2015 Westward Ho travel blog

Story

Cactus

Reaching for the Sky

Big Cactus

Woodpecker Holes

Woodpecker Damage

Lovely Wife

Mesquite Tree

Prickly Perch

Rincon Mountains


As we arose from a wonderful night of rest to hear the quiet of night ending, waiting for the sun to shine in the windows, the birds signing the welcome of morning, how great it is. Gazing to the east to see the sun emerging from behind the Rincon Mountains to bring the desert alive with the rays of sunlight for another beautiful day. The flora of the desert reaches to the sky to absorb their life blood as the small creatures of the desert floor scurry to attain their nourishment for daily life in the wild. It is understandable why the Native American Indians of Pascua Yaqui Tribe loved this land and worshipped the land and sun.

Our journey today will take us to the beautiful (Sa - WAH – ro) Seguaro National Park, Tucson Arizona. This is located in the Sonoran Desert which covers 110,000 square miles, parts of Arizona, California, and Mexico. The park is only 10 miles from us, this will be a short trip. Seguaro Cactus, these majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset. These cactus have been seen in many of the western movies on screen even though they only grow in this part of the country. The park has an 8 mile single lane road you drive around to view the different scenery but mostly the Seguaro Cactus. The growth of this cactus is amazing. Saguaros grow very slowly, after a year it will only be 1/4", after 15 years barely 12” tall. After 50 years they may be 7’ tall and they don’t grow the arms until after 75 years it may sprout the first arm. They can live up to 150 years or more to attain the grandest sizes, towing 50 feet and weighing 16,000 pounds or more. You see the picture of the cactus with the woodpecker holes that the Gila woodpecker is after water. After the woodpecker has gotten thru the tough outer skin the cactus wren, elf owls, or any other animal will bore into the soft inter core to make a nest. It is amazing the multi-purpose of the inter action of the birds and animals to survive in the desert. This area is abundant with wildlife, birds, rodents, snakes, cougars, and mountain lions. There are 5 different types of poisonous rattlesnakes, scorpions and Gila monsters in this area. It is unreal to imagine people backpacking into the back country and camping in tents with all of this animal life.

We returned to the motorhome to mingle with the other folks in the campground. People from Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and we found folks from the Toledo area, Northwood, Genoa, Rossford, and Maumee. They all come here every year for the winter, and the way it is at home, glad they do.



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