Monday, April 14, 2014

1.25 miles up and eyes on us

The local owls have been putting on a good show lately.  The chicks are getting bigger and one looks to be 10-12 inches tall already.  The other chick is in a different part of the nest and it is hard to determine how large it is.  The mother owl has to sit on a branch next to the nest now since there isn't room for her in there.  The father owl hasn't been seen lately, but he must be busy finding food to feed his brood.

One thing on Grant's bucket list was a trip up to Mt. Lemmon and have lunch there.  It is one of our favorite drives and decided it would be a good day for the trip so we could rest a little after the airshow.  Ron K went with us since he also enjoys the ride so much.  
We drove 75 miles roundtrip and went from 3,000 ft to 9,135 ft, hence the 1.25 mile up part of the header.  There was still a little dab of snow in places at the top of the mountain in some ditches.  Past trips up there have ended near the ski lift area, but today the gate was open to continue the drive to the top of the mountain.  Up we went on a narrow 2 lane road all the way to the top.  My GPS said it was 9,135 ft at the turnaround area.

This old pine tree was still standing, but a large one had fallen over the years and just a 6 ft stump was remaining.  They both had been victims of fires that have swept that area the past few years.

We left the desert floor and went through cacti, scrub pine, large pine groves and other green trees.  It is neat to see the different zones on the drive up the mountain.

 Near the top we ran through some large stands of Aspen trees.  They look so white this time of the year and the buds have just started to appear.  We left the motorhome in 82 degree weather and it was 52 degrees at the top and will be much colder at night.

This is a another stand of Aspen and the buds on it are a little further advanced since it is 1,000 ft lower than the above one.  

When we pulled into the restaurant parking lot at Summerhaven, it looked deserted.  It was, since they are closed on Mondays.  Oooops.  Plan B went into effect at this time and I headed for a local pizza and cookie place.  They were open and we managed to order a 12 inch pizza that cost around $19.00.  That is what happens when you are the only game in town.  It was ok, but the bottom crust was like cardboard.

The restaurant also had Apple & Peach Cobblers but I think they were about $11.00.  Not in my budget, but a couple sitting behind us ordered one.  When it came to their table I jokingly asked if she was going to share it.  Then she proceeded to put some on a plate and had it to me.  I begged off and said I was just teasing her and didn't want it.  She insisted and then said to give it to Grant.  Wow, what a nice gesture.  He took possession of the cobbler and we thanked her and left.  Then a mountain biker gave Grant some licorice.  He must have looked hungry.

On the way down the mountain we came across some wild turkeys along the side of the road.  They didn't seem to be worried about us being there and continued eating and walking along.

Wild Tom Turkey

Two more turkeys

Another shot of the Tom Turkey
 This is a popular place for rock climbers and we see them almost every trip we make up the mountain.  The climber had a helper on the ground keeping the safety rope tight.

There are hundreds of interesting rock formations along the road. The following two shots are a couple examples.  It would be impossible to have all the rocks on the blog due to space and your ability to stand looking at all of them.  Hence, just a few for your viewing pleasure.

About 1/2 way down the mountain we stopped so Grant could get a good view of the Tucson area and the valley that it is in.  It was a hazy day, but Tucson was still visible from about 20 miles away.

Notice how balanced some of the rocks are in the picture below.  There are numerous balanced rocks in this area and I imagine they have been like that for thousands of year.  I hope they stay that way while we are in the area.

We arrived back at the RV park around 7pm and dropped Ron off and then went home and had some hamburgers for dinner.  I grilled them in  the dark with the help of a small flashlight.  It was so nice outside that I didn't want to go back inside, but duty called.

That was our exciting day, how was yours?  

Is it snowing in Illinois? 

We stayed up a little later and Gerry managed to get these last few shots of the eclipse of the moon.  It still had a way to go for full eclipse; however, we were worn out by the time of the last shot.  Not bad for a point and shoot digital camera.

1 comment:

  1. Really great pictures. I want to make that drive someday. We just watched the total eclipse and then gave up. Now we're going to bed.