Tucson is surrounded by all manner of national and state parks and recreation areas. It is clear there will be plenty of great outdoor opportunities while we are here. Since it is insanely hot here much of the year, we joined numerous locals outdoors enjoying the bright sunshine and cool weather. Serendipitously we have discovered old friends that we haven't seen in years have been wintering here and they were our local experts leading us on a hike in Sabino Canyon. On the hike up to the overlook, every time we started to huff and puff a bit, there was great scenery to stop and admire and great conversation as we caught up with each other. The intervening years melted away and we picked up where we left off. There's something about spending time with people who knew you before you have gray hair and wrinkles. Drex and Gail have been here for over a month and have spent much more time in this area than we have, so it felt like we were talking to natives. We greatly appreciated all the maps and good advice they gave us as we hiked. They are staying on the other side of town, but we hope to spend more time together hiking and biking this month.
The canyon was full of Saguaro cactus, a large tree-like plant only grows in the Sonoran Desert, here in Arizona and south into Mexico. I imagine that after a month here the cactus will not fascinate me as much as they did today. If the conversation hadn't been so stimulating, I would have taken even more photos of the plant life so unlike what grows where we live.