February 14, 2010

A Change of Venue - Catalina State Park

After 8 days at Tucson Mountain Park, we have decided to change location and move up to the other side of town. We are now at Catalina State Park about 12 miles northeast of Tucson right at the base of the 9,000 foot high Santa Catalina Mountains.

We actually tried to get into this park a few days ago, but it was completely full. So, we got up really early and went for it again. When we arrived, it was still full, but we waited at the gate and luckily we got a spot when someone else pulled out of the campground. They told us we were lucky because sometimes you don't get in.

Snow-capped Mount Lemmon from our campsite

Rugged Pusch Ridge

As for why it is basically permanently full is obvious. Soaring rocky cliffs and canyons, snow-capped peaks, beautiful trails, there isn't much more you could wish for other than the Wal-Mart and housing developments that skirt the northern edge of the park.

There are streams that flow down from the mountains into the desert

We plan to stay here for the next week hiking the trails and exploring the Oracle region northeast of Tucson. Around the 22nd we'll probably move south to Bisbee or similar to do the Chiricahuas, Dragoons, and Patagonia area, before we begin working our way toward California in mid-March.

Check out this visitor to our campsite

For those of you wondering what Hilina does when I am working online and Linda is cooking, this is mostly it. She loves her plastic animals. She plays all kinds of skits and games with them. We tend to pick up a new animal at each of the museums and nature centers we visit (This otter was acquired at the Sonoran Desert Museum).

She also has her three favorite small stuffed animals. They are a bird named Bee-bee-beep (given to her by our friend Lydia in Big Water, her 4-H cat named Maurizio (given to her by my mom and named after Oma's cat), and her UW Husky named Wolf.

And, although she is blond and blue eyed, there is some evidence that she is related to me. One is that she has the classic ATRA-love of Gummy Worms. We don't give them to her often, but when that rare chance arrives, she goes crazy for them!

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