We've returned to the Tucson area to do a final bit of sight seeing on the northern side of town. We're camped in Catalina State Park. We came to Catalina for the day last year and heard about the fabulous sunset views on the mountains here and wanted to see them for ourselves. State parks are always nice places to camp. The sites are huge and it feels more like vein out in nature than the resort where we spent the last few months. Obviously many people agree with us. The campground is totally full and the overflow area is overflowing. Our only disappointment is that campfires are not allowed. No s'mores here.
The Catalina Mountains have been in the news all winter. A herd of 31 big horn sheep were brought here from New Mexico to repopulate an area where they used to live. However, every few days one has been found dead courtesy of the local mountain lions. Then there was discussion whether some of the mountain lions should be shot. That's mankind - always tampering and meddling and trying to improve on Mother Nature.
There are many beautiful canyons around here, but Sabino is especial beloved because of the easy access a fleet of shuttles provides. The canyon is unique because streams run here year round, full of snow melt from nearby Mt. Lemmon. The water make a much wider array of plant life viable than we see in the desert. The cottonwood trees were so green they hurt my eyes. During the Depression the Civilian Conservation Corps planned to build a dam and make a recreational lake in the canyon. The project ran out of money, but the road infrastructure they had already built, made it easy to shuttle people to the back of the canyon. Those in a hurry can shuttle in and out in less than an hour. Our fit friends take the shuttle up and hike the ridge back down. We, the unfit, took the shuttle up and walked back on the road joining many others doing the same thing on a beautiful day. This gave us the chance to stop often for photos and enjoy the sound of the running water.