USA Road Trip: Week 3 (Part 2)

Published: June 21st 2019
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From Las Vegas, we drove south to Saguaro National Park, outside Tucson. “This is where the icon of arid America holds court. The country’s largest cacti, the saguaro (pronounced sa-WAH-ro), grow slowly, achieving arms and full stature at around 125 years. Some extend to 50 feet tall” (Moon, USA National Parks - The Complete Guide to all 59 Parks, Becky Lomax, 2018, p. 290). The saguaros take about 15 years to grow only a foot in height, 50 years to grow 7 feet, and “almost a century before they begin to take on their many-armed appearance” (Lonely Planet, USA, 2018, p. 869).

Some of the arms grow at strange angles, and many had blooming flowers growing at the tips of the arms. The flowers eventually turn into red fruit that Native Americans use for food (if the birds haven’t gotten to it first). We also saw prickly pear cactus here - the “flat” round-shaped plates. Both types of cacti were blooming when we were there; a park ranger said that it was unusual to bloom so early, but that was because it had rained earlier than usual this year.

We went for a drive at sunset, then again the next day, to get pictures of the cacti in different light. Both times were gorgeous. We had a hard time editing these photos, so the park gets its own blog.

Additional photos below
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