Arizona Excursions – Part 1


Happy Holidays to all our friends, wherever you may be!

We are getting settled into our Volunteering roles and honing our presentations.  As the holiday have approached, the number of visitors to The Ruins have increased and we have each been giving one or two tours each day.  We continue to meet fun and interesting people.

We have taken a couple excursions on our days off:

Saguaro National Park – West

This park is just northwest of Tucson includes 24,000 acres of the combined 91,000 acres of this National Park.  This park is dedicated to North America’s largest cactus, and a symbol of the American West.  The only place in the world where this cactus grows is in the Sonoran Desert – in southern Arizona, southeastern California, and northwestern Mexico.  Its imposing size and uplifted arms give it a regal presence, and it is one of my personal favorites among the cacti.

While there are many hikes available at the Saguaro NP, we took a couple fairly short walks, and took a few pictures to reflect the stately grandeur of the Saguaro and the stark beauty of the Sonoran Desert.  These petroglyphs were created by people from the same culture that built the Casa Grande!  Oh, and the Rattlesnakes usually hibernate until the daily temperatures are routinely in the mid- to upper-80’s!  So we had little chance of meeting one – but we are still watchful!

Saguaro NP (1) Saguaro NP (2) Saguaro NP (3) Saguaro NP (4) Saguaro NP (5) Saguaro NP (6) Saguaro NP (7) Saguaro NP (8) Saguaro NP (9) Saguaro NP (10) Saguaro NP (11) Saguaro NP (12) Saguaro NP (13) Saguaro NP (14) Saguaro NP (15) Saguaro NP (16)

San Tan Mountain Regional Park

Yesterday, we drove north toward Phoenix to hike in the San Tan Mountain Regional Park.  There are many, many hiking opportunities around Phoenix – this being one of the closest to us in Coolidge.  We are trying to get back into condition for some more challenging hikes, but we hiked about 4 miles along the Little Leaf and Goldmine Trail (up to the part where it gets “really steep”).  While we sat resting for a few minutes, a curious Cactus Wren came visiting.  We will be returning here for future visits!

Afterward we went to a fun restaurant – the Queen Creek Olive Mill.  In addition to good sandwiches, they have a fun retail area, and also provide tours of their olive mill.  This is another place to which we will return, perhaps when friends or family visit.

San Tan Mtn (1) San Tan Mtn (2) San Tan Mtn (3) San Tan Mtn (4) San Tan Mtn (5) San Tan Mtn (6) San Tan Mtn (7) San Tan Mtn (8) San Tan Mtn (9)


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One thought on “Arizona Excursions – Part 1

  1. Dear Mark & Judith

    Glad to hear you are doing well !! We hope you are having a great holiday season, and are sure you probably miss the cold and snow of northeast Ohio !

    Best Regards, David & Donna

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