Catalina Mountains to Green Valley, AZ

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January 31st 2010
Published: January 31st 2010
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Catalina Mtn SunsetCatalina Mtn SunsetCatalina Mtn Sunset

This was the view from our 'dining room' window every evening.

Day 143

Many of our adventures since leaving the condo have had to do with weather - wind, rain and snow. We arrived in Catalina Mountain State Park on the 18th. This is one of our most favorite parks, the views are wonderful and the hikes in the mountains are a challenge for us. This is also the park that we got stranded in 2 years ago when the only road in was covered in mud and sand when the snow melted in the mountains and the wash over the road ran like a river. Would history repeat itself?? Of course!!!! We left the nice cozy condo on the hill to park our camper at the base of Santa Catalina Mountains when the worst storm in many years was about to hit the Tucson area. Sustained winds were 30mph and gusts up to 60. We were rocking and rolling in the camper. The news advised people in mobile homes to leave and go somewhere else, but this is an RV, so we stayed. Two days of wind and lots of rain and the wash across the road was a river again. Our screen house (the one we
Catalina MtnsCatalina MtnsCatalina Mtns

Snow in the higher elevations and a saguaro in the lower.
just bought to replace the one that was stolen) was the only casualty. Luckily we were able to order replacement parts.

After the rains stopped and the river went down we took a hike to the Romero Pools. The total trip is 5+ miles with an elevation gain of 1000 feet. Too start the hike we had to cross the wash which was still flowing with rain and snow melt. So we took off our boots and waded across. Icy water on bare feet is very painful! All those fiction novels we read were someone hikes out on the snow or ice with bare feet to save lives is just that, fiction! Anyway, with boots back on we took off. It was about a 3 hour hike up, up and more up, then across the ridge and down, down to the pools. What a beautiful place! The pools were really a river because of all the rain. We had a quick snack and then 2 hours back - gravity was on our side, and the river had gone down enough that we could pick our way across in shallow areas, so no more icy feet. It
Road to CatalinaRoad to CatalinaRoad to Catalina

At least it was a very nice place to be 'stuck'
seems that clamoring over craggy rocks on mountain sides is very appealing to us.

We did get to go to an RC air show in Eloy that was all gliders. These gliders were mostly free flight - which means they go up using a tiny bit of fuel in an engine, by rubber band, or by being on a tow line. Then they are set up so they fly in slow circles on thermals with no ground control. The object is to see who can keep their glider up in the air for the longest time. The whole event needs acres of flat empty space, perfect for Arizona, so the gliders can be retrieved once they come down. To do that folks zoom around on motorbikes. I think much of the attraction for this sport is the motorbike zooming across the desert. Ron has ordered a glider, but no motorbike yet!

When rain threatened the area again we left for Green Valley, south of Tucson. The back drop for Green Valley is an enormous mining operation. There are literally miles of 'mountains' made up of tailings. We stayed in a private park since
news guynews guynews guy

The local news station came out to do a story about the stranded campers. the camera guy had to wade across. he sank up to his butt in some areas.
there are no state parks in the area - Green Valley RV Resort. A very nice park with larger sites then are usual in private parks. 70 channels on cable, swimming pool, hot tub, craft room, library, not that we use any of these, but they are available. The views are of other campers, not mountains but we are really using this area as a base to see some of the sights. Tubac is a small city that was once the largest city in Arizona during the silver mining era. Now it is an artist colony with a collection of arts and craft shops - some real art, others lots of imports. Fun to walk through.

A great place to hike is an area in the State Forest Land at the base of the Santa Rita Mountains called Madera Canyon. Ron's old timers pass gave us free access. The elevation in the canyon starts at 5,000 feet and goes to 9,000. Here the mountain sides are covered in oak, sycamore, juniper and pine trees - it is so green compared to the surrounding desert. It is also considerably colder at this elevation with small patches of
Romero Pools hikeRomero Pools hikeRomero Pools hike

Soooooo cold!
snow on the ground from the last winter storm. It made us think fondly of all of you back in the cold climates. We were there to find some birds and came away with 4 new ones to add to our life list.

Ron went to a second air show - this one was all electric - he now is ordering an electric set up. Can you say compulsive-obsessive!!!!

Tomorrow we are heading to Tucson for the gem and fossil show and after that - who knows, haven’t decided yet.

Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


Romero PoolsRomero Pools
Romero Pools

Well worth the hike.
a fellow hikera fellow hiker
a fellow hiker

He is carrying a guitar on his other shoulder. The Walmart bag has his other pair of shoes for crossing streams - Not a real friendly guy.

Me and a local.
Green Valley RV ResortGreen Valley RV Resort
Green Valley RV Resort

Not exact;y the same views as Catalina.
Madera CanyonMadera Canyon
Madera Canyon

Ron on the trail in the Santa Rita Mtns.

31st January 2010

At first look - I thought the old hiker was Ron - all worn out from all the hiking! Hahahahahhaha!
31st January 2010

wow the local in your picture sure has a bendy leg!!! can't wait to be out there in 18 days! love ya guys... should i be watching for another new plane to show up at our door?
1st February 2010

Kris, watch for either a plane or a motorbike to show up on your doorstep!!!!

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