Gold Canyon, Az

Gold Canyon, Az
New Years Day 2015, Gold Canyon, AZ

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Catalina State Park - Canyon Loop

Its been a couple of days since I last wrote.  First, a couple of responses to some e-mails I have received.  Yes, the pictures are a bit small when viewing the blog but if you click, or double click, it depends, they will blow up to almost full screen.  This will allow you to see the detail, make out the expressions on Lori's face and truly see, if I must say so myself, how great some of the pictures are.  (its the camera and the Enhance feature in IPhoto, not so much the photographer). This is especially true of the photographs in todays blog.
The other question that has been raised is the "Comment" feature at the end of each blog.  Yes you can make a comment, and I would encourage you to do so, however you must have a Google account.  If you have a G-mail e-mail account, YouTube account or other accounts with one of Google's plethora of services you will have an account, even if you don't use it or even know about it.  If not and you don't want to open one, then e-mails will work just fine, it just means that others won't be able to share in your witticisms.
After a day of tromping around the Air Museum we took it easy on Thursday.  We went for a 1 1/2 hour hike in the morning down the Santa Rosa River Park which it turns out, is the name of the dry wash and walkway system that is just outside our back gate.  I had biked it a few days earlier but this was Lori's first time for the full circuit and it took us right by a Mall (one of Lori's favourite things in life) and some riding stables (one of Lori's least favourite things in life- riding horses).  The rest of the afternoon we just spent doing nothing and soaking up the sun.  Late Thursday afternoon the Park had a reception for all the newbies so we went with about 18 others to hear about the Park, its history, activities and have any questions answered.  The wine and hors-d-vors were a nice prelude to the German Food Truck which was to be supper.
Friday morning was free coffee and donuts again with a presentation from one of the local RV Dealers.  Then it was time for shopping.  Lori picked out the Foothills Mall, the first of many we will no doubt visit in the next few weeks, as our destination, primarily because it has a Barnes & Noble.  Lori has never seen a book store that she doesn't like but B&N is definitely at the top of her list.  I found a Hockey News magazine to buy and hit the Starbucks so we were both happy.  Then it was off to Camping World to buy some more necessities.  A set of tire covers so the Az sun doesn't ruin our trailer tires and a clear sewer hose extension.  Some might wonder why in the world one would want a portion of your sewer hose to be clear.  Well when you are draining your black tank and then turn on the Black Tank Sprayer to rinse everything out you know your black tank is clean when your discharge is clear.  ie. no more %?%#, if you know what I mean.
Saturday was supposed to be sunny, not a lot of wind and cool.  Define cool you say.  A high of 68F was forecast.  A nice day for a walk in the desert.  To start the day the Woodworking Club was sponsoring a Pancake Breakfast which cost us $4.00 each.  Not a bad deal.  Many of the special activities are sponsored, and labour supplied, by the various activity clubs run by the residents.  They get 50% of the profit and 50% to the Park.  A win win.  We sat at one of the tables and for the first time we kind of felt like outsiders.  Certainly not a reflection of how we have felt at other activities.
We had decided to visit the Catalina State Park and take the Sutherland Trail as they permitted leashed dogs. At least thats what the book that Lori bought said.  As she got the fixings for supper put into the slow cooker I packed up the truck and filled water bottles and we were off. There was a big bike race, the Tour de Tucson, going on so many roads were closed while the bikers passed by.  As a result our drive out to the Park took a little longer than planned but we were out on the trail by 11:00. Turns out they wouldn't allow dogs on the Sutherland Trail but we were able to take the Canyon Loop with Charli which was about 3.5 miles long.  Not as long as we were hoping but we were plenty tuckered out by the time we got back, 2 hours later.
The pictures below speak for themselves so I won't provide too much commentary.  One thing the pictures don't really show is the elevation variations of the trail.

 You'll notice that the higher elevations have lots of sand, cactus and scrub brush and rocks and boulders as you go farther up the mountain.

Lori had to look back a lot to see where I went.  The scenery was fantastic and every turn we took was another great picture opportunity.

 The bottom of the canyon provided a refreshing stream and also a change in plants.  Actually saw some green grass.  Some broad leaf trees that were changing colours.
We had noticed that there are no broad leaf trees.  Mostly narrow small leaves, like caraganas or ferns.  My guess is broadleaf trees loose too much moisture through the big leaves.  Moisture is precious down here.

The scenery is so different from home that I commented to Lori that it was like we had been dropped on another planet.

This cactus was growing right out of a rock.

That was it for Saturday.  We each had a little nap when we got back to the trailer and then it was time for dinner and a quiet evening surfing our 38 channels.  By the time you eliminate the Spanish and oldies channels there are 7 stations left to watch which is ok with me.