Tuesday, November 22, 2011


View of catalina mountains out front of campsite
5 nights after departing Ananda Village we arrived in Tucson area.  Actually north of Tucson about 15 miles at the foot of the Catalina mountains in a place called Catalina State Park where we will reside for a week or so, exploring the area, hiking, etc and also spending time with our good freinds of Ananda Tucson!  More on that later.

Since we will be here for almost a week, before departing east to New Mexico, setting up camp was a little bit more detailed.  we stripped off the towing equipment from Ms. Toad, brought out the carpet (no, it's not red or green) and the lawn chairs and unloaded the bicycles.  Now the motorhome becomes our home on this campsite for a week while we explore and see friends in the area.

While Sraddha discussed the week's plans with Elizabeth, the Ananda Tucson leader, I stowed everything in the "basement" or below decks if you will.  Actually there are several compartments on both sides of our motorhome in which we store all kinds of things from cords, to hoses, to tools, to extra camera equipment, to surgical gloves and cleaning supplies.  Amazing how much space we have and how quickly we have filled it up with "stuff" (think George Carlin, etc)...sigh.

Watching birds from bicycle
Still an hour left in daylight so off we rode on our bicycles to explore the campgrounds.  We rode up to the equestrian area and, sure enough, I turned around and Sraddha was about 1/4 mile back gazing into the mesquite bushes.  Lark sparrows were abundant. Never a dull moment.  We continued the tour over to the trailhead at the base of the mountains and decided that might be the place for tomorrow morning's hike before we meet Elizabeth.
What a beautiful area. We are used to forested lands up north at Ananda Village so the desert vistas, and botany takes some adjustments.  The Sonoran desert here is truly a wondrous experience.  so filled with life if you know how to look.  En route earlier in the day we were traversing a rather monotonous desert section north of Quartzite in western Arizona.  same look mile after mile when we noticed a red tail hawk perched up on the top of the power pole.  another 1/4 mile we saw another hawk, then again another.  This went on fo a good ten miles or so with many, many hawks.  Hmm.  this many hawks means lots of food, like mice other little animals.  Yet the desert appeared so bleak on the surface.  Looks can be deceiving.  If you are still reading, all these photos today taken with Annie Leibowitz' favorite camera...The iPhone.

View across our campground looking eastward

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