Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Sabino After the Storms

Yesterday, Curtis' dad, Ray, came down to visit us! He's in Phoenix for work, and was able to get away for the afternoon. The fact that he was able to get out of Phoenix is a miracle within itself, thanks to all the rain that Southern Arizona got yesterday morning. Maybe you heard about it on the news, but they had to close the I-10 due to flooding. Tucson also got tons of rain, but thankfully Curtis takes the bus so driving wasn't an issue, and we now have lakefront property…to the lake in the parking lot. :)

As I've said before, I really don't think Arizona gets way more rain than anywhere else, it's just that we don't have the infrastructure to support it, so all the water goes to the roads. It's such a great system.

 On the "bright side", after all the rain passed, we were able to go hiking with Ray and enjoy watching the clouds overtake the mountains!

This scenery may look familiar if you've ever looked at this blog…hint: scroll to the top of the page! It looks a bit different with the low clouds! It's the beginning of the 3 mile paved trail that runs through Sabino Canyon. Curtis and I have enjoyed jogging, hiking, and boxing here. We continue to visit, even though we've seen a rattlesnake, javelina, and tarantulas here. Since it's one of our favorite and most visited trails, we decided it was the perfect place to show visitors.

You can usually see Cathedral Rock from here, but not today!

It wasn't too long before we saw our first wildlife… Road runners! Can you spot 2 in the above photo? (click the picture to enlarge it)

This bird is probably one of the closest creatures we have to a Velociraptor. He knows now fear! I was just 5 feet away walking alongside him and taking pictures as he creeped along.

See you later! Road runners are one of the crazy desert creatures that I don't mind seeing up close.

We left the paved trail in order to find letterboxes. Curtis and I had already found them, but it was fun returning to these spots that we visited in our first week of living in AZ together. Nothing about these trails is strenuous…well, unless you are hiking to Cathedral Rock!

Facing Southwest - The rain helped to cool down the area, but made it very humid and brought these pesky gnats with it!

Walking uphill on the rock face

Everything is so green! From this point, we could hear the sound of a rushing river - the river that flows through Sabino Canyon is usually just a creek or pools of water, but it was flowing pretty heavily today as you'll see later!

Parts of the trail had big puddles of water, then as we started heading downhill, there was a small trickle of water flowing down the trail as well. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a strange rock that caused me to do a double take and I realized…that's no rock!

Can you tell what it is?

Our first desert tortoise seen in the wild! This is another desert creature I don't mind seeing up close - he did a great job posing while I took his picture. :)

Curtis is a friend to all nature. He made and the turtle quickly became friends, and here they are hanging out. (Thanks, turtle, for playing along!)

Blossoms on the barrel cactus

After finding the letterboxes on the side trail in Rattlesnake Canyon (where we saw a turtle - and thankfully NOT a rattlesnake!!) we returned to the paved trail and continued to just past the mile marker to the first time the trail crosses over the river.

…Or in today's case, where the river crosses over the trail! This would be the furthest we would be able to go today. 

A ranger had warned us about this, but who wouldn't want to walk out just to see this? Yes, the river typically runs under the bridge. Actually, it usually just sits under.

We headed back and took another side trail to the West this time and were able to get 2 more boxes.

The view while getting the last boxes. :)

It was a great evening and we were so glad to get an excuse to go hiking! We had a great time visiting with Ray - it's always so encouraging to get to be with family. I'm also thankful for the rain and how it brings a whole new look to the desert, and brings out new creatures. :)

Happy Monday everyone!

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