Sunday, January 1, 2017

Last Hike for 2016

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
December, 30, 2016

Our last hike for the year was a nice easy 3.5 mile hike in Saguaro National Park.  The loop was a combination of four trails...the Cam-Boh/Ironwood Forest/Picture Rocks Wash/and Ringtail Loop.

The Cam-Boh trail was lined with healthy and tall saguaros, 
the "real" Christmas Cactus (so named because of it's red winter fruit and green stem),

 and lots of barrel cacti.

 In June of 2000, 129,000 acres were designated as the Ironwood National Monument to protect the Ironwood trees and other desert vegetation.  These beautiful trees with their dark, smooth wood are more like a large bush than a tree.  In the spring they are covered in purplish blossoms that become bean pods which many desert animals eat.  

The views at the "high point" on Ironwood weren't spectacular, but still pretty.  We caught glimpses of Tucson, and mountain peaks in all directions.

We both commented on the large number of small saguaros scattered among the many huge saguaros with lots of arms.  Since these beauties grow very slowly, a 10 year old plant might only be 1.5 inches tall.  We didn't notice any that tiny.  The small ones we saw were probably around 40-50 years old.

As we made the left turn onto Picture Rocks Wash...

 ...our information said to look for petroglyphs (a hand and a bird) believed to have been drawn by the Hohokam Indians who occupied these valleys from 300-1400 A.D.

I did a little research on Hohokam petroglyphs.  I saw examples of hands, birds, human figures, animals, etc.


I'm not convinced these are "real" examples of their drawings, but then I am not an archeologist. We were in the National Park and you would like to believe they were, right?

 The last section of the loop, Ringtail Trail, is so named because of frequent ringtail sightings.  Ringtails are about the size of a large cat and are in the raccoon family.  They are also the state mammal of Arizona.  As you probably guessed, we didn't see a single one !

We did, however, have some excitement though.  I handed Joe the phone and he got the usual picture of me walking ahead.

All of a suden I heard a THUD !

Yep, Joe stumbled and fell.  He said, "I'm OK.  I should have been watching the trail not your tail !".  We used the first aide kit in the jeep for the first time !  

The rest of the week-end we were busy packing, I did some cooking and the pups got a bath.


and Dover didn't mind too much, 

 but, Sally was traumatized !  So much so that when we walked the pups last night, Sally stopped in her tracks and would not budge when we turned the corner that headed toward the doggie wash station. 

 Until next time, 


Up next, fun in San Diego ! 


  1. Oh, how wonderful to see so many saguaro!! I can hardly wait to get back and hike amongst them. I love how bright the red fruit is on the Christmas cactus. Tell Joe, welcome to the club! The two of us can hike together and compare war wounds:) Have a great time in San Diego!

  2. Ouch that looks sore.
    We loved the Saguaro National park that we toured many years ago, wonderful scenery.

  3. Looks like you did a great job capturing the Arizona desert. Nice shots! Always love your photos.

  4. The saquaros look pretty good for their age :-)) At least Joe didn't break the camera! Poor Sally, I'm sure she'll never get dirty again....

    1. Yes, wish we all grew that slow! Sally is so "out there" Jodee. Who knows , she might love her bath next time!

  5. Well that was a nasty little fall! Fortunately it looks pretty superficial....2016 going out with a bang!

    Sally is too funny! A little princess! ;-)

    Wishing you two a healthy and joyful 2017!

    1. Thanks Lisa. Wishing the same for you and Hans. Joe's knee and wrist are still sore, but he is much better.

  6. Ouch! But the camera survived and Joe didn't land in the cactus :) Another beautiful hike. Hope to meet in person while you're in San Diego.

    1. That sounds great Jeff. We will be here all month! Maybe a hike and lunch?

  7. The desert is calling me, thank you for the teasers. Hope to catch up with you when you get back from San Diego.
    Cheers for a great year ahead to you, Joe and the Tan clan.

    1. That sounds great MonaLiza....cheers to you and Steve!