Monday, March 30, 2015

The Falls...

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
March 22-29, 2015

Our week has flown by with visits, yummy meals, and a few outings. Dave and Lynn and their son Richie moved in last Sunday right next door for a whole week.

Days have been rather warm...OK, hot! But after sunset, a nice, cool breeze danced across our space giving us a reprieve from the heat of the day. 

Don't you just love the meals when "We'll bring..." becomes the menu? And the infectious sound of laughter as stories and memories are shared?  

Richie and Sally

Sally has a new BFF. She waited patiently everyday...tail a waggin' when she spotted him...for her tummy rub. Spoiled or what? 

One of our outings was to find Chivo Falls. I am happy to report that after only one wrong turn and directions from locals enjoying their 4-wheelers, we found the falls.

 The creek beds Joe and I had crossed a couple of weeks ago were all dried up on this ride so I wasn't expecting any water at the falls. Nice surprise, though, as this 75 foot falls was more than a trickle... fact, we could hear the water from where we parked and had to walk in. Not your typical sight right smack dab in the middle of the desert! 

Having a jeeping buddy sure takes the level of fun and excitement up about 100 knotches...
Dave and Lynn's jeep, Rokhell, is a beautiful jeep. It's the jeep everyone wants a picture of no matter where it is parked. As pretty and as bright and shiny as it is, Rokhell is NOT all show! No IS all go! About mid-way down the hardest obstacle, the back passenger fender was chewed right off by the's part of the risk and I am sure the next time we see Rokhell, it will be as good as new... or better!

For a change, the color of the day was not yellow! It was purple! 

New Mexico Thistle...popping up all over the place.
Dakota Verbena in all it's glory enticing butterflies of all colors.
Sunset at Gates Pass

Gates Pass for the sunset was also on our list...not the most spectacular sunset we have seen there, but lots of fun waiting in the stillness and quiet as the sun made its way behind the horizon. There weren't any clouds to add interest and color...but I found the sky and silhouettes picture worthy. 

Richie flew his drone and did get some really cool pictures...

About 1,000,000 people cross Gates Pass each year.
One of the old stone buildings that dates back to the 1930s. 

 If one has not lived with a pup, then it would be difficult to understand the love between a human and a canine. One day a puppy comes into your home with tail wagging uncontrollably and from that day on, they become your loyal friend. Love grows...and one of the hardest aspects of your relationship with them is the difference in our lifespans. When you open your heart to a pup, you do so knowing that chances are you will outlive him/her. The joy that pups bring to our lives is worth the pain we feel when loosing them...

Allie, Lynn and Dave's pup, passed away on her 15th birthday. 

I took this picture of Allie in February, 2015 when we were in San Diego...
One more thing I have meant to mention, but keep forgetting is a change Joe and I have made...back in San Diego we bought a NutriBullet. Our youngest son has been juicing since last July and said it has been life altering for him. His energy level has greatly improved...of course he is an avid runner and visits the gym for weights as well. 

Anyhow, our fridge has taken on a whole new look these days as we have added lots of greens, fruits, and veggies, and nuts for the juices and removed processed foods. We now drink breakfast and lunch. We even bought a lunch cooler from Bed, Bath & Beyond that we freeze so we can take our lunch with us if we are on a hike or etc. Life is good!

Ahhh...California dreamin'...

 Hope your adventures are exciting, and your memories put a smile on your face...

Until next time, take care and...

happy trails!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Linda Vista Trail

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
March 24, 2015

Our next hike of choice was the Linda Vista Trail just off N. Oracle Road in Oro Valley. Research about this trail had revealed it was an in and out trail that was 2.8 miles round trip with an optional small 1 mile steep push to the top of Pusch Peak. 

However, once arriving at the trail and studying the map, we found it is now a 3 mile loop with the trail to the peak closed. Elevation gain is minimal, the hike is rated easy to slightly moderate...we think because of large rocks to maneuver...and the scenic beauty rated at medium. With backpack loaded, sunscreen applied, and spirits high, there was no way we were not hiking. we go!

The loop skirted around the foothills of the Catalina Mountains...

 on a winding trail that was mostly rocky...

 with mediocre views of Tucson...

but, with lots of beautiful nature...

Mariposa Lily...a beautiful pop of orange we enjoyed all along the trail.

Even with spring having just sprung, we did see evidence of plants with seeds already...and it has sure been windy enough to spread them around. 

We both agreed that in the end, it had been a nice way to spend a few hours...

So, until next time, take care, enjoy your adventure, and... always, happy trails!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ventana Canyon Trail

Tucson/Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
March 20, 2015

In our opinion, there is no better way to celebrate the first day of spring than a hike in the desert. But yikes (or is a gift to you after my last very lengthy post?) I forgot my camera! There is definitely a first time for everything. There was, however, a bit of relief felt as I climbed up and over, then over and down boulder after boulder (and I don't mean small ones either) that I didn't have the camera. What a disaster if I had slipped. Our hike of choice was Ventana Canyon. It is a 4.8 mile in and out trail thru a canyon and across a ridge with the destination being the Maiden Pools. If you have never done this trail, it is a dang good work-out! The elevation climb is 1290 feet...all in the last 1/4 mile of the up trail. Walking in the canyon had many stream crossings and a few times we struggled to find the trail as the streambed was all boulders and little water. The ridge part of the trail was by far our favorite...what a nice breeze and oh my, the views were nothing short of spectacular! We both were disappointed in the Maiden Pools/Waterfall. Even though we had lots of rain two days before, there was hardly any water there. The morning after this hike we were left with the wonderful feeling of sore muscles and my huge disappointment in myself for having been cameraless...I think I just made that word up!

Going up the trail...stepping up and over the boulders was fun. It was estimated a 1.5 hour ascent which we did in 1 hour 40 minutes...a big improvement in leg power for us and hugs and kisses for my wonderful hubby who never gives up! BUT, coming down was a different story for me. Going over and down huge boulders with really short legs isn't quite as derriere played an important role in us returning safely to Pearl! So therefore, the 1.5 hours down turned into about 2.5 hours for us! But hey, we did it and that is all that matters to me as I write this. 

     I did manage a few pictures with my phone...the quality is horrible and I should be embarrassed. But I do want our adventures documented so just skip on down to comments from here...Did I mention that I printed our blog for Joe's Christmas present last year? 

Walking along the canyon wall...

A narrow path just as the ascent begins...

A spectacular view of the canyon we just walked thru with Tucson in the background...

As always we never saw any Bighorn Sheep. We figured maybe someone did about 20 years ago and decided a sign was needed! 

Anyway, I do hope to hike with John and Pam of fame one day as they see them all the time! 

Thanks for stopping's spring, "Hip, hip hooray!" 

Until next time, take care and
happy trails!