January 18 Saguaro National Park – East

Saguaro National Park is geographically divided into two distinct sections. A few miles north of our current campsite southwest of Tucson, the western portion or Tucson Mountain District of the park spreads out along the western slope. The eastern or Rincon Mountain District is about an hour’s drive through Tucson from the western portion. Our focus for today was the Rincon Mountain District.
We intended to use our new GPS to find the route from our RV park to our destination across town. When starting the unit up for the first time after purchase, I found myself completely incapable of operating the device and the User Start-Up Guide had nice illustrations but absolutely no information about how the pricey gizmo works. Failing miserably at my initial efforts, I accessed the internet and, after considerable clumsy searching, found a operation manual that could be downloaded to my laptop but not to the GPS because I couldn’t operate it. After quite a bit of reading, I had progressed to being able to access some functions but not reliably. Therefore, I figured we were ready to go.
We arrived at the Rincon Mountain District after about an hour of city street driving in Tucson. Due to the weird configuration of Tucson roads, any persons wishing to travel from east to west or vice versa across town are obliged to use city streets with frequent, signal-controlled intersections because there are no east-west highways. The same goes for north-south except for those that can access Interstate 10.
The Rincon District of the park has an eight mile one-way loop road through a cactus forest and the scenery is stunning. Desert birds are abundant and we spotted some fuzzy scurrying critters that moved so fast we couldn’t identify them. Saguaro, barrel, prickly pear, cholla and Ocotillo cactus are everywhere. The massive rock formations are magnificent. Peggy and I stopped about halfway through the loop and took a stroll on the Desert Ecology Trail. It is a short loop through flat (mostly) ground and they don’t even need to post signs telling the idiots to stay on the trail because the flora will force them back quickly. Everything out here has nasty spikes, leathery skin and fierce appearances. It seems pretty plain that cowboys who worked in Arizona mast have had thick chaps or real prickly legs.
Despite my almost complete inability to operate anything more sophisticated than tweezers, I was able to fool our new GPS unit into returning us to our RV park and it only took about an hour even though we never missed a turn and didn’t have to hang a U-turn anywhere. It was almost magical.
We took a few pictures. To see them, clickhere

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