|The last sunset shared with friends at our camp outside of Ehrenberg. 1/26/14|
|We overnight'ed at the Quechan Casino Resort|
prior to going into Los Algodones. Taken sunrise 1/28/14.
|My Prius, Julie's Van, a Class B and Truck Camper at sunrise|
in the casino parking lot. 1/28/14
|We shared the casino parking lot with many, many larger RVs. 1/28/14|
After Los Algodones, Julie headed back north and I went east toward Tucson.
One of the aspects of traveling that I really enjoy is being spontaneous ... and such was the case while heading to Tucson. I saw a brown park sign while zooming along on I-8 that said "Painted Rock Petroglyphs" and, most encouragingly, a tent symbol which means camping was available. So, in a split-second decision I was off the freeway and heading north.
It is a primitive campground, no water, pit toilets, but the campsites had tables and fire rings ... desert camping with a few amenities. A short hike took you around a mound of rocks with many hundreds of petroglyphs.
|Looking up at the mound of rocks, many with petroglyphs. 1/28/14|
|So many rocks, so many petroglyphs. 1/28/14|
|A close up of one of the rocks. 1/28/14|
|Long shadows cast by the setting sun, a view from my campsite |
toward the rock mound. 1/28/14
|Yet another desert sunset.|
This time from my camp site at Painted Rock Petroglyphs. 1/28/14
|Little sprouting plants around my campsite. 1/30/14|
|Are these poppies that are ready to bloom? 1/30/14|
After spending several nights at Painted Rock Petroglyphs, I again headed east. While in Tucson, I couldn't resist checking out Saguaro National Park first thing. I took a really wonderful drive through Tucson Mountain Park first. Besides being amazed at the very tall and stately saguaro cactus all around me, I was so impressed with the density of all of the plant life; so unlike what I've been use to these last weeks of desert camping.
|View to the west from Saguaro NP Visitor Center (west). 1/31/14|
|A path behind the visitor center rambles by a 30' saguaro cactus. 1/31/14|
|Looking past the same saguaro cactus by the path, past a creosote bush, |
an unknown type of tree (mesquite?) to another saguaro cactus. 1/31/14
|View on the south side of the Visitor Center. |
Due to soaking rains and warmer-than-usual weather,
desert plants are starting an early bloom. 1/31/14
|Early, little yellow flowers on a creosote bush at the Visitor Center. 1/31/14|
|I don't know this plant, but it's flowering early too ... |
cute little purple buds and fuzzy pink flowers. 1/31/14
|I don't know this plant either, but it was starting to bloom. 1/31/14|
|These cholla? buds look like they are ready to pop (prickly pear below). Visitor Center 1/31/14|
The Sonoran desert is an amazing place.
|Near Saguaro NP Visitor Center (west). 1/31/14|
I will return to Saguaro NP ... so much more to explore!
I also had a chance to visit with some good family friends, Teresa and John, who have a winter condo in Tucson. We first visited a bit, then went to the amazing Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, "a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place." As if that wasn't enough, they treated me to a wonderful dinner and more good conversation. Very nice! So good to see you both!
And now, to the Super Bowl (almost half-time) ... the Seahawks are doing it (22-0)!