Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Greetings From Arizona: Hiking in Pima Canyon

We are in Arizona for the week. First stop, Tucson, to hang with the In-Laws and drink a lot of wine and margaritas and do some shopping. I already hit up a local Goodwill yesterday and bought up a whole bunch of tin containers to cut up (with the tools I brought in my luggage) and ship back home. We are here until Saturday and then we head up to Scottsdale for our friends' wedding. While I truly love Pacific Northwest weather, visiting sunny locales is nice every so often. But I slathered on 75 SPF and STILL got a twinge of sunburn yesterday. I do not enjoy that at all.

First morning here we decided to go for a hike. Trevor's parents used to live in a beautiful big ranch house in the center of Tucson but decided to down size and moved way up into the Catalina hills last year. The only way to describe Tucson is sprawling. You can drive forever and never seem to get closer to your destination. But I digress. Their new house is really close to several popular trails. The trail head for the Pima Canyon is only about 5 minutes away. Very convenient.

Classified as an extremely difficult hike, the 14 mile round trip would probably kill me. But the first 2 or 3 miles are much easier. We brought walking sticks and that helped quite a bit.
Tucson has had a very wet winter and everything is blooming and on a larger and greener scale than I have ever seen it in 10 years of visiting.

The trail runs right up into the Santa Catalina Mountains, placing you eventually at the top of Mount Kimball. With my wonky ankle, there was no way we were going to go that far.
The plants are very sculptural here. All those spiky green plants in the photos above are tipped with these lovely red flowers. Most of the year they look like brown sticks. Spring is a good time to visit Tucson. And it was a nice 75 degree weather sort of day. (My Mother-In-Law keeps complaining how cold it is. Haha. 38 low in Tacoma last week is cold. 75 is not.)

I had never even seen Prickly Pears in bloom close up before! Those little purple flowers in the background are everywhere. The purple and yellow are very striking together. (They are complimentary colors, you know, so they should look great together.)

The mountains look very green right now. But this will be bad later on when all these lush grasses dry up and become fire hazards.

I think each and every cactus is amazing in its own right.

The little creek running through the canyon was swollen with water. We had to clamber over several watery crossings.
We ended up going a little over 5 miles. It took a couple of hours because you are climbing uphill over rocks the entire time. It is called a path, but some areas are getting squished with all the spring growth. Unfortunately, what I hoped would loosen up my ankle instead made it hurt like hell. It is feeling better today though. My husband just got back from a jog and I am jealous. Today we are going to hit up the Tucson Art Museum to see an Andy Warhol exhibit.

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