Saturday, February 26, 2022

So Happy !

Corona de Tucson

February 26, 2022

We are so happy !  Dr. Huang called yesterday with great news for Dover.   The  report from the canine cardiologist was all enlarged heart, and the arrhythmia is considered to be an "abnormal normal".  Also Dover's blood work was stellar.  The only concern is that there are certain medications she will have to avoid in the future due to the arrhythmia.  Her appointment has been made for March 15 to have the skin tag removed from her eyelid and her teeth cleaned.   Thank you to everyone for your concern and well wishes.   

I am also happy to report that Ronnie and Carol picked up their MH from the shop in Phoenix yesterday after spending Thursday night with us.  It was a long three weeks for them with 1,662 miles of traveling home and back to Arizona.  

We had a couple of chilly fact we had sleet, hail and a little snow that delivered a nice thin layer of white on the ground.  I was not impressed with the cold or the white stuff, but I did take the opportunity to make lasagna...a favorite cold weather comfort dish.  And the only photo I took was a sliver of ice that had not melted after the glorious sun appeared later.  


This morning, Joe and I found ourselves at Saguaro National Park-East.  It is one of our favorite places to go and only 18 miles from our back door as we enjoy a view of the Rincons from the backyard.  

Today we drove the Cactus Forest Loop Drive to the trailhead for Cactus Forest Trail-North.  It was our first time to enjoy the trail from this side of the loop drive.   

It is an easy walk with little to no elevation.

 Our first POI was a kiosk explaining the Cactus Shack.  

The shack was originally a storage shed for the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) during the development of the park and in 1936 it was converted to a ranger residence.  

All that remains today is the foundation.  It is worth noting that the residence did not have running water.  Water was hauled in 10 gallon jugs from town...11 miles away.

About a mile into the trail, we made a left turn onto the Lime Kiln Loop Trail.  

This POI explained how in 1880 when the railroad arrived in Tucson, the city needed to modernize. Adobe mud needed whitewash, dusty walls needed plaster, and new structures needed brick and mortar.  The demand for quicklime grew.

Each kiln required at least two wagon loads of (14-15 cords) of fresh wood for each batch of lime fired.   Once cooled, the lime was bagged and shipped by dusty roads to Tucson stores.  This was not without tensions...ranchers grazed cattle on this land.  Beans from the mesquite and palo verde trees were a major food source for the livestock.  When the trees were cut, that food was harder to find.  Around 1920, a judge agreed that the ranchers had rights to the trees and the kilns were closed. 

We also saw two crested saguaros.  The first one we noticed was a ways away...on a hillside as we were just getting started.  

The second one we missed going in, but saw on the way out.  It was right close to the trail and quite magnificent.

There was a side trail to the crested...way cool !

I think it might be a double crest if there is any such thing.

Some of the saguaros on this trail are very tall.  Joe guesstimated that this saguaro to between 32-35 feet tall making it about 150 years old.

We always enjoy our walks in the desert.  I'll close with a few more pics.


Until next time, give someone a hug...




  1. Great news for Dover!!! You have to be so relieved.
    Any precipitation is welcome, even snow and hail.
    A crested saguaro is a good find, a double crest is awesome. I don’t think the Nimble Hiker has posted one

    1. Thank you Jeff ! We are very relieved and so thankful Dover will be able to have that nasty skin tag removed. You are right on about the precipitation in the desert...any form of it is always welcome. I just about did a backwards flip when I saw that crested. It was a beauty and we almost missed it !

  2. Thank you for letting us know Dover's results. What wonderful news!! We've never been on this trail with the history. We will definitely be checking it out during our next visit. Love, love the crested saguaros. Your final photos are beautiful. What is the "netting" in the photo? That is so interesting.

    1. You are so welcome Pam. It was wonderful news! Cactus Forest Trail has a few options. We have always started the trail on the south side of the one-way loop road...mainly to avoid traffic mid-morning after we are done hiking. We were surprised at the history lessons as there is nothing mentioned in the brochure with the maps about either of those spots. You will LOVE the double is a beauty! The "netting" photo is a prickly pear cactus skeleton...isn't it just so cool?

  3. Good news for Dover! Love your crested saguaro photos--when living near Wickenburg we were always on the lookout for crested saguaros. Emmi has a heart murmur--doesn't seem to affect the little girl at all. And your "hug" photos are cool too!

    1. Yes it is Janna! Crested saguaros are nice finds aren't they? Jack also has a heart murmur which has not really affected him either. He is still quite the little athlete even at 13 years old...the life of the party! I had to post the "hug" photo. I have never seen a saguaro with arms like that. I just love the desert!

  4. Hugs to you and Joe! I love the cactus skeletons...they're beautiful in life and in death. Abnormal normal, hmmmm. sounds like me!
    Glad Dover's ok and good to go for her plastic surgery appointment!

    1. And hugs back to you, Dave and Lewis! I’m pretty sure we are all just a little abnormal normal…🤪. Anybody that lived in MH for 9 years is definitely not right in the head! But it sure was fun…👍! I had never seen a sawed off saguaro before. The body was huge so when it fell, it blocked the trail. That piece in the photo caught my eye…and was worthy of a photo! Totally agree with you about their beauty!

    2. I wanted to also say that we have a large side entry nest in a Palo Verde tree on the side of the house. Last year it was active, this year I see "someone" remodeling it and taking the building materials up a branch and starting a new home with them! Adaptive reuse!

    3. Awesome! Looking forward to updates! It’s always exciting to have feathered babies!

  5. Yay for good Dover news!! Thanks for taking us along on the trail and sharing all the fun treats along the way. I'm sure I've never even seen a pic of a double crested - what a great find :-)

    1. Thank you Jodee and you are welcome! Looking forward to revisiting that trail and the double crested…hoping for some spring color soon!