top of page

March 9: Mesa, AZ

Today is a day when it feels like our trip is starting to turn around and cast its eyes back toward the east coast. At breakfast this morning here at Usery Mountain Regional Park, we mapped out what the next 16 or so days might look like. We scrapped our plans to head north to Homolovi State Park and on to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. The weather is much nicer down here to the south, so after two more days in Mesa, AZ, we will head even further southward and return for three nights at Gila Box, followed by at night at City of Rocks and then on east. We will stop in Georgia to visit our friend Terry before completing our trip late this month.

Chainfruit Trail is aptly named, given the abundance of chain fruit cholla (Cylindropuntia fulgida) in the area!


We hiked today around Cat Peaks, a round trip from our campsite of about seven miles, mostly flat. To me the desert forest here seems exemplary, with an abundance of old saguaros, chain chollas, and myriad other plants. Of course, there could also be many invasive plant species, but since I can ID almost nothing, I can remain blissfully ignorant.


I believe this stand of common yellow flowers is called Fiddleneck (Amsinckia menziesii var. intermedia). On the right, a saguaro that has tipped over is beginning to deteriorate.


As has been the case for much of our trip, we were serenaded by coyotes last night. The pack seemed quite close to our tent. We also saw a quite large coyote today nearby the trail when we were hiking.


I look happy because it turns out that hiking on Cat Peaks trail does not entail actually hiking over any peaks - good deal!

Glen spotted this unusually lumpy/wavy saguaro - this old gal could weigh about six tons, if you believe Google.

Prickly pear and cholla cactus are blooming and the Ocatillo are leafing out.


Tonight was a meal of potatoes, cauliflower, red bell pepper and green peas in a blazing hot red curry sauce, all served up on rice. Now we sit quietly and comfortably in our tent in the dark, appreciating our good fortune of being on this trip.


Nyssa longs for nothing more than to be able to go into the tent. Hey, it's early evening, it must be time for bed!

Not a bad last view of the day.


I told my sister on the phone today that besides a few creature comforts, the two things I miss the most are her and Rise Above Bakery. : )


Good night.



9 Comments


Deb Tyler
Deb Tyler
Mar 11, 2023

❤️Thank you for taking us along with you to share in the virtual version of such incredible beauty and wildness. Those cactus are clearly very adept at keeping their boundaries well defined...and wow...I didn't know they could grow to be so massive. It is such a pure pleasure to follow your adventure and see those amazing landscapes and sky lines.. the colors and the light are truly awesome and transcendent. Safe travels as you turn back to the east. 💫

Like

Of course after you leave City of Rock they will have to change the name to City That Used To Have Rocks!


No honorable mention of your brothers, sheesh. Maybe we come right after root canal. 🙄

Like
Mary
Mary
Mar 10, 2023
Replying to

Oops! Well of course you're in the top three, right after Rise Above Bakery! 😁

Like

The cacti photos always amaze me, such incredibly beautiful yet inhospitable plants.They warn 'keep your distance'!

Ah, if only you could magically find yourself at Terry's then home and skip the tedious miles in between. It's high praise to be missed alongside Rise Above Bakery! We'll have a feast of bread and love when you return🥐💙I miss you too but am overjoyed at the beauty and peace you are finding on your vacation.

Like
Mary
Mary
Mar 10, 2023
Replying to

I look forward to it, Anne. ❤️

Like

Wow, it looks like perfect weather! That tall barrel cactus is amazing!

Like

jeffayers57
jeffayers57
Mar 10, 2023

Packs of coyotes close to your tent at night I think I would have to be like your sister and have a large motorhome

Like
bottom of page