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Published: October 9th 2013
The first night we got here we went to Pinnacle Peak Patio, known for its 20 ounce Cowboy Steaks. The place is decorated with neckties that have been confiscated to adorn the walls and ceiling. A whole family sat beside us with ties on all the men and boys. The waiter explained that ties were not allowed and then cut them off of everyone that had them. Nowadays people wear them in on purpose for a joke, but in the past customers were caught by surprise.
Today we visited the Sonoran Desert Museum, a 21-acre park that showcases and interprets the Sonoran Desert. With more that 230 animal species and 1200 types of plants, it is not surprising that this museum is highly rated worldwide.
A volunteer guide gave us and one other couple a fascinating tour of the different ecosystems. We and many other visitors arrived at the opening bell of 8:30, but even then, the mountain lions and ocelots, among others, had retreated to their shady lairs. We could see them, but not take pictures. The black bear, relaxing on her back, did not bother to get up and pose for us.
By 11 am it was hot enough for us to leave. We drove down the road to Saguaro National Park.
The giant saguaro cactus grows naturally in the United States only in the Sonoran Desert. It is impressive to see “forests” of these cacti everywhere you look. An estimated 1.6 million grow here. We drove into the Saguaro National Park until we reached a closed barrier at the Visitors Center. We may have been able to continue farther on one of the roads, but decided to turn back because we had been told that Tucson Mountain Park, adjacent to the National Park had as much to offer. The scenery certainly did not disappoint.
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