Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Couple of Stops in Tucson

We've spent the last week and a half in Tucson. First, in West Tucson at Justin's Diamond J RV Park, followed by a few nights at Catalina State Park in the far North East section of the Tucson metropolitan area.

We've spent quite a lot of time in this area in both 2013 and 2014 (click on the year if you'd like to read about our previous stays). Now that we've been on the road for over four years we've made lots of friends on the road and Tucson happens to be a popular place for nomads to winter...thus, this stay was full of social time, including several happy hours and a few recreational outings.

Instead of rehashing trails I've written about before and going on about various social events, I'm going to let the photos of our outings tell the story of our stay in Tucson...

We arrived in Tucson under threat of rain. Though the rain barely materialized, the clouds were stunning on an early morning walk on the trails behind Justin's RV Park.

We hiked Bridal Wreath Falls in 2013, this time John and Pam joined us.

We thought Bridal Wreath Falls would be a little bigger than this due to the recent rains.

Enjoying water in the desert with John and Pam.

Eagle eye Pam spotted this crested saguaro.

We biked from Justin's RV park one day and found this crested beauty on the way to Gilbert Ray campground.

We hiked the Hugh Norris/Dobe Wash Loop with Steve and Mona Liza one day.

Photo break after climbing the zillion stairs on the Hugh Norris trail.




Since Tucson is so spread out it was great to move up to Catalina State Park and focus on trails in NE Tucson. We love the views at Catalina! Plus we got to spend time with our local friends Dennis and Sheryl.

We may not have gotten one of the prime perimeter sites at Catalina,
but the middle sites still have great views and plenty of space.

Dennis and Hans hanging out on Alamo Creek, a wonderful little unmarked trail at Catalina SP.


Sheryl photographing me as I photograph her!

Hans and I hiked the steep, rocky Romero Pools trail one day and were surprised to see this blooming agave...
the only one blooming of the many miles we hiked in Tucson!

Agave chrysantha

Romero Pools




Log surfing!

Mark and Bobbie clued us in to the new Honeybee mountain bike trail so we joined them on a 20 mile ride one day. What a fun ride! Long, gentle uphill on mostly smooth trail, followed by a long flowing downhill. The entire trail winds among cactus so you must constantly watch out for stickers, but every stop provides expansive views. We learned that the best place to park (currently) is the empty dirt lot at the intersection of Golder Ranch Rd and Oracle Hwy. Plus...Nico's Tacos (next to Basha's) are a great way to refuel after this ride!


Only one flat tire among four people on 20 miles of trail through cactus...not too shabby!



Hundreds of these ground squirrels at Catalina State Park!

Lots of birds too!

That's it for Tucson for this year. Today we moved north where we'll hop around the parks surrounding Phoenix for a couple of weeks.

26 comments:

  1. Oh the water!! Love the Alamo Creek pics :-) What a fun bug-eyed cactus 'ghost'. We found dozens of dried agave blooms but no fresh ones - you found a real beauty! The flowers around Phoenix should be incredible over the next month.

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    1. What is it about water in the desert? Oh yeah, it's life sustaining! ;-)

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  2. Tucson has certainly become the place to meet in the winter. So glad we were able to spend a little time together and get in a hike:) Romero Pools terrain always seems to have foliage way ahead of the rest of the area. Love that agave bloom! What a terrific bike ride!! Safe travels as you move on.

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    1. Tucson is a hub of social activity in the winter for sure!

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  3. What a great Tucson stay. Lots of friends and lots of trails...it just doesn't get any better! Safe travels as you head north!

    The agave is very pretty!

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    1. I'm sorry we missed you this time around!

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  4. Looks like you had a lot of great hikes! Nice weather too. Love those large saguaro cactus.

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  5. You're time in Tucson was too short. Now we have to wait a whole year to see you here again!

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  6. Did you encounter any Bull Snakes at Catalina State Park? We did last April, they were hunting for those ground squirrels: http://theuniversesmiles.blogspot.com/2016/05/camping-in-tucson-when-bull-snakes-came.html

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    1. Oh my! Haven't seen a single snake at Catalina.

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  7. Looks like lots of fun with many familiar faces. Guess I know where to go to find folks whose blogs I read if I ever get west again. But booking a year in advance sounds like Florida. One of the things there that's not so much fun.

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    1. Yeah, popular areas in AZ pretty much have to be booked well in advance to secure a site. Many parks are booked solid in Jan. and Feb. About the only way to get a prime perimeter site at Catalina SP is on the day they become available one year ahead.

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  8. Great crossing paths at Gilbert Ray Happy Hour and at Catalina's Honey Bee mountain bike trail. Already looking forward to Nico's Tacos next year (or maybe tonight). Might see you again at Mc Dowell and/or Cottonwood area. We're just looking to hang in the 60 degree zone now, and wind our way toward Utah.
    mark and bj

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    1. It was great to see you guys again AND to ride that terrific trail. Hope to see you some time soon!

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  9. We really love Tucson and are missing it after many of you posted about your adventures. Great photos
    Lisa!

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    1. Maybe next year you two should plan a little AZ getaway!

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  10. You two look like you made the best of your time inTucson. We love that town. We tried to get into Catalina but never found a site. Next time we hope.
    It was so nice meeting you two. Hope to see you again very soon.

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    1. It was nice meeting you as well...I hope our paths cross and we can manage a hike next time!

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  11. Thanks for the good reviews on places to go in Tucson since we will be there in a couple of weeks. We are looking forward to Romero Pools once again.

    We rode in McDowell today and couldn't believe all of the people. It is a favorite of ours but getting far busier than we have ever seen it. It would have been fun to run into you out there. Have fun.

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    1. We'll be at McDowell in a few days...perhaps our paths will cross!

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  12. I agree, Tucson is so sprawling, it's a great plan to divide time between two campgrounds. We always stay at Gilbert Ray and Catalina and enjoy both. Romero Pools is such a great hike! Thanks for the tip on Alamo Creek and the Honeybee bike trail. Both are going on our list for our next visit to Tucson. Looks like you had a blast with good friends. :-)

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    1. Yes, you guys would enjoy Alamo Canyon and Honeybee! I can provide more details if you need them....

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    2. I'll be checking in with you! You two find exactly the kinds of adventures we enjoy.

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  13. Great eye on that dead cholla tree, it seems to say how are you, Lisa.
    Thank you for taking us to that hike with zillion stairs! Hope to catch up with you again somewhere down the road.

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