Friday, April 11, 2014

March 2014 Adventures

A review of our March, just a little late :)

What were we doing in March when we weren't on our vacation?

Having adventures, of course!

Curtis' semester has been heavier than last, so there have been more nights at home with homework. But we've still gotten out a bit and enjoyed this gorgeous weather - the warmest winter ever on record for Tucson! It was a great year to move down here…until of course, this winter is followed by the "hottest summer ever"…not sure if I'm ready for that! Considering we already have to run the AC at night, it's going to be a long summer!

But time to stop worrying about that, and remember all the great hikes we had while it was still tolerable~

The month started with a hike in Oro Valley at sunset - and what a lovely sunset it was! I couldn't focus on the letterboxes we were getting, the sky was so beautiful.

Then these clouds started rolling in - they were a beautiful shade of blue, and with them came much needed rain - all weekend long!

I love the blue skies contrasted with the bright yellow flowers.

The next weekend, (3/8/14) we drove down to Patagonia, AZ. While driving down I-10, we came across this oversized load:

At first, we got excited thinking it was a small plane, but then realized it was a boat. Bummer!

We started near Vail, AZ, where we met up with other Tucson letterboxers and did our road cleaning duties. That's fair, right? The city of Tucson lets us hide boxes all over (whether they know it or not) and in return, we pick up trash off of a road twice a year. :)

We made a few stops on the way down to Lake Patagonia, all for letterboxes. I didn't get many pictures on this trip, but the few I do have only begin to show the beauty of this area.

Petroglyphs on a rock, somewhere near a box.

Green! :)

So funny story: This area is a big bird watchers area, as many different and unique birds frequent this area. Our main goal was letterboxing, but we hiked with hopes of seeing a cool bird or two. As we were walking down this trail, there was the lake to our left, with the typical water plants all over. At one point, Curtis stopped and pointed, saying "look! I think I see a crane! There's it's backside!"

After looking, I had to break the news: "that's not a crane. That's a cow." :)

So he mistook a cow's front for a crane's back side. Common mistake, right? Sadly, no other bird - or almost bird - sightings that day.

The next 2 weekends were our spring break trip, but we pick up again on March 29th, with a few different hikes off of the Catalina Highway and Agua Caliente.

Above: a Japanese Isolation hole thing, from back when the Japanese prisoners were building the highway. 

Curtis plays around in them. I did not, it's rattlesnake season and I am paranoid.

Curtis: "They're basically Japanese time-out chairs."

After this picture, he climbed out of this tiny hole.

Hiking Soldier trail in the Catalina Mountains.

Selfie: Me with Tucson in the background!

Our destination: Beautiful overlook, and a letterbox!

New growth on the prickly pears.

We were able to get all letterboxes off of the Catalina Highway (Yay!) and we finished with a hike on Agua Caliente trail, for another letterbox. Thankfully not too strenuous, as it was really warming up! It pays to begin hiking early in the day.

The next day, (March 30) we drove up to Phoenix to meet with Curtis' sister, Lydia, and her husband, Jeff.  We hiked 3 miles together in the beautiful South Mountain Park, the largest municipal park in the country, and found a letterbox from 2000! Afterwards, we ate at a sushi/Hawaiian restaurant, which served the BEST SUSHI EVER, no joke! We're so excited that Lydia & Jeff are moving to our lovely state soon - it'll be so nice to live closer to family, even for just a year!

And that was our March - I can't believe that we've hiked about 130 miles already this year (not counting a 10 mile hike that only Curtis did with friends), and found 148 boxes so far! I'm hoping we can still have some time during the summer to keep up, but if not, there's always next fall. :)

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