January 3, 2011

Happy New Year from the Sonoran Desert

Hey everyone, Taylor-Lenz is back and in effect for the 2011 Year. There are some projects we will be working on this year to expand this blog to even greater things. But, the new roll out will probably not happen until February. Anyways, we are at Usery Mountain County Recreation Area as we await our return visit to Washington later this month and then the move to Sedona in February.

I'll be posting a few more back-dated posts on our adventures in Texas this week. But, for now, I decided to do a little flashback to one year ago. On January 14th, 2010 we were also staying here at Usery Mountain. So, here is what Hilina looked like as she prepared for her 2nd birthday (instead of 3rd!) Here is what I wrote:

We haven't had much of an opportunity to do much hiking yet, because I have been busy with end of semester work and Linda has been busily cleaning and organizing the trailer and restocking supplies.

But, we've had the chance to take some nice evening walks on the nature trails with Hilina. She is really becoming a cactus expert and can tell you the difference between saguaros, barrel cacti, hedgehog cactus, teddy cholla and pencil cholla, among others.

I was also tired of her always grabbing my hiking poles while hiking, so she now has her own. Hilina's been having fun looking at the scorpions and toys and posters at the Nature Center. They do some really nice childrens programs like a "story time" and a "bird watching" activity. We are going to stay here one more week and then head into more remote country on the 22nd.

The Sonoran desert has been unusually dry this winter and you can tell it by looking at the plants. Many of the cactus have shriveled up and the shrubs are brown.  But, last night we had a big thunderstorm and some rain. It's been cool at night, but creeps up near 70 in the afternoon. They are expecting some El Nino rains all of next week, so maybe that will help the wildflowers.

Anyways, on Friday, we'll be doing the 7.5 mile Usery Mountain Loop, which we did 7 years ago. This loop goes all the way around the mountain and ventures into the Tonto National Forest.

You can find that link at: http://www.hikemasters.com/2010/01/pass-mountain-loop-usery-mountain.html

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