Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, December 14, 2013

a day of two

Today was a day of two parks, walking trails in Saguaro National Park, a visit to Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, and a return to the Cactus Forest Loop Drive in Saguaro National Park to catch a bit of late afternoon light. It was another good day. That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who knows Denise's wandering habits - following her instincts for wandering spots usually results in good days.

Our morning wander was in the Rincon Mountain section of the national park. The hiking trail we chose for this morning was an easy drive from our B&B (once the defroster melted the frost on the windshield). It was a chilly start but the layers were discarded quite quickly one we started up the Douglas Springs trail. It was flat at first but then the land started tilting up and heading back into a canyon. What a beautiful trail! It's funny, most of the trails we've been wandering this week have been pretty flat. This uphill trail reminded me of how nice it is to see things from higher viewing points.

In the early afternoon we found our way to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area (within Coronado National Forest). It's possible to take a tram to the high point of one of the hikes and walk back. I don't think Denise even considered that as an option - she chose a hike up to the Sabino Dam after verifying that there was really water behind the dam. Parts of the walk looked very similar to other places we've walked since we've been here but as we neared the water the colors changed. There were trees wearing bright yellow autumn leaves, and when we climbed behind the dam we could see the yellow of the leaves and the blue of the sky reflecting in the water. That was a nice surprise!

After we finished the hike Denise decided to see if there was a Whole Foods Market near the park. Sometimes she doesn't feel like going to a restaurant for dinner, and today was one of those days. There was a Whole Foods not too far away so we followed the directions from her phone to find it. She chose a good assortment of foods for dinner - before we headed back into the park we stopped at our B&B to stash the food in the refrigerator. The GPS on Denise's phone was really helpful!

The sun was dropping lower in the sky but it was still full daylight - the sun sets here a lot later than it does at home. That meant that we had plenty of time to drive the loop road in Saguaro National Park to see if it looked different than when we were wandering there yesterday morning. And yes, the slanted rays of the afternoon light changed the look of the landscape.

I can't believe tomorrow is our last day here. We have the whole day to wander even though we're flying home tomorrow night; our flight doesn't leave until 11:42 PM.

--- Rover
along the Douglas Spring trail, Saguaro National Park
from a flat section of the trail on our morning walk in Saguaro National Park

reflections of autumn leaves in the water just above Sabino Dam in Sabino Canyon Recreation Area
reflections of autumn leaves in the water above Sabino Dam
in Sabino Canyon Recreation Area