Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up

It's hard to believe that we only have 4 weekends left before Curtis graduates. We aren't sure how many more weekend adventures in Arizona that we're going to have, but we're trying the best we can to cross more things off of our Arizona Bucket List. However, if we had to leave tomorrow, we know we could be content with all we've seen here in the past year and a half. 

Well, almost. There's one more hike we have to do. It's kinda at the most popular attraction in Arizona. We can't leave until we've done that. ;)

Flowers in the Desert

Anyway, on to our weekend! On Friday night, we decided to attempt an elusive letterbox in Tucson Mountain Park. Because these mountains are on the West side of Tucson, we made it into a romantic sunset hike. 

"The Selfie Lot"

Apparently we weren't the only ones with that idea. As it turns out, the scenic overlook at Gate's Pass gets quite crowded at sunset. However, most of the sunset seekers stay in or around the parking lot, so we were on our own for most of the trails.

Facing East

As it turned out, the clues still didn't work out for us. To be fair, the box was planted over a decade ago, and right from the start it's hard to match things up. We called it and decided to focus on the romantic sunset aspect of the night. :)

There goes the sun!

On Saturday, we decided to do a letterboxing trip in Santa Cruz County, with a side trip to Lake Patagonia State Park. The drive on I-19 was gorgeous with all the mesquite trees in bloom. It almost reminded me of fall in Iowa. :)

We started with a short hike in Patagonia. Right before the entrance to the park, there's another part of the park called the Sonoita Creek Reserve. It has many longer hikes that take you to cool sights like different mines. We decided to do a shorter hike across the dam and spillway for the lake.

Spring in Southern Arizona is just as colorful as can be. We're in that perfect window right now where everything is blooming, and it still isn't too hot to be outside and enjoying it. I love when the Ocotillos are in bloom. For eleven months out of the year, ocotillos are just long, thorny sticks that stand 10 feet off the ground, but right now, they have the prettiest red blossoms. 

Lake Patagonia

The dam

After goofing off around the dam, we hiked back to the truck then drove into the park for a picnic. Charlotte loves picnics, because picnics mean peanut butter. Curtis and I had fun discussing books that we read as kids. Now after remembering my favorite childhood stories, all I want to do is go to my parent's home and raid the bookshelf. :)

After lunch, we took our time driving back up Arizona highways 82 and 83, letterboxing here and there. Charlotte is such a good passenger - she now sits exclusively in the back seat, besides poking her head up every now and again. She was fascinated in the cows by the side of the road. In the above picture, she was carefully watching Curtis as he was retrieving a drive-by box.

I took advantage of her standing still to get a picture with her. It almost looks like she's posing with me...except she leaned away from me as I took the picture. Silly girl.

A unique prickly pear cactus

Our last boxing stop was along the Arizona Trail near Sonoita. We enjoyed getting to hike another 2 miles in a new section of the trail for us, even though it was quite warm at this point with no shade to speak of!

As we hiked along the trail, we were both haunted by constant buzzing noises. We're both a little traumatized from last week's bee incident, but we couldn't decide if the noise was real or just in our minds. Thankfully, nothing eventful happened today. :)

More beauty in the desert!

After finding one last box, we drove back home and called it a day. In our apartment, we only have Eastern-facing windows, but as I was making dinner I could see red reflections off of the other apartment buildings, and knew that meant there was a great sunset going on out front, so I made Curtis and Charlotte come outside with me to enjoy it!

We finished up a great day with cheesecake. Home is where the cheesecake is waiting for you in the fridge. :)

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