Catalina Shadows

20140412_10351820140412_125454We got back out this weekend, and boy was it needed. It’s so great to get out of the house on these weekends. This weekend we hit up Catalina State Park just outside Tucson in Oro Valley, AZ. I do mean in Oro Valley. This campground would be great for a person heading out for the first time, ever. Why? Directly across the road from the campground is a large shopping center. It has a Walmart, and several restaurants. There’s even a Dick’s Sporting goods. If you can’t find what you need with those stores, you need to think about what you really need.

20140412_152528(0)The next morning we headed up to Mount Lemon. It’s an absolutely stunning drive that I would recommend. Some of the drive looks like something out of a movie. You go from desert landscape to pine trees, to mountain views on a drive up the mountain that can take as little as an hour. Of course, You just might want to take it a little slower, and stop at all the scenic pull outs. We didn’t stop this time, as we were headed to the ski lift. No, we weren’t there to ski. The snow has all melted this time of year.

It didn’t stop it from being cold though. If you do the ski lift tour, wear something appropriate. The better half forgot to bring a jacket this time. It’s not that I was smarter. Far from it, I am just too lazy to take my jacket out of my truck. She has a jacket in her car, and the RV, but when we left the RV it was around 90º so jackets were pretty far from our minds. However it was in the 50’s at the top of the mountain.

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After the ski lift we headed back down the mountain. But not before we stopped at the Cookie Cabin. I know… I am still a kid at heart. I love me some chocolate chip cookie. And my gut will remind me of this from time to time. We grabbed our cookies, and headed back to town. This is where my better half took all the pictures of the drive, and the dirty windshield.

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20140412_185556Along the way we felt a bit like eating something different for once. So we hit Pinnacle Peak Steak House. There’s one in Phoenix(well close to it), but we were here, and why not, right? Hey we gotta have some nights where I’m not cooking. Oh and I would recommend you not wear a tie here. Or do, if you want your tie and your name there for all to see…20140412_173036

If you bring a tie into the establishment, they clip it. They take a pair of scissors, and cut it off, right then and there. They have quite a collection going on. All over their walls, and hanging from their rafters. Soooo If you have a business meeting with a client you hate that always wears an ugly tie…

I’ve mentioned before that I like to point out that Arizona isn’t just some desert. But I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that the desert isn’t what people think of as a desert either. When I tell people I live in the desert, this is what they think:


This little guy was right near our RV. In fact, we watched him as we ate breakfast before heading to the trails.

This little guy was right near our RV. In fact, we watched him as we ate breakfast before heading to the trails.

But while Arizona does have it’s sand dunes, the desert is surprisingly less deserted. On our second day, we spent a great deal of time walking a few trails in our desert. And not surprisingly, we ran across a boatload of lizards. My sweetheart captured much of it. Remember, all of this is the desert.

The first trail we hit was the Romero ruin trail. The rocks naturally formed into walls and… just kidding. Native Americans lived here.


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After we hit that trail, we headed over to the Nature Trail. There we saw a bucket load of lizards, and at least one roadrunner. Sadly, while she’s quick, she couldn’t get a snapshot of the roadrunner.

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We went to the birding trail next. There we saw a Cardinal, and what I thought was another cardinal, but a kind birder informed me that it was a Vermilion Flycatcher.

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Of course the wildlife didn’t stop when we headed back to the RV. A pair of lizards decided to tease our dog who was on his lanyard. They stayed juuuuuust out of his reach. And he went nuts. Finally we had to bring him inside so the other RVers wouldn’t freak out.

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