Posts Tagged ‘fish’

Staying on in Tucson

7th April 2011 by Helen
Sabino Canyon

Sabino Canyon

After a long weekend at the Overland Expo in Amado just south of Tucson we are currently staying in Tucson.  When we met Heath at Land Rover Marin, he was also there promoting his company rangeroverarmour, who fit luxury accessories to new Range Rovers.  Anyway, Heath kindly volunteered his parents to put us up for a few days and act as tour guides while we are in Arizona!  Fortunately, they were up for the offer and here we are.

Monday was a recovery day – chilling and hoovering some of the Arizona desert out of the car.

Sabino Canyon

Sabino Canyon

Tuesday Paul & Jean took us for a walk out to Sabino Canyon, where Paul & Jean explained some of the plants of the desert to us.  I learned why some of the sagauro cacti look so battered – woodpeckers make their nest in them!!  The buds are just coming out and the cacti will soon be in full bloom.  Such a rare sight in England where even one flower is celebrated as a miracle!! Paul also saw a real wild snake up close and we all saw a Gila Monster right beside the path.  Young fish were swimming in the little bit of water that is currently running through the canyon, but as the summer continues this water is likely to dry up leaving the fish with nowhere to go.  With the drying of the river the verdant scenery along it’s path will also go.  Much to our surpirse a lone duck was swimming around looking for a mate and food and finding neither.  It really was a very lovely place to go for a walk, although only early in the morning before the temperature gets too hot.

view of just a small part of the airplane boneyard

view of just a small part of the airplane boneyard

On Wednesday Paul & I took a tour of the Pima Air Museum and Airplane Boneyard.  Even though I don’t really understand mechanical stuff too well I’m still fascinated by it.  To me it’s just such an important part of the transformation of society that happened with the Industrial Revolution.  And at the human effort that went into much of the development, such as the millions of rivets in each plane, each one of them put in by hand by armies of women working in the factories.  All of the planes in the ‘boneyard’ fall into one of four categories – flyable storage (temporary for up to six months before going back into flying service), long term storage (may fly again one day), being slowly stripped for spare parts, or awaiting destruction.  Just about everything is recycled in some way and the ‘boneyard’ makes quite a good profit back for the military.  It was a fascinating trip and really good value.

On the way back we stopped off to pick up a new, donated, battery, as one of our original batteries is no longer holding a full charge since it went completely dead in freezing Montana!!  Much appreciated and a weight off our mind for the next part of the Americas leg.

Thursday was back to work again, with Paul getting some of those niggly little jobs done on the car, while I caught up with some more jobs on the laptop – boring stuff like getting the back ups done before we leave the US.

Wild West and the Pony Express

27th January 2011 by Helen
a quick and easy breakfast at our frosty campsite just past the town of Gold Hill

a quick and easy breakfast at our frosty campsite just past the town of Gold Hill

We spent much of the day following a part of the Pony Express trail that runs through the desert plains of Utah, below Bonneville and Salt Lakes.  If ever there was a part of the country that would remind us of the Westerns we watched as kids, this was it.  It was not hard to imagine the white settlers holed up in their flimsy houses out on the prairie, fearful of attacks from the native Indians.  The scenes were of hills and plains, barren and desolate.  We passed old abandoned hoppers where some kind of mining had presumably been carried out in the past and rocky hills eroded by the wind and weather.  Small stunted bushes were everywhere with only the occasional small stunted trees.

Landy pulls up at the Boyd Pony Express Station

Landy pulls up at the Boyd Pony Express Station

We stopped at some of the old Pony Express staging posts, including Canyon Station and Boyd Station, where they changed horses in the race to get the mail from east to west.  It’s hard to believe that the Pony Express which was such an important part of this time in American history, only lasted a couple of years, put out of business by the development of the telegraph.

in the mouth of Hot Springs Cave

in the mouth of Hot Springs Cave

We passed an old cave in a hill, called Hot Springs Cave, where we climbed to see the view and take some photos, before heading on through Fish Springs National Wildlife Reserve and the Fish Springs Staging Post.  This was where we left the Pony Express Trail to pick up the road to Delta on our way to Moab.

Town map

Town map

After passing through the farming town of Callao we stopped to look at some amazing eroded sandstone hills.  It seemed a good place to camp and we had a warming evening beside a campfire, good old Western style, at the foot of these ancient rock formations.  We could see the area had recently been visited by a herd of Pronghorn Deer – whose tracks were all over the place.  Apart from that there were no birds, no insects, no noise, just us, the desert, the juniper trees and a myriad of stars hanging in the night sky.

campsite at the foot of the eroded sandstone cliffs

campsite at the foot of the eroded sandstone cliffs

Campsite – at the foot of the sandstone cliffs, close to the Thomas Range Mountains – camped at 5361 feet

Distance travelled – 67 miles