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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Saguaro National Park with its sentinels of the desert 🌵, Tucson, AZ

We spent the day seeing Saguaro 🌵 National Park. The park has two distinct parts separated by the city of Tucson. This park in the Sonoran desert has amazing landscape in both parts. We spent the morning in the east park biking a scenic loop drive (+8 miles). It was a beautiful ride with amazing views of desert flora, some of which was in bloom. The bike ride challenging for us as there were long uphill grades, and we were at 3,000 ft elevation, much more than we are use to as Michiganders. The views were spectacular! Bob's been to this park multiple times over the years and enjoys it every time.

We left the park and had lunch at Alejandro's Tortilla Factory in Tucson. We found it because the restaurant that we ate at last night used their excellent tortillas. It was great Mexican food, very authentic. We had google the menu items to understand them.

In the afternoon we went to the Saguaro west section which was even better than the east, so many more saguaro cacti. Saguaro cacti are called "sentinels of the desert." When you consider that it may grow only an inch a year, and even less when it is very young, these are some very senior cacti (as we get older, senior sounds better). The west park also has a scenic loop, but it's an "improved" narrow dirt road. No biking here. With temps in the 90s and a clear blue sky, we chose to tough it out in the air conditioned truck 😎 (senior also means wiser). We saw absolutely gorgeous views of these beautiful cacti🌵from the comfort of our truck.

When you visit national parks we strongly recommend you take the time to stop at the visitors centers and watch the park films. They're so informative and worth the time. We always do!

Welcome to Saguaro, bordering Tucson in southwest Arizona.

That's Bob in the bright yellow, climbing
a hill and soon to be passed by a local.
It's tough being a flatlander in hill country!

Beautiful cactus in bloom in the east park.

Gorgeous blooms

Our views along the ride - these cacti are over
50 years old. They can live up to 200 years. 

In the distance you can see homes in Tucson; the urban
sprawl is encroaching on the park.

This Saguaro may have the same birthday as Bob!

A Saguaro forest!
Eating local!  Quite tasty!!  Note that smile!

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