Rolled into Tucson Tuesday after and was rescued by my daughter Becca – stayed with her until Thursday morning – resting and resupplying
Coming into Tucson was gently rolling grasslands
Yesterday I began a big climb up into the Santa Catalina Mountains.
I thought the rubber tire restriction was odd
As I climbed I saw many indicators of spring
See the moon setting?
If not, follow the charred snag
The sky was fabulous
Some great flowers
Some odd wood shapes
Here’s where I am now overlooking Tucson
Quite the day!!
Resupplying in Tucson today and it occurred to me that I hadn’t mentioned two pieces of gear that I’ve been using that are new on this AZT trip.
One is a small solar panel that sits on top of my backpack and charges a battery that keeps my cell phone and headlamp charged. Has worked great so far in keeping them running
The other is my new tent that weighs only one pound, and is supported by my trekking poles.
Trying to keep up on the latest trends,
Climbed up and over the 8000+ feet Rincons.
Up top it looked just like Flagstaff with horny toads and tall ponderosa pines and patchy snow
Then coming down, spring returned
Caught a nice sunset
The grasslands were beautiful
So many flowers
Heading to Tucson and a day of rest
On my hike yesterday I met a retired fellow named Guy Loomis. He was riding a mountain bike on a technical section of single track. He offered me some water and I saw many 5 gallon water jugs in the back of his truck as well as all kinds of gold panning gear.
He has been gold panning for 12 years and has collected an ounce and a half of gold flakes. Valued at over $1000.
He told me how to join a local gold panning club so that I can start looking for gold near my house. Oh, yeah!!!
Also saw some gorgeous saguaros
Spent much of my day admiring the trail construction work of the civilian conservation corps from the 1930’s.
These guys did some amazing stone work that has held up for nearly 100 years.
A manzanita in bloom and a few others
Past this milestone yesterday morning – 700 to go!!
Now I’m sitting down in the very hot, very dry desert enjoying a snack I picked up on a detour to Colossal Cave State Park. My daughter had left a food drop there. Yay Becca!!
A few flowers
As I move north into saguaro NP,
I saw my first saguaro yesterday in Cienega Creek sanctuary
Crossed under interstate 10 south of Tucson
There’s an equestrian bypass ( unless you have a really short horse)
Here’s where I sit as I write this – lots of sharp stuff
Straight up desert.
As I descended fro 6-7000 feet to 3000 feet, it became spring
Many cacti, too, like this fishhook barrel
Now I’m headed toward the Rincon Mountains and some big climbing
Best Life Ever,
Leaving the Santa Rita mountains behind
Met a very cool fellow named Ron Parry yesterday. He’s an academic guy who studies moths in SW New Mexico. He’s identified 500 species in his area and hopes to live to get 1000.
Also learned a lot about the Santa Rita Mining and Water Company that searched for gold in the Santa Rita Mountains in the early 1900. They used a technique called hydraulic mining (which required lots of water). They went to great extent to move water to dry canyons to blast the soil and separate the gold. Alas, not much gold was found..
There are still lots of posted mining claims along the trail.
A few more shots from yesterday
Climbed up from Patagonia into an oak chaparral
Lots of mining around here and the trail is rerouted around a mine reclamation project by the National Forest Service
But the reroute was stunning
Later in the day started climbing further into the Santa Catalina mountain range and its pinnacle Mount Wrightson.
Camped high last night and I’m descending today
Haven’t see a single person in the past 24 hours.
All for now….
Arrived in the first town of the trip at mile 50 yesterday evening.
I’ve got a great cell signal here so I’ll share a few photos
Met a couple bikers, Dan and Liz
These guys make better time than me but work hard pushing their bikes up the steep hills. Liz is participating in a 750 mile bike race that goes the length of the AZ trail on April 18.
I’m solo at this point. Maureen and Kim went back to work and Jim is taking off today. Here’s to them!!
Back on the trail this am