Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Lovely Arizona, How We've Missed You!

After almost four months in San Diego it felt great to move on...first stop, a couple of nights in Yuma at my sister and brother-in-law's sweet little retreat. We made a quick trip into Los Algodones to get our teeth cleaned at our favorite dentist, Dr. Maria Fonseca, plus I got an excellent $5 haircut at Saira's.

A stunning Yuma sunrise.

Next stop, six glorious nights at one of our all time favorite parks: McDowell Mountain Regional Park. We LOVE the huge campsites, big views and terrific site separation at this park. And best of all is the miles and miles of trails through wide open Sonoran desert..

Mountain biking is sublime here. Long, gentle ascents on mostly smooth decomposed granite trails lead to swoopy, flowing, exhilarating glides downhill.

Another gorgeous Arizona sunrise.

Long gently ascending trails bring us to the rocky eastern face of McDowell Mountain.

We hiked the North Trail for the first time, an easy three mile loop in the northern section of McDowell Mountain Park, one of the few areas of the park that was not devastated by the enormous 1995 Rio fire when 14,000 of the parks 22,000 acres was burned.

Shall we dance?

There are far more saguaros in the north part of the park, spared from the 1995 fire.

We hiked the Scenic Trail one day and enjoyed the fantastic long distance views from the top of the ridge.

Notice the lack of saguaros on the hills beyond Hans, the small pocket directly behind him was spared from the fire.

One of two crested saguaros I've found at this park.

Another day we walked the Bluff Trail and had a surprise visit from a coyote...can you see it?

This lovely creature popped up over the edge of the bluff about 30 feet from us.

Rain on the way!
It's been a very dry winter and the 12 hours of light rain overnight was welcome.

Big vistas everywhere you look at McDowell Mountain Park.

Six days at McDowell Mountain Regional Park went by way too fast and we never even left the park! Onward to red rock country and a visit from a good friend...

Happy Rosie in her element!


  1. McDowell is such a beautiful park, my knee does not allow much in the line of hiking so tried a low impact ride. As you mention awesome bike trails.
    Have not made it to Jalapeño Inferno yet but the name is awesome
    If you are still in the area, I have a couple extra GA tix to see the Cubs host the D’Backs on the 15th.

  2. I have not heard of Jalapeno Inferno!

    We've moved on to Camp Verde, thanks for the offer though!

  3. So glad to know that all is well and you're back to your travels! McDowell looks so beautiful—it's still on our list! Crazy that we haven't yet made it there but we always seem to be further south in Arizona. The biking looks terrific.

  4. I miss the heat and monsoon of Arizona. Lived in Sweden's cold damp and continual wet environment so long, I need a visit. April 11th is getting closer. People here freak when I say I miss the deserts.

    1. People do seem to love or hate the desert! I would love to experience the monsoon season.

      Thanks for the link...

  5. Oh, wonderful vistas. That was one brave coyote. Maybe he was looking for Roadrunner.

    1. Ha, ha! He was quite surprised to see us when he crested the bluff!

  6. McDowel is next up for us...
    Hope we can catch you @ Red Rock Central!

  7. Glad you enjoyed your time in one of our favorite places. The straw hat and serape on the skeleton are new since we left last month.
    Looks like Rosie had a good time, too!

    1. Every time we visit McDowell there's something new at that trail junction!

  8. I agree McDowell is a great campground that comes with all kinds of hiking. And I did not see those crested that you sighted. I am surprised that Coyote did not run away from instead, posed for you.
    Glad you to see you back on the road!

  9. I can just imagine your excitement to get back to the less populated desert after four months in SD. I can hear the "Wahoo" in your words. Sounds like a great time at McDowell. That arm on the crested saguaro on the Scenic Trail isn't looking as good it did a couple years ago. Have fun in Camp Verde with your friend!

  10. Good to hear from you and that you are now in AZ. We really do need to get back to McDowell Mountain. The scenery looks so inviting.

  11. We also haven't done McDowell yet although it remains high on the list!! I can read the excitement in your words to be back in the desert :-) So many gorgeous pics. Love the rain storm coming in. The coyote is beautiful. She sure blends in well.

    Pulled into Canyon Trails yesterday so we were naturally talking about our meet up with you guys here! Hopefully our paths will cross again soon.