Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Santa Catalina State Park, Arizona

It was an easy drive from Lordsburg to Santa Catalina Park. We needed to do some grocery shopping so we programmed in a stop at Whole Foods in Tucson. It was in a busy upscale mall so we had some difficulty finding a spot to safely leave our truck/trailer combination. But we managed. Now that we've had our two shots and it has been weeks since the last one, we feel safe shopping inside again. And Whole Foods requires masks in all their stores. It was a pleasure to browse the stocked shelves after our experience in one in Dallas after the storm!
The Park entrance was only a few miles further up the mountain north of Tucson and what a beautiful spot. But when we checked in the Ranger took one look at our rig and did a double take. Our reserved campsite was for tent camping and there was no room for our trailer/truck combination. We had made the reservations online and had entered our information but somehow there was a mistake. He did some hemming and hawing and made a few calls, but decided on a spot for us. When we arrived at the campground entrance, someone was waiting for us. She escorted us into an enormous group camping area, right next to the crowded normal campground. We had our choice of spots to stop and picked out one that gave the best view of the mountains from our dinette. 
The view from our campsite!!

Dave and Ellen had arrived the day before and their site was only a few feet away from their neighbors. They were amazed at our luck! They had prepared a wonderful dinner for us that night - grilled pork chops, baked potatoes, and artichokes! The weather now has been perfect- early 70's and sunny. What a great evening to see each other in person again. We have a weekly Zoom meeting with our cruiser friends from the Rio Dulce, Guatemala but most will be only seen in the flesh next winter season. A schedule of two hikes were agreed upon for the next day and they worked out very well. For the four days we were together, we used our truck to drive around the parks. The next night we did the honors over at our private camping spot - guacamole and chips, grilled sausages, Mac n Cheese, Salad, and Brownies. Scott needed to pick up a new battery the next morning as the wimpy one that was provided had run down twice, so we agreed to meet up later that afternoon at our next destination, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
The sunset from Dave & Ellen's campsite, looking
away from the mountains
Dinner at their campsite Catalina State Park
We ran into a large group of artists on our morning
My best photo of the Santa Catalina Mountains with artist in foreground.
You can get a feel for the huge saguaro cactus
plants size
Barrel Cactus have subtle but
lovely colors
Prickly Pear Fruits are just ripening
We saw the ancient ruins of the Hohokum
people dated 500 AD and the more recent ones
of the Romero Ranch
Ellen, Dave, Heather and Scott 
The Saguaro Cactus strike some very funny poses!
My granddaughter Shira wanted to know about
the dangerous insects and snakes on our trip
so I took this picture. We never saw any of them -
Besides the hikers, we also saw a few riders. This
view is across the desert going north.
Dinner with Dave & Ellen at our campsite. The
light was so beautiful. This was the first and so 
far, the last time we've used our table!

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