With all the hiking that Rick and Paulette do serving as an incentive we decided to go hiking at the Estrella Mountain Regional Park, a Maricopa County Park in the Phoenix area. We had a free pass at the park thanks to Paws and Friends, thanks guys. We went with our friends Bob and Wilma.
With plenty of water, hats, walking sticks, sunscreen and sturdy shoes we started out on what would be a three mile hike in the desert. We really like the desert, at least in the winter that is. The weather for the hike was perfect with the temps in the low 70's. We know that we are in our winter home area when we start to see the Saguaro cactus, a large, tree-shaped and tree-sized cactus native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, Mexico and a very small part of California. The Saguaro blossom is the State Wildflower of Arizona which only appears after 36-69 years depending on how much water is available. Also very dependent on the amount of water is the growth of the signature arms which appear at age 55-90. The full height of the Saguaro with long arms usually takes about 200 years.
What was neat on this hike is that we saw the carcass of a Saguaro showing the woody spines that support the giant cactus and the fibrous material between the spines that no doubt store water, showing here:
We also saw how the arms attach to the main body, showing here:
After slipping and sliding on the desert trails consisting of sand and rocks and gravel we made it back to the car and it was lunch time. After discussing many options we headed to Dino's Greek and Italian Grill and it was a good choice. Between the four of us we sampled both Greek and Italian fare along with an American entry. Bob had a lamb wrap with a side salad, Jo had a huge calzone that she was only able to eat half, Wilma had a gyro salad that was also huge that she could not finish, and Wilma's Bob had a Bacon Swiss Chicken sandwich and fries. We all commented on how good the food was and how we need to go back. The dipping sauce, the house marinara, for the calzone was excellent so Jo's Bob is already making plans to go back for their pasta.
We went back to the park and sat outside and read the paper and books and worked on the new tablet for awhile. It is so nice to be able to sit outside with our Kindle and Tablet and be able to read the screen. The stiffness and soreness did start to set in so we either have to hike more or less; now which one do you think we will choose? For supper we split the leftover calzone and some leftover pizza from Papa Murphys. That evening we had a pretty sunset.
Although we enjoyed the hike we are not the hikers that Rick and Paulette are so we'd tip our hats to them if we weren't so dang sore.
Till next time,
Bob and Jo