite entertaining.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Palm Springs Tram and Mount San Jaacinto State Park

Rising 8500 feet above the desert floor, the Palm Springs Tramway offers access to hiking in this famous San Jacinto state park wilderness. Since it was our last day and the sun was shining, we decided why not.
The floor of the tram rotates as it ascends the mountain.

It was such a perfect day that I couldn't believe my pictures were fuzzy. I had hit a button changing something and this how they ended up.

Our hike was peaceful since few people ventured off through the snow to the hiking path.

After a hike in the sunshine and cool air, lunch!

The tram ride was steeper than those we had ridden in Switzerland.

I tried to get my hair trimmed on what turned out to be Senior Thursday at a Supercuts. Life lesson learned on the road. They line up down the block to save those $3.  Mike thought someone might be scalping Superbowl tickets.
It was a good end to our visit even if we were both sick part of the time. We got out and did some of the things we hoped to.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Indian Canyon

Fifteen miles long, Palm Canyon is one of great beauty. Its indigenous flora and fauna, which the Cahuilla people so expertly used and its abundant California Fan Palm are breathtaking contrasts to the stark rocky gorges and barren desert lands. A moderately graded, foot path winds down into the canyon near the stream. 

While walking through the oasis, we would get lost in our thoughts and imagine the natives enjoying the cool breezes through the canyon.

After hiking along the stream, we returned on the Victor Trail on the ridge above the canyon.
Still plenty of snow in the mountains after the Sunday storm.

A scenic foot trail leads through the canyon passing groves of  palms, unusual rock formations and the perennial Andreas Creek.  could still see bedrock mortars and metates used centuries ago for preparing food.

Had to try out the Carne Asada and green chili. Two thumbs up from us.