Friday, May 3, 2013

Saguaro Park and Mt. Lemmon

Last Tuesday, we finished packing the RV (what a job!) and headed out on our summer journey.  Our first stop was the Escapees RV park in Benson, AZ, about 40 miles east of Tucson.  It's getting pretty hot in Mesa and Benson is a little cooler due to its 3700 ft. elevation.  We have had our name on their list to buy a lot for five years now and are currently at number 101.  Since we bought the house in '09, we had thought to take ourselves off the list, but have again rethought that plan.  Saguaro Park is a co-op which means the price to buy a lot starts with a set base lot cost plus the actual cost of any improvements.   The residents can build a small 'casita' up to 288 sq. ft. and some of them are pretty elaborate.  We would like just a bare lot so we wouldn't have to worry about it when we are gone.  Unfortunately, there are only about three such lots in the park, one of which is owned by our friend Lloyd.  Smart guy.

One day we drove up to Summerhaven at the top of Mt. Lemmon.  We stopped at several of the pull outs to admire the view.  When we started our climb, we noticed lots of saguaro cactus in bloom.

Imagine if all the flowers bloomed at once.  What a bouquet!

At the overlook for Molino Canyon, the spiny, leafless ocotillo were in bloom.

I guess I should say just beginning to bloom.

I got a kick out of this sign.

I found the prickly pear.
But I didn't even want to think about the shindagger agave.

Farther up the mountain, we drove though cool rock formations.  I love rocks.

This thin wall of rock looked dangerous right along the road.

But wait!  What's that I see in the wall?  It's a window!
I'm sure nobody ever discovered this before.  Maybe we should name it.

When we hit 7000 feet, we moved into the ponderosa pines.  Mt. Lemmon used to be the site of a major logging operation.  Makes sense.

Did I mention I love rocks?  This wall was at one of the pull outs.  Colorful and clever.

Finally we reached Summerhaven where we had a delicious lunch.  The town was basically destroyed by a fire in the summer of 2003.  It burned 84,750 acres and 340 homes.  It's hard to imagine 340 houses up there, but some brave souls have rebuilt and they are set up for visitors.

Sights like this wall and foundations are reminders of all that was lost.

Back at the park, we were greeted by one of the many quail.  They sound so sweet calling to one another.


  1. Quite a change from all the Hawaiian plant life!

    Good thing there were so many rocks to keep you amused... ;c)

  2. Girl there's no rust under your feet off you go again, Im so jealous...I love rocks too, great find of the Window there...
    We have had a really cool spring in fact I have the heat on tonight! I hope the heat holds off as long as possible this yr...
    Love the Quail and the cacti!!! Safe Travels!

  3. We've never been up Mt. Lemmon and it's still on my list. Glad you found all your neat rocks to see.

  4. We have spent the past couple of winters in Benson and have never seen the saguaro bloom. Thanks for posting those pretty pics!

  5. Glad to see you are on the road again. We will be looking forward to your posts and photos.

  6. Those Suguaro cacti are fantastic especially in bloom with the flowers sitting on top like a crown. Rocks and mountains to me are "spiritual" and the thrill you get on reaching the top is great.

  7. Very impressive pictures, especially love the saguaro and the quail.

  8. Very impressive pictures, especially love the saguaro and the quail.