Rain moved through the area over night and into the morning on Monday. The Newman Peak hike beat me up a bit (it's not the climbing but the descending) so I welcomed the day off. With clouds hovering over the mountains, I decided to take a late morning drive up Mount Lemmon.
The clouds thickened as I rose through 4000' and then....
....at 5000' I was getting closer to the cover.
In the distance, shafts of light or rain could be seen.
At 7000', I was at cloud level and it was neat to see remnants flow through the passes. Snow had been forecast for 9000'. It began to rain fairly hard here and just then, a cyclist coasted by, going down hill. Geesh. I drove on to 8000' but didn't think I could get above the cloud cover and didn't want to hit icy roads so turned around.
The rain stopped as I gained on the desert floor but the clouds remained until late in the day when the sky cleared and sun returned. In the wilderness you see, approximately 50 Bighorn sheep have been inserted over the last two years. They are captured around the Yuma area and brought in to repopulate the Catalinas. Whenever a lion killed a sheep, a perfectly normal act, a hunter went in to track and kill it. Eight lions were killed in the last two years and yet there are still plenty so you understand why I am nervous when I go on these solo, remote hikes. Oh yeah, a bear was killed on Saturday, about 1/2 mile from where I was hiking in Madera Canyon. It had been showing aggressive behavior towards hikers for the last several months. See, you think I exaggerate the threat although I am not aware of anyone actually being eaten by a critter in many years so that is somewhat comforting..