I had a wonderful time seeing the Zoo Lights at the Phoenix Zoo. Everything was decorated for the Christmas season. It was great to walk through the zoo and see so many wonderful decorations!
I have been in Phoenix for the past week and have been loving the spring weather. For the past six days I have driven to the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve and ridden my mountain bike on the Apache trail. It is a wonderful series of trails that are excellent for beginner and intermediate riders. I have loved riding on these trails! Many people hike, ride horses, or ride mountain bikes.
The weather has been spectacular this week and the desert plants are starting to bloom. I have really enjoyed riding along between all the cacti and the spring flowers.
One saguaro cactus is large and has an arm that has grown into the edge of the trail. Usually I have no problem avoiding the rocks and riding next to the cactus. However, two days ago, I rode a little too close to the cactus arm and my handlebars hit the cactus! It was like hitting a steel bar. There was absolutely no give at all to the cactus. Needless to say, my handlebars turned and I wiped out hands first in the dirt! I am glad I wear gloves when ridding! I only slightly hurt my hand and my bike was fine. When I looked closer at the cactus arm, I could see that I was not the only person that had hit the sneaky cactus arm!
I am sad that this is the last time to ride the Apache trail. Now I need to move the motorhome to get have the yearly oil change and other maintenance items checked. After that, I continue my route west on interstate 10.
After the end of the Escapade RV rally at the Pima County Fairgrounds, I went on a day trip to Picacho Peak State Park. It was a gorgeous day and an absolutely fabulous time to visit Picacho Peak! I was hoping to see more spring poppies as well as a range of beautiful cacti.
The high temperature was 71 degrees, so it was wonderful weather to visit Picacho Peak! I went to a couple different sections of the park and walked randomly along a range of trails with my camera and tripod.
I had a wonderful time seeing so many beautiful scenes!
I came in early to the Pima County Fairgrounds to attend the Escapade. Dressage horses were in competition next to where I am parked in my motorhome. I spent quite a while watching them practice. I was trying to follow the different procedures they followed.
I anticipated that most of the participants would be people in their teens and twenties; however, most of the participants were women at least my age.
There was incredible focus and determination as the riders guided their horses through the routines. Quite interesting!
It was a wonderful day to visit Catalina State Park! I was fun to drive through Tucson and Oro Valley on the way to the state park. I have many wonderful memories from living in Oro Valley!
I also have many excellent memories of previous visits to Catalina State Park! I have hiked, camped, and ridden a horse in the state park. March is a fantastic month to visit! The flowers are blooming everywhere, and it is a very comfortable temperature.
I was especially enthralled with the blooming California poppies! I love the yellow and orange colors! I took many photos of all the blooming poppies!
I also love the mighty saguaro cactus! Since I have been away from Tucson, it was very exciting to again see much massive and mighty cactus!
There were many people in the park and all kinds of activities with different groups of people! Everyone was enjoying the wonderful weather and the beauty of the park.
I walked on the nature walk and loved taking pictures of such beauty. It was so wonderful to visit the park again after several years having moved away from Oro Valley.
When I first arrived at the park, there was a display of different animals that lived in the area. A teenage girl asked me if I wanted to hold a gopher snake. At first I declined, but then I thought it would be a unique experience to hold it. She took a picture of me and laughed at my nervousness.
Today was a wonderful step back in time. I have been to the Chiricahuas in the past, but it has to have been at least 15 years ago. I think the rock structures within the Chiricahua National Monument are awe inspiring and beautiful.
Around every corner on the trail, there are new perspectives and new sites that seem to be even more beautiful.
Hiking the trail was supposed to take about 2-3 hours, but it took me 4.5 hours because I kept stopping to take photos of new scenes.
The Echo Canyon Grotto was a unique series of arches. It was tricky to photograph because of the bright sunshine in a few spaces combined with dark shadows in most of the grotto. I combined a series of photos with different exposures using “high dynamic range.”
My mind was captivated with so many beautiful and amazing structures.
Years ago, I remember camping in a tent with Charlene when Amy was a baby in the campground within the Chiricahua National Monument. I have many wonderful memories of this beautiful place.