2/6 - Loaded our bikes on the truck and drove over to the Tucson Estates area for a bike ride around Tucson Estates, another beautiful day with some high clouds, in the low 70’s. Not a long ride, only about seven miles. We have been disappointed that there are not really any good places to ride around here unless we load the bikes on the truck and take them somewhere, even then most places to ride are just along streets and highways. After the ride we had a late lunch at Coyote Pause.
Went over to the oasis at the campground to watch the Bud Shootout from Daytona late this afternoon, then a late dinner at home.
2/7 - Rain this AM, rained fairly steady most of the morning and I was planning on posting about the first truly rainy day since we arrived in Arizona - BUT, by noon it had cleared off and it was a gorgeous afternoon, low 60‘s, blue skies with some puffy white clouds, and striking views of the mountains in the crystal clear air. Gotta love this weather!
Another relaxing day, Nancy did a load of laundry in the morning and we took a walk around the campground in the afternoon. Watched some of the Puppy Bowl getting ready to watch the Super Bowl. Fortunately CBS is one the two over the air stations we can get here.
2/8 - Monday morning meeting at the campground, then we took our first real desert hike. We drove up into Tucson Mountain Park and hiked up the Brown Mountain Trail to the top of Brown Mountain. Took about two hours up and back and we climbed 500 or 600 feet. It was a perfect day for the hike, in the low sixties with high puffy clouds providing just enough occasional shade.
The view of the Tucson Mountains to the east was beautiful and once we reached the top there was another great view to the west of the Avra valley, where our campground is located.
This picture is on the way up:
You can see here how high we went, click on the picture to blow it up - that little spot by the road is our smart car!
The trail was pretty good, but as can be seen from this pic there was some climbing to be done. It was not a hard climb, but not a stroll either.
This is looking out to the west, into the Avra valley. Our campground is down to the left, behind the side of the mountain.
This pic is also the Avra valley, a little more to the northwest. The square patches of water off in the distance, are the water coming out of the Rio Grande destined for the City of Tucson water supply.
We had between 1/2 and 3/4 of an inch of rain Sunday and the desert plants really liked it. Some have opened up leaves,
and some are starting to blossom even though it is a bit early in the season. The local people are saying that the desert wildflowers should be good by March and April.
Calling this a saguaro forest is really appropriate, we never realized just how many saguaro there are in this area. We have really come to appreciate the beauty of the desert (I know, I said that before, but it is really true) there is an incredible variety of plant life thriving in these extreme conditions.
2/9 - Another quiet day, did some house cleaning, took a long walk around our campground and the one next door. This afternoon Dennis and Kurt took the Volvo to Home Depot and picked up a stack of sheet rock for the walls in the new library. Watching Blackhawks game tonight.