Saturday, March 28, 2015
We headed back along the trail that follows the base of the Catalina Mountains, and many of us just couldn't help but take our time just to take more pictures of the flowers and soak in the natural beauty of such colorful scenery.
Pretty day, great hike, with friends-priceless!
March 24, Tuesday. We visited this museum last season and Steve and Kitty wanted us to go again this season with them. With the warmer temperatures earlier this year, we knew the desert flowers and cacti would be blooming. So colorful! Steve, behind Doug in the 3rd picture, is a bad as I am, always go that camera out! We were in the Digital Imaging Class together so were constantly comparing notes and pictures. Kitty was just so amazed at all the color and thoroughly enjoyed herself.
Our main goal was to be in the park in time to watch the Raptor Birds in Flight show. Further out in the open is the main viewing area and the different birds fly right over your head within mere inches. Beautiful creatures and fun to see them flying and landing up close. We were a little disappointed because last season we saw a lot more birds. This season we only saw three. The birds are certainly well trained and they do have an antenna attached to then so the handlers know where they are at all times. The handlers would put food on branches and then stoop down out of the way so the birds would land close to the crowd for pictures.
After the show, we walked over to part of the zoo area. I had to be sure and see the Prairie Dogs. There were very few and no little ones like last season. I did get a picture of the Ocelot. Most of the other animals were sleeping and some exhibits were closed.
We also had time to visit the Hummingbird house. They are so colorful, fast and cute! Several were building nests and the one nest had one baby in it.
It was a short visit and we stopped for lunch on the way back at a Mexican restaurant. Steve and Kitty are good company and we will miss them next season but sure hope to meet up with them in their travels.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Archaic nomads used the Sabino Canyon area for thousands of years who hunted small game in the canyon. The earliest visitors were probably of the Clovis culture 12,500 years ago, and later, as the climate changed, the Cochise culture became dominant about 8,000 years ago. About 1500 ago, farmers of the of the Hohokam culture occupied the canyon and archeological excavations of their culture continues in the canyon to this day. They disappeared about 1500 and were replaced by the Pima and Tohono O'odham Indians, who still inhabit the Tucson area today. Spanish explorers traversed the area from the 16th to the 18th century, and Father Eusebio Francisco Kino named the village of San Cosme de Tucson and the Santa Catalina Mountains when he visited the area at the end of the 17th century.
It was hot and, also, Spring Break for schools and colleges. Oh, boy! What a zoo!! The place was packed and we must have driven around the parking lot 4 times before we found a parking spot. Then our friends, Steve and Kitty (from our RV park), and Doug and I bought our tickets to ride the shuttle up through the canyon. $8.00 a person! We have been to the canyon before and I sure don’t remember it being that expensive.
U.S. Congress established the Catalina Forest Reserve in 1902, which included Sabino Canyon, and in 1908, it came under the control of the newly created Coronado National Forest. Various attempts to dam the canyon failed until the 1930s, when improvements like bridges, roads, picnic tables, and toilets were made by the WPA and Civilian Conservation Corp. Sabino Canyon continued to grow in popularity over the next decades as Tucson's population grew. The Forest Service constructed the road into Lower Bear Canyon in 1960, and a Visitor's Center in 1963. A shuttlebus service began in 1978 to replace private cars. Today, Sabino Canyon has over 1 million visitors every year.
it is a pleasant and pretty ride up through the canyon walls that are lined with Saguaro cacti everywhere. We took the shuttle all the way to the end of the canyon and got off to hike just a small part of the canyon.
The desert poppies and other flowers where blooming so it was really colorful. Kitty couldn’t help but sit among the flowers. We only hiked a short distance because of the heat then waited for the shuttle to pick us up for the ride back out. There were people and kids all along the road hiking between the different shuttle stops up and down the canyon. Too hot for me! I’ll take the shade of the shuttle bus!
Once back at the bottom, we found a picnic table to have a late lunch. Somebody else was hungry, too!! I just couldn’t resist feeding them. I probably shouldn’t have given it to him, but one little guy really seemed to enjoy his M&M! So cute.
It was fun visiting the canyon with our friends. They both lived in Tucson many years ago and wanted to see how much the canyon had changed. They couldn’t get over the changes. One thing Kitty remembered was a Geleto Ice Cream shop , so that was where we headed for our dessert. Any day is a good day for ice cream! A nice ending to our day.