Saturday, April 25, 2015

April 7, 2015 Saguaro National Park : Tucson Mountain District

Chrissy is attending the BEAR TAG conference so it is just Kennedy & I...on our own in the wilderness today. After eating the perfect meal for hiking in the mountains on a 90 degree day...breakfast burritos at a 24 hour Mexican restaurant...we decided to hike a loop trail through Saguaro National Park West. Unfortunately, we started on the Hugh Norris Trail...with a 1500 foot elevation gain in the first two miles...I was so out of breath that I was barely able to tell my nephew that I needed to stop and catch my we hiked up the switchbacks. 

I took a lot of pictures since I stopped so often. We quickly rose above the flat desert area to a more rocky mountainous area.

The scenery and the colors were incredible again today....

...and the views changed constantly....

....except this one. Kennedy was always ahead of me.

Bright colors...

...and beautiful blue skies... we climbed higher and higher.

There were multiple mountain ranges in every direction.

The park's namesake cacti were at all elevations on this hike.

We had these views when we stopped and ate our lunch...

....Cliff bars taste so good with great scenery.

Cactus can grow anywhere around here.

It took longer than it should have but we finally made it to the Sendero Esperanza Trail and began our descent toward the Dobe Wash Trail.

We saw turkey vultures floating in the air currents above us all day long. Along the Sendero Esperanza Trail with spotted more wildlife...

...and birds willing to pose for pictures...

...and when we reached Dobe Wash...this incredible midday sky.

The park rangers at the visitor center told us our best chance of seeing a desert tortoise was in Dobe wash. Here's Kennedy searching in the shaded areas for a tortoise...we never saw one.

An extremely colorful cactus.

We were going to take the Bajada Wash back to the Hugh Norris trail head but it was closed off for hiking. So we hiked the 1.5 miles back along Hohokam Road.

There were these interesting flat clouds above us on our way back to the car.

I posed at the sign on our way out. We headed back to the hotel, cleaned up and went for a nice dinner with Chrissy at a Native American bistro called Barrio Cuisine. It was a pretty tasty meal and we were able to have a fry bread appetizer and some more fry bread for dessert. Another good day in the desert.

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