Friday, November 6, 2015

Our Week in Photos, and a Few Words


Curve-billed thrasher on our picnic table.


The Javelina Jundred at McDowell Mountain Park, with only a few runners in costume on Halloween.




They had run about 35 miles at this point. Runners leave their gear at the aid station so they can stop and pick up what they need. We spoke with a guy who was putting on shoes, after doing the first 35 miles in sandals.


Jim decided to crash his mountain bike a couple miles after we stopped to watch the race. He has bruises and abrasions, but those are healing up. On a positive note, his heartburn seems to be gone.


Luckily he was able to ride his bike the five miles or so back to the campground.


And he is still able to hike, so that’s what we’ve done in between the couple of cold and rainy days we’ve had this week.


Inside of the saguaro cactus looks like a work of art.


Yesterday we hiked the Dixie Mine/Sonoran Trail in Fountain Hills. The first half mile is on the sidewalk of Eagle’s Nest, a gated community with hotel-sized houses.


Then it’s nothing but Sonoran desert for miles.



Cylindropuntia bigelovii, better known as teddy bear cholla, for their soft and fuzzy appearance. Don’t let their good looks fool you, though.



There are emergency markers at regular intervals.


And we passed two helicopter pads, something we’ve never seen on a trail before. The trail is very rocky, steep, and along big drop offs in places. We’re guessing they do a lot of rescues of  injured mountain bikers. You can bet that is one trail we won’t be biking on!


Rustic heli-pads.



It was a nice place to hike, though, as we climbed up to a ridge with views of Fountain Hills.




And when we got back to the trail head we noticed this crested saguaro right behind our car.

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I think it’s the biggest one we’ve ever seen.


This week we also took a tour of Fearless Kitty Rescue, where I will be volunteering after training. What a wonderful shelter! It is modeled after Best Friends in Utah, although on a much smaller scale. Jim fell in love with a one-eyed kitten, so he won’t be going back Winking smile


  1. Does the shelter take trade-ins? ;-) Sounds like a great place to volunteer, look forward to learning more about it.

  2. 35 miles in sandals? What!!!!
    WOW, Jim. Hope you are doing much better today.
    The emergency markers are a super idea.
    That is the largest crested saguaro I have ever seen also.

  3. Wow, what a beautiful crested saguaro! I agree with the Weavers, largest one I have seen. Love seeing that Sonoran desert. It makes me feel all warm. ;-)

  4. Love the crested saguaro. Have fun with the kitties.

  5. Saguaros are great, both inside and upright. That crested saguaro is really something! Hope Jim is recovering.

  6. Wonderful stories and photos to share! thank you for sharing. Worried about Jim's heartburn, is he trying different diets? I had a year-long issue w/heartburn until I changed my diet a few times to finally solve the problem.

  7. Those are some strange features on a trail for sure. We have approached Dixie Mine trail from McDowell on our bikes but not gone down that stretch of trail. Hard core mountain bikers seem to have a crazy gene!

    Thank goodness Jim's legs didn't get banged up too!

  8. Running 100 miles makes me just about faint at the idea of it and 35 miles in sandles, how old is this guy? Glad to hear the heartburn is gone but that’s one nasty looking arm. What a fantastic picture of the saguaro cactus. Just amazing. Those teddy bears are definitely cute but not so cuddly. Wow helicopter pads. Wonder what it costs a mountain biker who has to be hili-ed out. I’m not a mountain biker but if I were, I’d still hike that trail. What an amazing crest saguaro right behind your car. They are so gorgeous. Beautiful natural art today. Many thanks!

  9. Wonderful super hero - which they all really are! That level of emergency evac preparedness would be a clear No Way for me. Glad Jim's mishap wasn't too serious - although the arm will tell the story for awhile it looks like :-) Love the inside of the saquaro!

  10. Nice photos! I really enjoy reading your blog! Terry:)

  11. Poor Jim! That was a nasty brush wheels:)

    We saw that crested saguaro last winter. A friend wrote and told me about it knowing my addiction with finding these beauties:) I must say it is one of the largest and best preserved I've seen.

  12. That looks like one nasty burn from Jim's fall. Hope he is recovering nicely. Glad to hear his bike wasn't damaged. As for the shelter, I would have banned Jim also. All you need is one more kitty.

  13. There's a helicopter pad on the way up Camelback mountain too. I guess it makes sense, but I wouldn't want to land on it.

  14. Jim I hope all is going much better for you know. I headed down to the library to get a good internet connection only to read about your problems. I am still in Estacada, OR where my Internet connection is poor. I hope by now you are seeing improvement. I will try to keep up with you guys more often.