We like stepping out to enjoy fresh air and sunshine often. Although we almost always go to the same general location, it looks different depending on time of day, weather and season.
On Saturday, four of us strolled over to Sabino Canyon. As we walked through the parking lot at the recreation area, we noticed relatively few cars, probably because of the hot dry weather.
We followed the paved road to the first bridge where there have been recent sightings of coatis. Coatis are raccoon-like mammals but with longer noses and tails. We didn't observe any this time. In fact, we usually don't find what we're checking for, but are satisfied with whatever what we do see.
It's about 1.5 miles from the parking lot to the first bridge. At 9:00 AM there was little shade left. Just last month we could find more shade here at noon.
Sabino Creek is still flowing but the water level that we can see above ground will continue to decrease until Monsoon season in July.
Kevin noticed this lizard basking on a rock. This was exciting for me because I had not seen one like this before. The lack of black side bars had me confused.
Greater Earless Lizard Thanks, Max!These little fish swimming in the creek might have been Gila Chubs, the only native fish left in this stream. I don't know much about fish, but I understand that sometimes invasive fish species are also found in this stream.
In case you're wondering, why the water is a golden tea color, it's from traveling through pine and oak forests of Mt. Lemmon before reaching Sabino Canyon.
Trams run every half hour. The cost is now $8.00 for an all-day ticket to ride to the top of the canyon, 3.8 miles. On the way back, visitors can disembark and get back on on the shuttle at any of the nine stops. We're pretty frugal, so we haven't bought tickets since years ago, when the price was only $4.00. But the narrated tour is a great introduction to the canyon and is highly recommended for newcomers.
This bridge is commonly referred to as the first bridge. Sabino Canyon has many bridges and as far as we've gathered, they are not numbered or named. Apparently, they are known in relation to the tram stops, which are numbered. This is the first of nine bridges past tram stop one. Sometime it might be fun to take pictures of the bridges and assign names to them.
Names would make it easier to talk about the canyon. For example, when Kevin runs in the canyon, he often sees coatis at the second bridge past mile two, or is it the forth or fifth bridge past tram stop one? We just randomly named it Vernors Bridge after a brand of ginger ale. But, I digress. Back to the first bridge.
As the weather heats up and the water recedes, it's interesting to frequent the same areas of the creek, when familiar boulders are less submerged underwater. And of course, in hot weather it's hard to resist stepping into the cool water. And thankfully, wading is permitted here.
We lingered by the first bridge for a while. But as the air temperature rose, and the levels in our water bottles decreased, we headed back towards home. This is the last hill to climb. I remember the very first time I trudged up that hill, it felt so steep, and I could barely catch my breath. Now it seems like a breeze, and it's all downhill from there.
As noted by Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, no one ever steps in the same river twice, because it's not the same river and we are always changing. Maybe this is why I resonate with the concept of Travelin' Local. Lisa Newton's blog features stories about how she and others "travel local" and find things that are fascinating about the areas where they live.
Are there places in your area that you like to visit, even though you've been many times before, just to see what's new or changed since last time? Or maybe there are some local spots that you haven't looked into yet or not for a long time. You might be pleasantly surprised by what's in your own backyard, so to speak.