After an all day rain yesterday, I was ready to go somewhere this morning. I packed a lunch and was on the road by 8:00.
I headed towards Tucson to visit the western unit of Saguaro National Park. What better place to view the iconic saguaro cactus?
My first stop, of course, was the visitors center to get a map and watch the fifteen minute video. I like comparing the different movies that are available at our national parks and refuges. This one tied the saguaro to the beliefs of the native Americans that have lived here for centuries. It professes their connection to the land, and how it must be taken care of. I agree with that, but I had some difficulty equating that with the ‘Arizona Diamonds’ that line so many roads here. Those diamonds are really broken pieces of glass from beer and liquor bottles. How is that showing respect and reverence for the natural world?
I opted to take the auto tour loop. I did do the nature trail hike that had scattered covered benches along the way. I took advantage of those benches not so much to rest my back, but to get out of the rain storms that moved through.
I sat, looked, and listened as the video had suggested to truly appreciate this Sonoran desert to the fullest. The sheer number of saguaro cactus that I saw along my tour today was enthralling.
The drive was on unpaved roads, but even after yesterday’s rain it was passable in second gear in the Focus. The five mile loop took me close to three hours to do. I just crept along at a slow pace.
The volunteer at the VC had suggested I have my lunch with a wonderful view at the Ez-Kim-In-Zin Picnic Area. I was all for that.
I made my way up to the best spot with my lunch bucket, camera, and walking stick. My balance just isn’t what it used to be, so I was glad I had my stick with me.
What a fantastic location for lunch! After the blistering temps of the last week, it was a bit of a shock to have rather chilly winds blowing through the windows. I was able to truly enjoy this spot without the hoards of people that are everywhere at Yellowstone, Zion, and Bryce.
As I sat down to write this post tonight, it was just about sunset. I glanced out the window towards my neighbors, and saw a great horned owl perched on the back air conditioner unit of their motorhome. Cool beans!
Picture this… it was too dark for me to get a picture, but the silhouette was unmistakable with those ‘ears’ standing erect on the bird’s head. I stealthily snuck out of the rig, and in a crouched stance slowly made my way over to Ralph and Sandy's rig. The owl didn’t fly off. Yes! I lightly tapped on their door, and in a whisper told Ralph that he had a great horned owl on top of his rig. He chuckled and said, “Yep, I put that fake owl up late this afternoon to keep the grackles from dancing on the roof. They drive the cats crazy!”
OMG! Talk about feeling like a fool! He got me for sure. Suckered me right in. I’m guessing the grackles are smarter than me…
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy