Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Saguaro Nat'l Park East & Free Pie

Grant came out here with a bucket list of things he wanted to see or do and Saguaro Nat'l Park East was high on the list.  We picked today to venture out to the park and made the short 7 mile drive there and took the 8 mile drive through the park.  We've been there a number of times, but this was a first for Grant and he seemed to enjoy the sights a lot.

The information center has a small garden with different cacti labeled so us non Southwest people can get to know the names of the different cacti.  I do know that the Saguaro cactus shown below is over 100 years old since it has arms and they are fairly large.  The Saguaro cactus doesn't grow arms until it is 75 years old at least.

 Right after we entered the park (free because of my Golden Age Pass) we spotted a nice prickly pear cactus with the beginning of flowers.  I had to pull over in order to not block the one lane road and some old geezer couldn't wait and zoomed by me and ran off the road and hit the side of the cactus.  You can see his tire tracks near Grant's foot.  I don't understand how anyone can speed through a park at 40mph plus and actually see anything.

 The Saguaro cactus buds are forming now and should be in bloom within a week or so.  They bloom at night and if the mornings are cool, the blooms will be visible for a few hours in sunlight.

 The hedgehog cacti have a number of blooms on them and come in multiple colors.  They are favorites of ours since they bloom early and last a long time.

 More prickly pear cactus with beautiful blooms.  Grant is lucky to be here at this time since the cacti are starting to bloom and there will be fields of these along side of the road.  They are beautiful to see, but terrible to walk in.

 The Ocotillo are in full bloom now and are throughout the park.  It is hard to believe that just a few weeks ago they looked like dead sticks and were brown. 

The Village Inn restaurant gives away free pie on Wednesday and we stopped in for a late lunch.  The lunches were large and good and we managed to fill our stomachs to overflowing almost.   We asked for the pies to go and picked two cherry pies (Gerry & I) and Grant had a German Chocolate Cake Pie.  It must have been good since he wolfed it down later in the evening.  We also enjoyed our cherry pies with ice cream as a late night snack.

Oh, before all this we went to the library so I could download the latest version of Windows 8.1.  My new computer came with 8.1, but this new download was around 4gig and I didn't want to use up all my 20gig bandwidth on the download.  Even with the super fast internet at the library it still took 30+ minutes to download the files and another 45 minutes to fully install the new version of 8.1.  The best thing about it for me is that it boots right into the desktop rather than into the tile format of Win 8.1.  There are a number of other features but I haven't had time to try them all out.

That was our day out here in the desert, how was yours? 


  1. I am just amazed how everything is in bloom so early this year. I know it was in May last year before we started seeing all the blooms. But at least my allergies have settled down somewhat with these hot days. I have yet to download 8.1 and I keep saying I need to do it. Maybe tomorrow.

  2. I'm so glad Grant is getting to see all the beautiful places in the Southwest. .