Monday, March 14, 2016

A little vacation from Tucson

We took a little one week vacation from Tucson and headed west to Winterhaven, CA (just over the CA/AZ line and close to Yuma, AZ and Algodones Mexico).  We just loved these desert sunrises!

Borrego Springs - this is a great place to view the stars and that's how Tom found this little treasure of a town several years ago as it's an International Dark Sky Community.  Although we didn't stay overnight to enjoy the dark skies, we did hit the timing just right to see the desert in bloom.  We also had a little fun off-roading in the Jeep.

Algodones, Mexico - always an adventure when you take a quick run over the border for medicine, dental work, sunglasses and lunch!

Imperial Sand Dunes - what a unique morning hike this turned out to be!  Did we take a trip to the Sahara Desert?!

We were so close to the border we had to check out the fence separating CA from Mexico.  And maybe we got a little closer than 100 ft!

Imperial National Wildlife Refuge - cool little day trip and a hike in this area with their own Painted Desert and the Colorado River

More great timing - we got to enjoy a few visits with Jay & Joan and also join in on Jay's birthday dinner celebration!

Ooops - missed one very cool event!  Just before leaving for Yuma we enjoyed a night at the Banff Film Festival in Tucson thanks to Audrie & Jake.  What an energizing evening watching the short outdoor adventure flicks.  Loved the Ethiopian dinner and as always, the time with you.  Congrats to Audrie who is now officially a Southwest Flight Attendant!

Countdown to Hawaii - 16 days!  Woo hoo!

Til next time...Happy Trails!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Post #100 since we started almost 5 years ago!

Wow - 100 posts since May, 2011!  I know I'm a numbers person but don't worry, I did not go back and count them.  I just happened to notice the total when I started this blog as it gives me the numbers where I save all my blogs.  I keep thinking about discontinuing this but it's fun for us to look back at this life "diary" in a sense.

So the real reason I'm blogging today is in hopes of catching up to current times.  I've been slacking a bit and I always think of Susan C. and Vivian giving me grief when I don't post too often!  This will be a quickie with pics of recent hikes and scenery.
Now that the weather has turned so warm these critters are back out.
I almost ran over him with my bike!  Yikes!
Even though we're in the desert there are still several great hikes in the area with waterfalls and pools.  They become quite popular in the summer months.  Sabino Canyon is an especially popular place for these water hikes and so very beautiful.  Hutch's Pools and Seven Falls are both in the Sabino Canyon area.

Hutch's Pools - a fun girls hike with Rita!

Seven Falls

Picacho Peak is a fun (but steep!) hike we completed several years ago, when first in the area, and we figured it'd be a perfect training hike/workout to get ready for our Hawaii high point in April.

Til next time...Happy Trails!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tucson area attractions

In addition to hiking, biking and pickleball, we've actually made it out to visit other sites in the area.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum - We had such a fun day with Barb & Joe at this local attraction.  Such beautiful animals in a natural setting.
Just a simple shoe box kept this guy entertained

Biosphere 2 - The tour of this place, now owned by the University of Arizona, was quite interesting and hard to imagine how people actually lived here for a period of time.  Biosphere 2 was only used twice for its original intended purposes as a closed-system experiment: once from 1991 to 1993, and the second time from March to September 1994. Both attempts, though heavily publicized, ran into problems including low amounts of food and oxygen, die-offs of many animal and plant species, squabbling among the resident scientists and management issues.

University of Arizona Sky Nights Program at the Sky Center on Mt. Lemmon - As many of you know, Tom has a passion for the night sky so we attended an awesome program on Mt. Lemmon.  We drove up to 9,157ft. (needless to say it was a bit chilly up there) to start off our late afternoon tour of the facilities, a view through the telescope of the sun (amazing to see the solar flares up close), a video program and dinner.  Then we had the treat of a gorgeous sunset and then several hours of viewing the night sky through 2 different telescopes.
one of these is remote controlled from South Korea
Travis - our awesome teacher for the evening

this picture is from our phone through the telescope!
 Boyce Thompson Arboretum - This attraction is actually closer to Phoenix but Sally, a good friend from PA, was vacationing in Scottsdale with her family for the week so we met here to enjoy a few hours together in the sun!  We have enjoyed several visits to this Arboretum with each time a little different scenery due to the changing weather.  It was so great to catch up with you, Sally!  See you back in PA in May.

Bisbee - a cool hippie, artsy town in Southern AZ.  We only spent a few hours here but it felt like "home" in many ways.  We're hoping to get back to spend more time to soak in the feel of this relaxing place.

  Til next time...Happy Trails!