Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happiest When Hiking

"Happiest when hiking" was Tom's comment to me after I thanked him for a hike we did.  You know, I think he might be right.  What's not to be happy about when out in the middle of pure wilderness soaking it all in...the sights, sounds, smells.

We've continued our wonderful (and somewhat crazy) hikes the past few weeks.  So I'll get right to it and show you the pictures.  I've heard many comment that they only look at the pictures so I might keep the writing shorter and try to get more pictures posted (and hopefully more often).  Give us feedback if you feel otherwise.  We love to hear from you.

Tabletop Trail - this is a hike you first have to drive 11 miles off-road (in a high clearance vehicle - thankfully the Jeep is high enough) to get to the trailhead.  The drive gets you set for the beautiful hike ahead.

Yikes!  The sign we see mile 1 of the 11 mile off-road drive to the trailhead.

The summit - it took a little searching to find this one tucked away

hillside full of Saguaro cactus
Saguaro National Park - although this was a relatively easy and flat hike, it still had lots of beautiful scenery, especially cactus...

Tonto National Forest

look closely - cliff dwellings in these cave looking areas

from inside the cliff dwellings

imagine this as your home!

the view out their "front door"

chillin' after our hike

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument - we learned that the Organ Pipe Cactus is only found as far north as this park in southern AZ (actually just north of the Mexico border).

Dust devil - these are seen often in AZ

Organ Pipe Cactus

Do you know the difference between a National Monument and a National Park?  Since we're visiting so many places we wanted to know.  From the National Park Service:  "The difference between a National Monument and a National Park is the way they are created.  National Parks require Congressional approval but National Monuments are established by Executive Order of the President."

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument 

Becky, my nephew Corey, my sister Jo Ann, my nephew Timmy and of course, hubby Tom

a dust storm rolling in

stuck at the monument in the middle of the dust storm

Til next time...Happy Trails!

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