Saturday, February 28, 2015

A DAY TRIP TO MT LEMMON ABOVE TUCSON, AZ

Yes, after thinking about it for about six years, we finally made the effort yesterday and had a nice trip to the top of Mt Lemmon.  We had a pretty fine day weather wise and with the many stops for photography, the trip stretched out to over eleven hours.  The temperature at the Tucson level was 19C (67F?) when we started up and at 8,000 feet it was 10C (50F).  It was also very windy the whole time so felt cooler.  We found a sheltered spot to have our leisurely lunch, sitting in our lawn chairs behind the car on a side road.  Surprisingly, there was just a dusting of snow in the shady spots at the top.  I expected there would at least be some snow accumulation.
We ended our great day with nice supper at Gourmet Girls, a gluten free bakery/bisto.  Aileen really enjoyed not having to be on guard when ordering as the whole store is completely gluten free.

Shortly after starting up the mountain, we were able to spy down on some of the houses built on the hillside.

Looking out over the greater Tucson area which is far larger than I had expected

Some blooming Brittle Bush adds a little cheer to the Saguaros

I enjoyed the neat cloud patterns contrasting with the stark landscape

The engineers did a fine job building the highway up Mt Lemmon as there are no really steep grades and mostly gentle sweeping corners.  If you look closely, you can see the highway in the bottom left corner as well as the top right.

I went out and stood where the lady in blue is 

And this is the view I got

Here's a closer shot down to the highway

Aileen and Mitzy with an interesting old Juniper tree

This Juniper lead a tortuous life out on what is called Windy Point

The view to the southeast from the 8,000 foot level near the top of Mt Lemmon

Spotted this hole (arch?) above the highway and thought it all a bit artsy

Across from the arch was this Duck Rock and friend

Down near the bottom in the afternoon we saw lots of Santa Catalina Prairie Clover blooming.  Photos were hard to get because of the wind.

Some local grass in a sheltered spot

And lastly, the moon rising over the Saguaro studded hillside