I took off Monday but drove up to Catalina and passed this unique "hotel". Note the unconventional structures. OK, I also checked out the Catalina Steak House. Kind of an old-time western steak restaurant. Good food.
On Tuesday, I hooked up with one of my new hiking groups led by Jeff, a former army helicopter pilot, very fit and a good guy. He winters in Tucson and spends the sumers living out of an RV, touring and hiking national and state parks. I've discovered there are a lot of people like this who love the Tucson area for the hiking and cycling but spend the summers touring the northern US and Canada. Jeff and I had a competitive run up to Blackett's Ridge out of Sabino Canyon, a good, steep hike of 6 miles round trip.
Wednesday late afternoon, I went out on a quick hike and had this roadrunner run right into my shadow. Had just enough time to snap a pic before it sped away.
The vegetation in the lower elevations is typically what you see here. Not hearly as thick as it is at higher elevations. There is a saying around here, "If it is green, stay away. If it rattles, stay away. If it's green and rattles, run away" Yep, makes sense to me now.
Sounds like around 40 people came out for the cyclist's Chrismast party and I had 3 people on the prowl, looking to snap a pic of Flyin Tuna showing food into that big mouth but she has become too aware and the plot was foiled. Instead, all I have is this image of Oxley, pulling the winning ticket out of the basket. There were some good gifts given away. Looks like the weather is not too good for Saturday and Sunday. Here Mark C, if the weather is crappy, will be hiking out of Clear Creek at 8:00, if weather is ok there is a ride out of the Newark Y at 9:00 and of course Silent Dave has the COP ride at 9:00, I think out of Alum Creek Park.
Meantime, the weather out here continues to be sunny and warm, every day. I did the Picacho Peak trail on Friday, a pretty rugged hike of 6 miles with around 1800' of climbing, sometimes requiring the help of cables to get through. Love this hike.
Predictably, at the top, there are great views and a couple of chipmunks, here is one perched on the middle rock. This weekend I'm sliding in with a couple of groups for two grueling hikes, Finger Rock on Saturday and Elephant Head on Sunday. Yep, I am foregoing the Saturday Shootout ride. These hikes are too attractive and challenging to pass up.