Colorado Guy

My Winter Trip To Arizona

(Photos, Reflections and Links From My Winter Adventure in Southern Arizona - January-February 2007)

My Arizona Trip In case you haven't visited my site recently, I spent 4+ weeks on a winter trip to southern Arizona. I explored so many beautiful desert regions in the Southwest, gained some spiritual refreshment and thoroughly enjoyed great weather in the 60's and 70's most days! Notice my tan I obtained in the adjacent photo? ;)

My trip was quite an excuse to escape the cold and explore new scenery in the West. Winters are long and brutal in this part of Colorado and snowstorms begin early in mid-September and really don't let up until late April. On the morning I was leaving Chaffee County, an intense snowstorm created nearly white-out conditions as I drove south on Highway 285 enroute to the New Mexico state line. Go south, Steve! Keep going south and don't look back! That was my mantra at the beginning.

I have a lot to be grateful for, and God gets all the credit! Special thanks are in order to many others. Firstly, Joel Smith in Tucson and "San Diego Shana" in San Diego were God-sends. Both generously allowed me to stay in their homes during the trip, which really helped me settle in, relax and save money. There are more: Joel's three dogs, Jennifer S., Judy, Dave, Joanna Banana, Tanya, Krista, the friendly assistant pastor at Calvary Tucson, the Naegeles and Blackburns in Buena Vista, and Ike's Internet cafe in Tucson.

I purchased a laptop during my first week in Tucson, which greatly helped me keep this web site updated. Below are my photos with links to every new page I created! Enjoy!

-Steve :)

My Arizona Adventures
Arizona
Arizona
In my first 24 hours in Tucson, I managed to visit Saguaro National Park East, Gates Pass in Tucson Mountain Park and the Golden Gate Loop Trail. This was my very first Arizona picture collection!

  • First Two Days in Tucson
  • Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Joel pretty much insisted that he take me to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, located west of the Tucson Mountains. We had a great time!

  • Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
  • Arizona Truck Stop About one week into my trip, I began to experience symptoms of a mid-life crisis. To cope, I began smoking cheap cigars at remote Arizona truck stops.

  • My Mid-Life Crisis
  • Saguaro National Park East I spent many days exploring in Saguaro National Park East!

  • Saguaro National Park East
  • Tombstone, Arizona
    Tombstone, Arizona
    Twice I explored Cochise County (southeast Arizona) and spent some time in Bisbee, Sierra Vista and Tombstone. One day I snapped some photos of the historic road in Tombstone.

  • Tombstone, Arizona
  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
    Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
    One Saturday, Joel and I spent much of the day at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in far south central Arizona. It is a beautiful desert area with saguaros and organ pipe cacti located at the U.S./Mexico border.

  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (Main Page)
  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (More Photos)
  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (Lookout)
  • Snow in Cochise County, Arizona Joel and I planned to adventure throughout Chiricahua National Monument in southeast Arizona, but a rare snowstorm closed much of the park. Being that Joel has lived in Tucson for much of his life and is not well-acquainted with snowy climates, I thought this photo of him standing on an unplowed Arizona state highway was noteworthy. ;)

  • Snow in Chiricahua Mountains
  • Picacho Peak State Park Picacho Peak! Yes folks, that mountain located between Phoenix and Tucson is as pointy as it looks! :p)

  • Picacho Peak (Main Page)
  • Picacho Peak State Park (Extra Photos)
  • Arizona Sunset
    Arizona Sunset
    I was very impressed with Arizona's sunsets!

  • Gates Pass
  • Tucson Shopping Center
  • Tucson Mountain Park Area
  • Joel's Saguaro Sunset
  • Gates Pass in Arizona Near the end of my stay in Tucson, I visited the saguaro-filled desert near Gates Pass one last time.

  • Gates Pass in Tucson
  • My visits to two nurseries in Tucson were fun! :)

  • B&B Cactus Farm
  • Mesquite Valley Growers Nursey
  • Saguaro Being in Arizona, of course, I had ample opportunities to update www.CactusLovers.com! ;)

  • Crested Saguaro
  • Prickly pear cacti in Tombstone
  • Melocactus
  • Mammarilla Parkinsonii
  • Really Tall Saguaro
  • Large Saguaro
  • Queen of the Night Cactus On my very last full day in Tucson, Joel and I hiked in the desert where Joel was on a mission to find a "Queen of the Night Cactus." He found one after about 30 minutes! :)

  • Queen of the Night Cactus
  • Arizona Trip During that last hike was the incident where I uh, well ...

  • Cactus Kiss & Hug Incident
  • With Friends in San Diego, California
    Cowles Mountain With friends in southern California, I traveled over to the San Diego area. One afternoon, I was itching to stand at the summit of a mountain and hiked Cowles Mountain (alt. 1,592 feet), the tallest peak within San Diego city limits.

  • Cowles Mountain
  • Ocean Beach Fishing Pier I had the honor of meeting Judy ("Library Gal" on the forums), who drove from the Simi Valley to San Diego to spend the day with me. Our walk along the Ocean Beach Fishing Pier at Ocean Beach (a beach in San Diego) was worthy of a page.

  • Ocean Beach Fishing Pier
  • Secretary Bird
    San Diego Zoo
    Shana and I visited the San Diego Zoo, and I think my two favorite residents were the secretary bird and the hippopotamus! :)

  • San Diego Zoo
  • Lindo Lake Park One morning I traveled about in the suburbs northeast of San Diego and spent some time at Lindo Lake Park in Lakeside.

  • Lindo Lake Park
  • California Sunset On the day Judy and I met, we visited Cabrillo National Monument. We walked down to the cliffs and I captured the adjacent photo. We also watched the sunset go down before dining in Old San Diego.

  • California Sunset
  • San Diego Cacti Near the beach, a home had numerous variations of cacti in its front yard!

  • San Diego Cacti
  • San Diego Squatting Last but certainly not least, Shana and Joanna Banana put up with me for quite awhile as I stayed in their home. We had so much fun, but near the end they were ready to see me leave!

  • Squatting at Shana's Home


  • My Two Days in Southern New Mexico
    Continental Divide
    Continental Divide
    I did spend two days in New Mexico. On the first day, I stayed at the Riverbend Hot Springs in Truth or Consequences. That place has a number of relaxing hot springs pools with views of the mountains and the Rio Grande down below. It's a nice place! (I didn't take any pictures that first day. I was trying to get into vacation mode!)

    My second day in New Mexico was my last day of the trip. I visited my friend Dave in Silver City and we visited three points along the Continental Divide. I also crossed Interstate 10 in New Mexico (lowest link) on Day 2 of my trip as I headed west towards Arizona.

  • Pinos Altos, New Mexico
  • Silver City, New Mexico
  • South of Silver City, NM
  • Interstate 10
  • Rejuvenation Cafe in Silver City, New Mexico While in Silver City, Dave and I spent an afternoon at a place called Rejuvenation. It is a cozy and unique coffee shop that offers free wi-fi.

  • Rejuvenation Cafe

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