Well, it’s been interesting, to say the least, since we left Lost Dutchman State Park on Thursday.
We were delighted to find that the best route to Catalina State Park in Tucson would keep us off the Interstate. That always makes for a good day. After a decent breakfast at the Hoosier Cafe, we hit the road. Our route took us through Florence, AZ, which must be the Prison Capitol of the state! Razor wire everywhere. Interestingly enough, this was where John’s dad spent a good portion of his WWII military service. German POWs were held at the base in Florence, where Frank was a truck driver.
Just a ways down the road, we saw a sign for the Tom Mix memorial. Check it out? Of course! Turns out that this famous film cowboy was killed in a car accident here in October, 1940. His horse, Tony the Wonder Horse, died exactly two years later. What I liked most about this whole tale was the fact that Mix had been playing poker with Scotty (of Scotty’s Castle, Death Valley fame) earlier on the day of the crash. Some reports said his car was filled with cash and jewelry, other reports said that was untrue. Interesting spot for a ten-minute break.We’ve got a pretty good spot at Catalina, although we’re dismayed by the unkempt appearance of the Park. Perhaps we’ve just been spoiled by the immaculate conditions at Dutchman, but all we see are weeds grown too high, dirt and sand. Disappointed to see no fire pits here at all. Hard to sit outside in the cold, dark without fire. Storms are predicted for the next couple of days, so we deploy our big awning. It’s nice to be able to sit outside in the rain.
Thursday looks to be the only dry day, so we decide to hike to Romero Pools, roughly a six mile round trip. Of course, it starts off uphill, which tests our still-tender Flatiron muscles.This is a gorgeous trail, with many beautiful views. A steady stream of downhill hikers gives us a bit of encouragement that we may have the Pools area to ourselves. Turns out to be nearly so.Our friend Vern invited us to dinner at his Tucson home. Such a treat not to cook our own food after a tiring hike. We feasted on carne asada, with some terrific tortillas, chips and guacamole. It was wonderful to be in a home, with all that comfort and warmth. The patio fire pit was perfect.
Weather trouble began brewing later that night. Rain, sometimes really pounding, battered us. Knowing that we’d be spending lots of time inside the Fireball, we decided to do some much needed grocery shopping.Once we got back to camp, the pounding began. Yikes! By 6pm, we had received nearly an inch of rain. Doesn’t sound like much, but this hard desert surface in a mountain valley has nowhere to put all that water. Late Friday night, we could hear it pouring downdown the mountains into the wash.
Saturday, we awoke to find ourselves marooned in Catalina SP. The only road out was covered with about a foot of water, over the top of a couple feet of sand, which totally obliterated the road.The water was really rushing past. It was fascinating. We hiked to the Trailhead, to find it nearly unrecognizable.Anyway……long story short….heavy equipment was brought in, and tons of sand were scraped off the path. A few vehicles escaped, mostly 4wd. One incoming vehicle got stuck (much to the delight of the many spectators), but eventually got himself and his rig across. We stood in the rain for three hours, watching the spectacle of the earth movers and trucks trying to unbury our road.High drama + high comedy with the impatient drivers thrown in.
In any case, we believe well be able to leave Sunday, as planned. lt finally stopped raining around 6pm, so the water should recede. The road crew will start work early to scrape all the new sand off to open one lane.
If you never see this blog again, we didn’t make it. Otherwise, I’ll check in sometime next week.
Oh, one more thing. As we pulled into the campground here, we see a campsite with two tents, and an EZ Up, with numerous flags aflutter – an American flag, an Ohio Stare Flag, Harley Davidson flag of some kind, and a custom-made one that says “One Year In a Tent”. 2014 – 2015. Interesting, I think.While walking Jezzy, I encounter OYIAT guy. We have a conversation like this…
Me: Are you the One Year in a Tent guy?
OYIAT Guy: Yep, that’s me!
Me: So, what’s that all about?
OYIAT Guy: Well, I started on a very appropriate day last year. Want to guess when that was?
Me: Independence Day?
OYIAT Guy: Nope, April Fool’s Day!
Me: Wow. Then you’re almost done.
OYIAT Guy: Last night was Day 227. I only count the days we actually sleep in the tent.
Me: Open mouth, stupid look.
OYIAT Guy: Yeah, we’ve traveled thru 28 states, blahblahblah……
Am I out of line here? Doesn’t One Year In A Tent mean 365 consecutive days? PLUS, he’s running a generator in his tent!!!! Get out, OYIAT Guy. You are a fraud. I am so done with you.
End of rant.
It’s 10:30pm, and is has started to rain again! Damn! That wasn’t supposed to happen. Hope it’s just a gentle shower. We’ll see…..