SAGUARO LAKE HIKE

The last scheduled hike of the season was a hike around Saguaro Lake.  It was only about 6 or 7 miles, but the temperature had gotten so warm that one lady had a problem walking with the heat (maybe heat exhaustion?), and no, it wasn’t me!

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We started a bit earlier in the morning, in an attempt to avoid most of the heat of the day.  Look closely and you can see some birds swimming on the lake.

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Here are kayakers on the lake.

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A short section of the hike was under these trees that formed a sort of “tunnel” over the trail.  The temperature was much lower there and was a welcome spot.

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Me in the green pants.  Shortly after this picture was taken I zipped off the legs of these pants.  definitely cooler (but such horribly white legs!).

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Although that was the last official hike, there was a small group of guys who got together and did a couple more hikes.  This is what they found on one of the hikes.

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Yes, it’s a rattler and yes, it rattled at them!

 

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JEEPING

I have a cousin who winters in Apache Junction, AZ.  One of the things she and her husband do with friends, is they go “jeeping” every Wednesday.  They take their four wheel drive vehicles and head out to the dessert.  We were invited to go with one Wednesday.  My cousin and her husband were not feeling their best that day, so they stayed home and we rode with their friends.

On the way we spotted some wild horses.

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At about noon we stopped for lunch.

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We were stopped by an old water tank.  So we climbed up to see what was inside.   There were people tent camping not far from this spot.

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This is what was inside.

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After lunch we got back in the jeeps to  cross a river (about 4 times!).  Here are some shots of the river crossings.

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Here is one of the jeeps on the trail.  High clearance and four wheel drive is needed!

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The last “event” of the day was going down “Bonnie’s Hill”.  It had been graded out since the last time they had used this route, so it was no longer “straight down hill”.  (for which I was very grateful!)

After we got back to their park, we all went out to Golden Corral for supper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MORE HIKING

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Another hike:  This one was to a spot called wind cave and was advertised as being 4 1/2 miles with a 350 foot elevation gain.  I was excited because this would be the easiest hike we did all season.   Well, the reality was it was an 850 foot elevation gain.

Starting out the hike was pretty easy.  This is the group as we snaked our way up.

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heading up the switch backs.

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more switch back climbing to get to the top.

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Stopping for a snack at the top.  Right above us were several bees nests.  I did not get a photo of them!

 

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Someone else getting a photo of the bees.

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from our vantage point we could see the fountain of Fountain Hills.DSC01201

And here we are headed back down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ARIZONA MOUNTAIN HIKING

DSC01138I have some pictures of more hikes we did in Arizona this winter.

Don’t remember the name of this hike, but I call it the “wrong way” hike – because our leader led us down a wrong trail and we had to back track.

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This was the view we did get to see by going the wrong way.

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On the way up the trail.

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another view just down from where we stopped for a snack break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ZUCCHINI FRITTERS (AGAIN)

I have made zucchini fritters before and posted the recipe here.

I made  them again last night, but this time changed up the recipe a little.  I added about half (or a little more) cup of whole kernel corn (drained).  Instead of onion I used Penzey’s Toasted Minced Onion.  This is one of my new favorite seasonings, and omitted the parmesan cheese.  We served them with steak (again).

Didn’t get a picture taken before they were eaten, but they looked the same as they did last time.

 

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TITAN MISSILE MUSEUM

DSC01105South of Tucson AZ is a titan missile museum.  We (along with Larry’s sister and brother-in-law) visited it one day in January.  The location is pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

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This was our tour guide (in the blue shirt).  He was former air force, and had worked at this missile site when it was active.  Now he conducts tours here.

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Walking through the underground tunnel to get to the control room.

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One of the tourists sitting at the control panel.

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Where the launch codes were kept.

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View of the rocket.  Nuclear war head has been long removed.

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From above ground.  Plexiglass covering has been placed over the rocket tube so you can see down into the silo.

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Info about the missile.

 

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WHITE SANDS AND CASA GRANDE

After we left Oklahoma on our way to Arizona, since there was a winter storm along I-40, we headed south through New Mexico (Highway 54) and stopped for the night at Las Cruses.  The next morning when we headed out on I- 10, we drove through the white sands area.

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That is white sand, not snow!

After being in Arizona a few days, we went to Casa Grande National Monument.

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We had a great guide from the Park service.  One thing he talked about was the bringing of water to this area.  The native americans had to dig an irrigation channel several miles long, with the correct slope to make the water flow down to their farm land.

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This is a photo of our guide.  Wonderful sense of humor.  (Reminded me of my husband’s brother-in-law, whose house we were staying at!  Even looked rather like him.)

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The “awning” over the ruins are to protect them from the Arizona sun!

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There are lots more ruins to be excavated here.  The ruins above, were excavated and then filled back in to protect the fragile walls.  You walk on the grave, but the excavation when down about 8 feet.

Yes, the sky really is that incredible blue.

I did not get any photos, but the museum at the headquarters was excellent.  Well worth a trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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