Monday, February 2, 2015

Water in the Desert

It's been raining hard the last couple days in the Tucson area and all the streams are flowing for a change.  We've only seen this a couple times in the past 9 years we have spent the winter here.  I always have enjoyed seeing streams, brooks, washes, creeks and rivers at or near flood stage.

One year when I was about 10-11 my father, brother and I went fishing on the Illinois river during flood stage.  We piled into an 18ft open wooden boat and started across the flooded river about 25-30 ft above flood stage.  There we saw chicken coops, logs, barrels and all kinds of debris floating down the river and we were in the middle of it.  I was a "little" nervous and asked my father what would happen if the boat tipped over.  His answer was that he was going to drown since he couldn't swim and I should swim with the current to the shore.  HUH?  That sure was reassuring since none of us had life jackets.

Back to the present.  We decided to take a ride up to the top of Mt. Lemmon and check out the mountainside streams.  Most of the time they are bone dry and not that interesting but today was different with many of them flowing quite freely.  I will let the photos tell the story of how pretty it was up there on the drive.

Henry, who poses like this all the time?

7 cataracts

Pretty wildflowers along side of the road.

On top of the world

More falls
Somebody missed the turn.
 The van above was over 300 yards down the side of a steep hill.  I can't imagine anyone living through a fall down that steep hill with all the big rocks around the area.  It looks like it's been there a long time and is all rusted out.

We drove up to the snow ski area and were surprised to see people parking along both sides of the road for the last 1/4 mile or so.  The parking lot was a zoo and impossible to drive around in the area.  I pulled into the parking lot exit and turned around and headed out of there.  We were amazed to see hundreds of cars with Sonora, Mexico license plates.  They outnumbered the U.S. cars by 20 to 1 and families were walking down the middle of the road and causing quite a mess.  

Others were parked along side of the road in other areas taking advantage of the snow on the ground.  They were having snowball fights, sledding and just having a good time.  Once again, the majority of the cars were from Sonora, Mexico. 

One of the many snowmen along side of the road.

  A favorite pastime in the Tucson area is to load the car or truck with snow and drive back down the mountain.  Snowball fights would then take place.  Many cars had small snowmen on top of them and filling the hood of the car seemed to be popular also.  

We made a few stops on the way up to the top of Mt. Lemmon.  I will write more about that in another blog.  I will give you a hint; it's about a prison on the mountain.

It was time to head back to the motorhome to watch the Superbowl.  I didn't have any interest in either team and finally rooted for the Patriots.  They pulled off a stunner and won the game in the 4th quarter.  Hopefully, we won't be hearing ( not hearing ) from Lynch of the Seahawks for a while.  

That was our day, how was yours?


  1. That is such a lovely ride. If you ever find out what all those cars were doing up on top, please let us know. Very interesting.

  2. Enjoyed seeing the "rain in the desert pics!" Nice waterfalls for that area. And the pics of the two of you are good.