2013 Arizona Trip

1400 mile road trip and hiking from San Diego to Flagstaff -- January 2013
Palm  Cubans  Cubans us  morning walk 
cousins  Del Norte lights  Del Norte tree  Del decor 
Snow over SanDiego pass  Windmills  Irrigated Desert  Palm cell tower 
Dunes  Mex border fence  Space Age Lodge 1  Space Age Lodge 
SpaceAge sign  Space Age Restaurant  Organ Pipes Cactus NatlMon  Organ Pipes National Monument. One of the main objectives of this trip was this park. And it did NOT disappoint!  Cactus Steve  Steve with Organ Pipes cactus which is a cousin of the Sagauro only found in this one area of the US. 
Small Steve  Sagauros everywhere  While there were a good many Organ Pipes cactuses, there were TONS of Sagauros.  Colorful Desert  Colorful desert. I was just amazed at how full of life this Sonoran Desert was… particularly when compared to the Mohave Desert of northern AZ and SW California.  Desert Alive  Desert Alive. 
Lush Desert  Desert Lush.  Ford Focus Finally  We've reserved Ford Focuses for years while traveling, but never actually gotten to drive one… until NOW! Yay!  Arches Hike 1  There is a 21-mile driving loop through the park. This Arches area is one place where you can park and hike; which we did.  Arches Hike 2  Can you see the arches?H 
Double Arches  Here they are.  Arches Creosote  One of my favorite things was this Creosote bush. We learned it is a valuable food source, and besides being evergreen, it smells wonderful.  Pretty Rocks  Pretty rocks everywhere.  Cholla Cactus Skeleton  Cholla cactus skelleton. 
Sagauro skeleton  Sagauro cactus skeleton.  Palo Verde Nurse Trees  Palo Verde tree nursing Sagauro cactus.  Colorful desert lichen  Colorful lichen.  Interesting structure  Not sure what this shrub is, but I just loved the lacy intricacy and shiny bark. 
Sagauro perspective change  Another perspective.  Desert Mistletoe  Desert mistletoe. Yes, a cousin of the OTHER mistletoe.  Glowing Sagauro  Photog at work 
Glowing Chollo Cactus  Glowing Chollo cactus.  Cactus Beth  Patiently waiting  House finch wanted water.  Not so patient  He repeatedly hovered and drank from the spigot. 
Casa Grande 1  We headed forPhoenix, and stopped here at Casa Grande, an old Native American ruin. The interprative center had lots of info and a great film.  Casa Grande  Casa Grande.  Casa Grande Steve  Casa Grande, Steve.  Casa Grande Steve Beth 
Wolfe Goodnight Wnuck  Arizona sycamores  The next day we headed for Camp Verde, AZ… maybe 100 miles north of the Phoenix area. I was totally unprepared for this scenery. Back to my beloved high desert habitat. YES! This photo is the visitor center at Montezuma Castle (another Native American ruin), and I was captivated by the Arizona Sycamore trees. WOW!  Montezuma Castle  Montezuma Castle National Monument. Cliff dwellings. Montezuma was never here, nor is this a castle. Crazy white people named this.  Montezuma Ruins  More ruins. 
Montezuma Castle Steve Beth  Wet Beaver Creek  Beaver Creek runs through the park and merges with the Verde River.  Arizona sycamores 4  Arizona sycamore. Love the white bark and graceful branches.  Arizona sycamores 2  Such beautiful trees. Can't get enough of them. :-) 
Montezuma Beth  Montezuma Castle, Beth, with sycamores and mesquite trees in background.  Montezuma Well  Montezuma Well. Very interesting natural formation that was just a couple miles from the cliff dwellings.  Montezuma Well Walk  Beautiful walk around the well perimeter.  Montzuma Well Prickly Pear  Prickly precipice. 
Baby spines  Fresh baby spines on prickly pear cactus only SEEM soft and cuddly.  Creosote (Larrea tridentata) flowers berries  Creosote bush with both flowers and fruit.  Arizona sycamore 3  In this high desert area of AZ, wherever there are riparian areas, you'll find Arizona sycamores. I have died and gone to heaven. :-)  Sedona AZ 2  On the way to Sedona, AZ; Hwy 179 near Oak Creek. 
Sedona AZ  From a visitor center near Oak Creek, AZ.  Javelina family  We'd been hoping to see javelinas on this trip. They look like pigs, but are actually NOT pigs. But they are cute. This little family is cast of bronze at the visitor center near Oak Creek, AZ.  Red Rocks Visitor Center  Our objective in heading toward Sedona was Red Rocks State Park to do some hiking. This is the very cool visitor center there. The building on the right is the restrooms. The one on teh left is the gift shop and museum display area. Loved the stream running through and the animal footprints in the concrete.  Red Rocks Hike Overlook  This is the high point of one of the Red Rocks trails. See the white barked sycamores that show where the stream is located? 
Red Rocks Steve  Red Rocks Steve.  Red Rocks Hike 3  Red Rocks State Park  Aspen leaves  Aspen leaves and red rocks.  Red Rocks Snow  We'd gone to the Southwest to find sun and warmth. We did find plenty of sun (though it rained at least twice on the trip), but we also found SNOW! This was along the hike at Red Rocks. Brrrr! 
Red Rocks Hike  Red Rocks hike; more sycamores.  Red Rocks Hike 2  Red Rocks hike. Yes… more sycamores. :-)  Red Rocks Hike 4  Red Rocks Park. I could be a happy camper if I lived here.  Sedona overlook Steve Beth