Hike, Bike, and Life

With our departure date from Green Valley in sight, we’ve amped up our activity level. All of the sudden, there are a million things we want to get done before we leave. One would think that we would have this figured out by now, but we do the same thing every year.

So, we’ve had an assortment of bike rides and hikes that we’ve done nearly every day. I haven’t taken many photos, as most of these are rides and hikes we’ve done and photographed before.

But, Caroline and I did find a few new sights on a hill-climbing ride a couple of weeks ago. Only in AZ will you find someone who is using a Saguaro cactus skeleton painted purple as a mailbox post.20160215_101554We also passed this sign on the road that goes up to an old cattle ranch.20160215_104939Every day has been hot and sunny. Perfect blue skies, and no rain in sight. Now, don’t all of you in snowy climes get all agitated with me, but it’s actually been too hot. Up in the mid 80s in the afternoon, which is just too much. We have had to close up the Fireball and turn on our little air conditioner when we want to leave Jezzy for an afternoon. Never have we had to do that at this time of year before.

We’ve done one of our favorite hikes up to Rogers Rock twice this month. It’s an easy 5.5 mile hike, with a spectacular lunch spot at the halfway point. Love this hike! 20160213_133913The RV park where we are currently camped has a hiking group, and I joined them for a hike to a new spot (for me). We started from the Gordon Hirabayashi Campground on Mt. Lemmon. The campground is the site of the prison camp where Hirabayashi was jailed for refusing to go to one of the internment camps for Japanese-Americans in WWII. Although the buildings there no longer exist, we hiked down into the old reservoir and along the water supply system for the old prison. The campground is a much more pleasant option. The hike itself was unremarkable, but it passed through beautiful Sycamore Canyon.

20160220_10563920160220_11260420160220_113032We stopped to admire some of the many Century plants (Agave Americana). Century plants don’t live to be a hundred years old – 10 to 30 years is the norm. In their last seasons, they send up a tall seed stalk. 20160220_100348The last significant hike I did was in the gorgeous Sabino Canyon area of the Catalina Mountains. The Seven Waterfalls trail was our choice of the many hiking options that day. It’s an 8.2 mile trek, along a trail which crosses the same stream about seven times. The stream crossings are fun, but treacherous on the slippery rocks. We came across one 70+ year old woman who had slipped on the rocks, and was unable to hike back out under her own power. Another helpful hiker was phoning 911 to arrange a rescue. We wondered aloud if she would be helicoptered out, or how assistance would be provided. The answer – horseback rescue. We hiked to the spectacular falls, had lunch, and encountered the rescue operation upon our return. Three horses, about a dozen rescue folks from various organizations – Park Rangers, plus at least two different search and rescue organizations. About six vehicles had hauled the rescuers up the road as far as they could go, and they covered the last two miles on foot. So interesting to see…..20160222_13150120160222_131509I think the rescued woman was pretty certain that her foot wasn’t broken, and seemed to be putting up an argument against being taken to the hospital. I’m sure this was a pretty costly hike for her.

For us, it was a terrific hike with lots of beauty. It’s one I would happily revisit every year.20160222_10291920160222_11054620160222_111223There are seven cascading falls at the high point of the hike, with plenty of water rushing down. Hard to find a more pleasant lunch spot, although it was jammed with other hikers on this warm weekday.20160222_11582120160222_11502120160222_111702We’re excited to be hitting the road again, heading to places in California we’ve not visited together yet – Big Sur, Monterrey, San Francisco, Redwoods National Park. Our new axle will be installed Tuesday morning as we leave Tucson. John has been busy with other repairs and modifications, making the Fireball as roadworthy as she can possibly be.

Ready to roll.

18 thoughts on “Hike, Bike, and Life

  1. Back here we’re digging out from under nearly a foot of snow, and out there, it’s blue skies and too warm, trade you!

    I think that I would love to see these places in person, for a visit. I’m afraid that I’d go crazy without any trees or large bodies of water around. But, it sounds like you’re relaxing and living the good life, so maybe the trade offs are worth it. I hope that this new axle cures the problem once and for all, and that you have a safe trip to your next destination.

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    • There are lots of trees in the Canyons where we’ve hiked. We almost always find great shady spots for lunch. Water is more scarce, of course, but there is still LOTS of running water from snow melt in the mountains. One of my favorite things about hiking is listening to the rushing water. These are the hikes that we tend to seek out – I’m not fan or broiling myself in the desert. Lakes are a bit harder to come by – not so many shorebirds for your camera here, Jerry.

      I’m ready to leave the desert now, though. We’ll be on the ocean soon. Looking forward to exploring some new territory.

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    • Not sure if there is always water in the Falls. We attempted this hike a couple of years ago at about the same time of year,and were turned back by the huge volume of water rushing through the creek. Feast or famine. But Sabino Canyon is a huge Recreation Area. There are plenty of hikes on any day.

      Hope you have had your last tornado scare, Caite, and are enjoying nice weather again.

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  2. When you mentioned California I meant to mention our favorite CA coast town is Cayucos, so if you can, stop and check it out. Also, I hope you have Hearst Castle on your agenda. Definitely worth a visit. We’ve been twice (2 tours) and want to go again for the third.

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    • Robin, your comment brought up a discussion. We’re not sure if we are really too interested in the Hearst Castle. We’ve been to Biltmore, and I’m not sure if I want to see another Castle. But, we wonder if this might be akin to not visiting Versailles if you are in the area.

      The debate continues…..

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      • I’ve never been to Biltmore but it’s on my list of top places to see someday. I know Biltmore was built with mega-wealth but am unsure of what kinds of art and treasures are still part of the house. HC is probably not as large but makes up for it in its stunning location on the top of a hill and its Hollywood history. If you are going to Big Sur, it’s right on the way and I remember a nice state park fairly close by. If you are going to be in the area on a weekday, you can probably wait until you arrive to decide and would most likely be able to get a tour reservation. However, if you decide to skip HC, think about Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. Tres creepy and fascinating, and totally different vibe from the mansions.

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      • Had to look up the Winchester House – had never heard of it. Looks interesting.

        Don’t know why we are hesitating on Hearst. It’s not so much a money thing – more that I just get impatient and bored with tours. If there was a self-directed audio tour, I would probably ​go for that. My bad attitude about tours probably keeps me from seeing lots of great sites.

        Thanks for the tips on the Tahoe area. We’re going to wait to see what the weather looks like before we make any specific plans. Getting stuck in the mountains in a spring snowstorm would not be on our preferred agenda.

        Thanks, Robin.

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    • There are at least two campgrounds on Mt. Lemmon that I’m aware of. We have never been in either of them, because there is usually snow up there at this time of year. At least at the Hirabayashi campground, it was warm and sunny. Full of campers!

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  3. Such amazing excitement and beauty. You are headed for some of my favorite places. I recommend riding the 17-Mile Drive out of Monterey. It’s gorgeous. I think you would also enjoy the John Steinbeck Museum in Salinas. Redwoods National Park is just stunning. I’ve never felt so small. Alcatraz is another great place to visit with its unique history. Biking over the Golden Gate Bridge is a bucket list trip followed by seafood at the restaurants on the Piers in San Francisco. So many wonderful adventures await you. I’m envious, but can’t wait to see your pictures and blogs. Hope this is the end of major fixes on the Fireball.

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    • I’ve been on the 17 Mile Drive in a car – it is on the bike list for sure. Will have to check out the Steinbeck Museum, wasn’t aware of it. We’ve been anxious to go to Redwoods after staying at Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Sequoia may be. My favorite National Park so far – it was so peaceful.

      We still have the window issue on the Fireball to address, but hope for a repair truce for the next year or so.

      Hope all that new snow goes away quickly. It’s time for the daffodils to come up! Thanks for checking in, Alison.

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