Gold Canyon RV and Golf resort has become our base camp for our travels south. Driving in and seeing the lush greenery, fountains and palm trees always gives us a feeling of having arrived home. We have spent this week getting settled, planning our weekly activities and as happens every year, wondering whether a park model is in our future. We do this every year however so far we have decided we have made our bed, literally and figuratively, with our truck and trailer combo.
So far we have not had the best weather on our trip. Tucson was a bit better, at least for the first 2 weeks, but the last 10 days has been cold, mid 50s during the day and freezing temperatures at night. I know, I know, not -35 like at home but we didn't drive 3000 miles to wear jackets.
We thought our furnace problem had been fixed but after 3 days of heat it stopped working again. The same fellow came to take a look at it and wouldn't you know it the furnace worked fine when he was there. He figured it could be the sail switch and gave me the part number should the furnace stop working agin. That was just before Christmas and he was taking a few days off so I decided to purchase a new sail switch myself, cost of $10, just in case it stopped working over the Christmas break. Wouldn't you know it a few days later no heat. Between my limited skills and You Tube, a couple trips to Home Depot I got the new switch installed and we have had a functioning furnace ever since.
Between the truck being in the shop for the first week and the inclement weather we didn't get as many activities in as we had hoped however we did manage a couple more hikes. The first one was back to Catalina State Park to visit some of the pools up in the canyons. The second was back up to Mount Lemon on Dec 24. That was the last day of nice weather before the cold snap was supposed to hit and since its 20 degrees colder on the mountain than it is down in Tucson we thought we had better get up there. Good thing cause a few days later they had had a couple of days of snow with an accumulation of about 2 feet and the roads were closed going up the mountain.
Our plan for Catalina was to take the Romero Canyon trail up to the Montrose Pools and then on from there up to the Romero Pools. We achieved the first part of the plan finding the Montrose Pools after a mile walk on a fairly level trail. The second 1.7 miles to the Romero Pools proved elusive as the trail became much steeper and rockier and with the heat of the day being in full force we didn't quite make it. I kept telling Lori it was just around the next bend (a lie, or as they say down here, alternative facts) but she was wise to me and we turned back about half way up. We committed to trying it again on a cooler day however that day will have to be on a future trip to Tucson.
|That was the path up to the Romero Pools.|
|The Montrose Pools consist of a small creek running through the canyon. |
Lots of water in the creek given all the recent rains.
|Lori asking for divine help.|
No Charli this trip as dogs are not permitted on this trail.
December 24 we headed up to Mount Lemon and ended up trying a couple of different trials plus venturing out on a lookout point. What a difference 6000 feet in elevation makes in the scenery. Gone is the desert. Hello Spruce,Pine and Cedar.
The first trail we tried, Butterfly trail, was on the north side of the mountain and at 8,000 feet proved to be covered in snow and ice. We made an attempt but studded hiking boots were needed. The second trail, a little further down the mountain and on the south face, proved to be more doable. This trail was called Mount Bigelow Trail and was 1.7 miles in length with a 577ft elevation gain. It provided beautiful views with a series of buildings at the top housing a communication array.
|From the top of Mt Bigelow.|
|We stopped at one of the lookouts.|
Spotted all these wild animals climbing the rocks.
They were everywhere.
|All bundled up and ready for adventure. |
Till we hit the snow and ice on the trail.
|Tucson is down there somewhere, off to the right.|
|This little rock provided some practice for a number of climbers.|
|Often one gets so entranced by the scenery that one can forget to watch where one is walking.|
That could prove to be not a good thing.
|The ice and snow on the trail. |
Lori got on a slopped spot and started sliding towards the edge.
Thats when we decided to try another trail further down the mountain.
|Another shot of the Coati. |
You can really see the tail and snout in this pic.
|Lori and Charli having a conversation after our attempt on Butterfly Trail.|
Lori: "That trail was just too icy. We need to find a different trail"
Charli: "That trail wasn't so bad. I could help you out with the rest of that sandwich."
Thats it for Tucson. Will report back in next week after we have some activities under our belt here in GC.
Till then. Take care and a Happy New Year.