Going West, hello California
Headed back West again, word had it the new truck would be arriving about the same time as us so we left Rodeo, stopped by Kartchner Caverns to catch our breath and take a quick side trip to the Madera Canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains…so beautiful. We came at it from the SE passing through Sonoita and going North on 83..it turned into a long winding dirt road, Box Canyon Road, with a few too many drop-offs for Mike..I swore they said nothing about that in the books;) but it also passed through some high desert plains that were truly lovely..new foals grazing..idyllic looking really..worth the drop offs..really! He is scowling at me:)
I didn’t know what to expect except I’d read about the amazing bird life and with a few B&B’s with hummingbirds in their name..well, how could I go wrong! It is one of the largest of the Madrean Sky Islands which are enclaves of Madrean pine and oak woodlands. We drove up through the canyon, stopped at the campground to scope it out, only one site we could have fit in, and it was taken. Coues deer casually nibbled grass alongside the road. My kind of place. Where the road ended we parked and embarked on a fairly long hike, got yelled at by an angry squirrel, Mike in his Birks as normal, yes there were more drop offs as the path crisscrossed the arroyos…not Mike’s kind of day;) We made our way down the canyon for several miles and then had to hike back up the paved road..some serious elevation change here..HATE those hikes…arghhhhh…better to go uphill first and downhill on the way home:) We did get to look at several really beautiful B&B’s as we hiked back up to the truck and as I’d read about the Santa Rita Lodge once we made it back to the car…huffpuffhuffpuff…we drove down the hill and stopped in for an ice cream..a well deserved treat and the hummingbirds:) Heaven! We chatted with Steve, the owner of Santa Rita Lodge, also a lover of Baja and a super nice guy. Ate our ice creams and sat on the side porch by the store watching the hummingbirds. That is the way to end a hike! Wish they had RV hookups:) I could spend many many days here! PLEASE!!!!!:)
We left Kartchner Caverns and decided not to stop in Tucson but to drive a bit further to Picacho Peak State Park. I’ve become a big fan of these state parks, so much nicer than being sardined into a RV park. Trees, oops, I mean really tall cactus and better views than just your neighbor’s windows! The peak was stunning but the temperatures were over 90° and it was way too hot to go climbing about on tall rocks..we enjoyed the view from the ground. The park is quite noisy with Interstate 10 being right next to it, as well as the train tracks but still it was enjoyable, and those sunsets…wowza!
I had really looked forward to some dark skies but with Tucson to the SE and Phoenix to the North and the moon about to rise it just was not good timing so I settled for these magnificent sunsets and the blooming saguaros, and even a moon set in the early morning. It is a beautiful area to explore and there is a rather precarious hike to the top of Picacho if you feel able, and like heights, and cables and planks of wood to get where you are going:) Great Tacky Gift Store and Dairy Queen (since when did they become so yuck?) at the corner..should have taken my camera in for the holy cross made of replica pistols…only in America!
Next stop Yuma, at Rivers Front RV to wait out the incoming winds and a sandstorm to pass before the final hop across the dunes to Sandy Dayglo and Lake Jennings…Felt like going home weirdly enough, guess we have spent enough time here for it to feel like a base.
We managed to get a two week reservation at Lake Jennings ( Thank you so much Kira!) and thought that would be fine until we headed North to Canada but…when I visited the horses they just were not receiving the level of care that I would have liked and I need to be able to leave and feel comfortable about their well being. Dusty had been kicked through the pipe bars of the corral and looks like it went unnoticed for several days, wounds covered with flies, how can you NOT see that? Maya was off (lame) in front and both their eyes were goopy and covered with flies..so we made the rounds to a few other barns and I put in a call to my first barn of choice way back, and low and behold, two stalls had opened up, side by side for Dusty and Maya..yeah! But on June 1st…oh dear..OK..we can do this and still get to Ontario in time for Ashley’s wedding!
So, here we are…waiting it out..but enjoying some free time to pamper the equines and catch up on executor stuff..still going on..and on…Mike sent his older 18″ Starmaster Dobsonian scope off to Ontario today with a tear in his eye. He donated it to the Royal Astronomical Society in Ottawa to use..a wonderful gesture to a club he really enjoyed and is looking forward to socializing with and observing with his OAFS (Ottawa Astronomy Friends) who do public outreach sidewalk astronomy there.
Meanwhile Stinky and Beezil get their afternoon walk up and down the paths and a whole new set of wildflowers are blooming. The Osprey is still here and a young Red-tail hawk has taken up residence nearby. A Black Crowned Night Heron flies between perches as he sees me coming trying to avoid my stalking. The Cormorants and Coots have mostly gone and the lake seems very quiet…Spring migration is over.
But we have to go, our two weeks are up and you have to leave for at least 14 days before coming back…County Park summer rules. We probably will not be back until the Fall..with the horses moving further North we may need to find a new base of operations but for the meantime…it’s back to the beach. Pacific Beach that is…Mike and my old stomping grounds..
We had a many a fine time here disturbing the peace with his ’69 Camaro and my ’65 Corvette…those were fine times…the new diesel truck is almost as loud as the old cars, has a bit more torque..OK.. a lot;) and it is a fair bit larger..Prius drivers tend to move over as you barrel up on them…somethings never change..worked in the old Vette too;) Family is also close by and it is time to catch up with cousins and uncles and aunts, always fun..good food and company…Stay tuned…hopefully no tickets for excess noise or exhibition of speed;)..you old hot rodders will remember those fines:) There is even a Oldies car show down here this weekend…different kinds of horsepower for different times…stay tuned for some shiny chrome and seabirds..although Mike has me parked on the wrong lane me thinks;) What ever was he thinking?
Saludos mis amigos!