beluga

beluga

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Friday, a week later

We've been busy here in Tucson.   Lots of friends in the area mean lots of happy hours, visits  and dinners out.    I took pictures at some of them, and forgot at others!


One day this week, (I can't keep track of which day we did what) we drove towards the Catalina wilderness and Bear Canyon to visit with friends Tina and Ron at their beautiful new (to them) home.

Tina and Ron

We spent a few hours enjoying the beautiful day and great conversation in their colorful back yard before heading home.    We hadn't seen them in a year, we had lots to talk about.

One evening we joined MonaLiza and Steve (lowestravels.com), Hans and Lisa (metamorphosisroad.blogspot.com) Pam and John (ohtheplacestheygo.wordpress.com) and Marsha and Paul (wheresweaver.blogspot.com) at Buffalo Wild Wings for drinks and dinner.  We'd never met Marsha and Paul and enjoyed our time with them.


Last night we met Rick and JoAnne Morgan at Vero Amore Restaurant in Marana, just a bit north of us.    We picked it because it was close to halfway between our two rv parks - they've been staying up at Picacho Peak for a few months.    Its too cold in their home state of Colorado!

We realized it has been almost two years since we last saw each other and there was a lot to talk about!

Rick and his lovely bride, JoAnne


One day Dave and I drove up the beautiful road to Mt. Lemmon    On the way up you pass through forests of Saguaro, beside a rushing stream, past huge and fascinating rock formations, multiple thundering waterfalls, into pine forests and end in piles of snow!   It is quite a ride.


pay no attention to the bullet holes.....





a little postprandial relaxation

hard to resist picking up pretty rocks.....

two of the seven cataracts









fantastic clouds this day

brrrr, snow piles
sandals and snow....
Today we drove south on I-19 to do a bit of birding in Madera Canyon.


the creek was so very clear and colorful
Once in the area we turned off on Proctor Road, a rough dirt road with dispersed camping along its length.    After crossing a small creek and a cattle guard we were pretty much all alone.    We stopped frequently to pan the mesquite trees for possible birds and anything else of interest.







We stopped for lunch where the road ended in a small wash.    Afterward we walked around a fence and continued along the wash for a nice short hike following small flocks of birds as we moved along.

down we go

the Jeep's front bumper makes a nice seat!
these brilliant white branches host wonderful birds
a very busy lady Ladder-backed Woodpecker

spring begins tentatively along the stream
I took pictures of some of the birds we saw, and some we just enjoyed watching.

dark eyed junco

first the "boys" came to drink (western bluebirds)

and then the girls

The sunsets have been wonderful almost every night.


I can't believe how fast the time is going.   We only have three more days left before we leave and we've so many more things we want to do!      

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Tuesday

Tuesday was Jodee and Bill's last day here.    They asked us if we wanted to take the Jeeps out and have a little fun; yes said we!

Jodee and Bill lead the way past one of the huge Power Parasol's here at
the KOA/Lazydays.

Jodee had a plan, so we simply followed their mango tango jeep through the campground and east to Redington Road.


The pavement ended and the road became a wide rutted dirt road as we climbed through a virtual forest of Saguaro.


We stopped along the way for photographs and to scan the near hillsides and distant mountains.    Its fun to look for the elusive crested Saguaro (and we have to report them to Pam), waterfalls, assorted animals and desert life in general.

Bill and I demonstrate correct binocular stance


don't count his old guy out - bullet ridden, head blown off
he still continues to grow

But its also fun to notice what is right underfoot.


these tiny cacti looked as if they were covered in lace






The cloud formations were fantastic and they only enhanced the expansive views.







I knew there were a number of natural "tanks" or water holes along this route.



We decided to head for one named Josephine Tank (in honor of our leader, Jodee) for lunch.   You know how I  like to have lunch by the water.


Best laid plans.....It turned out that Josephine Tank was a hike-in only trail so Bill suggested we backtrack a bit and try and find Race Track Tank.


The heretofore beautiful clouds were beginning to join up and darken but we were sure our trusty Jeeps could get us where we wanted to go.


 After turning off Redington Road onto a spur the track became more eroded and difficult so we decided to stop for lunch and then decide whether it was wise to continue to on to find the Tank.


We set up our gourmet repast on a large rock in the middle of a low running stream and enjoyed sandwiches and conversation to the sound of a tiny nearby waterfall.

formal family portrait


It was decided to finish our drive to Race Track Tank, we knew we were close.

should we or shouldn't we?

we'll stay on this side


Bill and Dave walked and talked.    Jodee, Tessa and I explored the shoreline a bit and took some pictures.

stealth is necessary when photographing the shy Jeep in their natural habitat


Race Track Tank

We soon realized that the spots appearing on the water were not fish hits or bugs but were, indeed, raindrops.    The weather had finally caught up with us.    It rained lightly on our way home.  

 We're so glad we shared this great day with our friends.