Friday, November 30, 2012

Saguaro National Park (West), Signal Hill, and Gates Pass, Tucson

We almost missed Brenda and Karin, who are five days away from leaving Tucson and their old life.

Brenda and Karin, Tucson
They're days away from starting their full-time RV life. What's not to smile about?
We met them at Blue Willow, where the vegans could order veg, and the paleos could get pale. They are so busy preparing that we were happy and honored that they could get away to meet up. Thanks, you two! We'll be looking for your adventures on Breaking Up With Normal.

Rosemary from Sonora Desert Museum commented on yesterday's post:
Those of us who work at the Desert Museum appreciate all your positive comments about the facility. Thank you! If you were not aware, the Desert Museum pioneered the creation of natural animal habitats that zoos worldwide now employ. We strive to provide habitats for the animals that are as close to natural as possible - and the majority of the animals are rescues that are rehabilitated and cannot be released into the wild. When animals are "retired" they are provided homes here behind the scenes to live out their lives in dignity.
I was not aware, Rosemary, and I'm happy that you commented. This dispels any lingering misgivings I may have had about the Museum. Misgivings? What misgivings? Thanks for taking the time to fill us in! This is what happens when you skip the orientation.

We had our first Trader Joe's experience today, but I'll just tell you that we liked it, and that I have sworn off dark chocolate cherries again.

So cute I could chuck their chins. Desert Discovery loop, Saguaro National Forest.

Gate's Pass, Tucson
Gates Pass, twilight.

Gate's Pass, Tucson
Gates Pass...latrine, probably. I skipped orientation. CCC construction.

Saguaro National Park
Tee hee! Tiny cactus knob.

Giant Saguaro
If there's anything more ridiculous than this, I want to stand under it.

Saguaro National Park

It feels good to be back in the Sonoran desert. It may be dry, but it is not desolate. Anyone who lives here without life support is an adaptive superhero. They deserve this view all the time.

Saguaro National Park

Saguaro cactus Saguaro National Park
Even Annie couldn't upstage this saguaro.

Sonoran Desert, Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park, West

Signal Hill, Saguaro National Park
Signal Hill, Hohokam petroglyphs.

Signal Hill, Saguaro National Park
Mostly. Some exceptions apply.
We really appreciate the ideas for things to do and see. Thank you, and tell us some more.

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Gaelyn said...

Saguaro is such an awesome park. I liked the Signal Hill hike too. Keep having fun out there. Like you'd do anything but.

The Odd Essay said...

I first visited Saguaro NP in 1957.... been back only a few times since. The last time we spent a lot of time at the Desert Museum.... So your photos bring back some good memories and make we want to head that way again. Thanks!

154275 said...

So....animals that are "retired" aren't fed to the other animals?

Lynne (WinnieViews) said...

Looks like you're having a fabulous time in Tucson. My mom and I loved our visit to the Desert Museum last Spring. Didn't realize that info about their animals-- really nice to know.

I stayed at Gilbert Ray CG quite a few times next to Saguaro West NP and always liked driving over Gates Pass to go into town (even did it with the View as that's just shy of the 12,000 lb limit!).

I'm going to note that restaurant (Blue Willow) for my next visit...sounds great!

Have you been downtown yet to look around? There's a cool little section of historic houses, as we as some interesting stuff around the University.

Harriet said...

Ridiculous, Saguaro, I think unique. Your next photo shows everyone upright. Strive to be different and you’ll stand out from the madding crowd.

Karin and Brenda look like happy campers, already, can’t wait to follow their adventures.

Sonora Desert Museum was one of my stops way back when on a trip with my kids. It was very educational and showed us what not to pet in the desert.

Enjoying the photos and the RV restaurants (real vegetarian) reviews.

Soaring Sun said...

Steve is spending a week or so in Tucson, visiting his sister and possibly getting his bow restrung. (Oh, boy, can't wait for your comment on THAT, Roxanne!) Anyhow, if you have time in your social schedule, give me a call or an email and I'll facilitate your meet-up.

Anonymous said...

Good info on the Museum...and those 2 ladies look like very, very happy campers.
By the way the only reason you have sworn off dark chocolate cherries is because you have not yet sworn off Trader Joe's dark chocolate almonds. Or if you haven't yet you should immediately buy them so that you can do so...swear off them that is. I do this almost daily.

Allison said...

In no particular order I would suggest the following. Saguaro Monument East is also a must see. The signage along the drive is really good. Park somewhere around the Main Gate of UofA, walk in the main gate. Look left, go in the first building you see on the left which is the Arizona State Museum. They have fabulous displays of Southwest Native American art. In the area of downtown near the Cushing Street Bar and Grill there are restored old homes, follow the turquoise stripe on the sidewalk and enjoy the adobe. Morning Star Traders on Speedway is like a museum, but it's all for sale. El Guero Canelo is Sonoran dog heaven, get the sammie dog. Next weekend is the 4th Avenue Street fair, arts&crafts and people watching abound. That's what I can think of at the moment.

Allison said...

Ok, two more. Agua Caliente Park. It's way out east, but if you have not yet been to Mt.Lemmon, you could combine the two in one day. The park is very lush and green with water and massive palm trees. And while you're way out east, there's also Sabino Canyon. Alright, done now.

Donna K said...

That upside down saguaro is the strangest tree I have ever seen...would love to see it in person. Again, thank you for sharing all the pictures. I always enjoy seeing blue sky in November cuz I sure don't see any looking out my window!!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Nina, I've just sworn off swearing off. Taxi! Trader Joe's please, and don't spare the tread.

Sue, it's so beautiful I will let it stand. Yeah, we'd love to see Steve! It's totally up to him, though, since he has an actually time frame. I'll email you.

Harriett, it's true. Those other cacti didn't have paths beaten up to them for photos. We've always glad to know what not to pet. Anyone who would let us has an ulterior motive.

RV=real vegetarian - Hahaha!

Lynne, we haven't looked around by the university yet. That sounds like fun. We think we might have been in the old section today - extra trees and settled-looking houses. It was appealing.

Rodney, apparently their Soylent Green is actual plankton.

Sharon, if I were here for any length of time, I'd buy an annual pass to the museum. Worth going back many times.

Gaelyn, we'll keep trying until we get it right!

The Good Luck Duck said...

Donna, I lived for 32 years in Oregon East, and I still can't stop looking at the sky here. That saguaro is an odd duck himself.

Allison, what great ideas! Thanks so much!

Grace said...

Wha???? Signal Hill, Hohokam petroglyphs???? Holy Moly, where have I been! I've got to get out there and see those! Grace (in Tucson)

Anonymous said...

We loved driving through Saguaro National Park. We'd give personalities to a lot of the Saguaros and make up life situations they found themselves in. Fun times.

The Good Luck Duck said...

Hahaha! Molly, that's hilarious. Annie kept making up things they were saying ("No, please. After you").

See you out there, Grace! :D Tourists can't get ALL the good stuff.

Karin said...

Brenda here, disguised as Karin again. Yay for all the fun Tucson stuff!!! Oh yes, Agua Caliente is a gorgeous park that actually the DESERT. Freaked me out the first time we went there.

We loved meeting you two. In fact you ladies turned out to be the best part of that day. :)

Kimbopolo said...

I'll be there in about a month and can't wait! Nice petroglyphs! (I'm sure you get tired of hearing that).

I'm catching up on your adventures finally. Got a new computer that doesn't do that weird duck-reproducing thing on my toolbar. Not sure what that was about but it was ... persistent!