April 2006               



            Our time at Voyager Resort is coming to an end.  We have enjoyed our winter here.  Many of the winter residents have already headed for their summer points. 

            The first Friday of the month, Millie attended the luncheon with the Nimble Fingers ladies.  We went to a little place called the Happy Rooster.  This little café is only open for breakfast and lunch, closing at 2 PM.  The food was excellent.

            Joan Willard, the Nimble Fingers Coordinator, passed around a list of all the items that had been made by the group this season and donated to various charities in the area.  These ladies have really been busy! 

            As we have been waiting for warmer weather to drive up on Mt. Lemmon, it was time to do it.  We watch the weather forecast every night and they always give the temps on the mountain.  It is usually 20-30 degrees cooler up at Summerhaven than it is down in Tucson and we wanted a warmer day to go.

            It was a beautiful sunny day when we headed towards the Sky Island Scenic Byway, which is the road up the Catalina Mountains.  The Byway is part of the Coronado National Forest.  Traveling up the highway you go from the desert floor and cacti to 8000’ and pine forests. 

            We stopped several times are the pull-offs to enjoy the views.  We especially enjoyed seeing the city from high above. 

            Summerhaven is a small community tucked into the mountain.  It has been used for many years as a place for Tucson folks to escape the summer heat.  In 2003, a large forest fire destroyed the entire community.  Some folks are in the process of rebuilding.  We stopped at the general store and browsed.

            The Palisade Visitor center is operated by the Forest Service and contains displays about the area.  On a large scale model of the mountain, Dick noticed a road going down the other side and asked the lady manning the desk if was passable.  She sort of hesitated, and then a gentleman there spoke up and said he had taken it in his jeep and found it to be very difficult.  It sure wouldn’t be a good road for a Freightliner then, so we came back to Tucson on the Byway.

            By the way, Mt. Lemmon does receive snowfall in the winter when there is sufficient moisture and did have a couple of small ones while we were in Tucson.  Believe it or not, there is even a ski resort up there!  It was only open a few days this year due to the lack of snow.  When you are in Tucson, it is hard to imagine that there is skiing just a few miles away.

            When we made our first trip through this area a few years back, we drove through the Saguaro National Park.  This park has 2 separate areas, one East of the city and one West of the city.  As we had been through the Eastern unit, we decided to visit the Western unit. 

            We stopped at the Visitors Center and viewed the exhibits on the area and watched the film.  Then we attended a ranger program on the patio.  The presentation about reptiles of the area was very interesting.  Sadly, due to the summer heat, the programs are discontinued for the summer months. 

            We drove the Scenic Bajada Loop and enjoyed seeing the many great Saguaros.  We stopped at Signal Hill and walked the trail to an area that contains Prehistoric rock pictures.  These pictures were interesting to see and leave you wondering about the people who put them there. 

            Our time in Tucson was coming to an end.  We had dinner at the Outback for our Anniversary on the 15th.  Easter Sunday we began packing up and had dinner out that evening. 

            As Millie’s mom has been having some health problems, instead of going west as we he originally planned, we turned east on I-10 and headed to Texas.  Mary needed a break from trying to handle everything with Ann and we wanted to help out.  We don’t know yet what will be our plans for the coming months, we will just play it by ear.

            We took a leisurely pace back to Richmond and arrived at Shiloh Park on Friday.  After setting up we visited Ann and found her to be much better.  That was really good news.

            While in Richmond, Dick did a few days work for Dualco and had a couple of Dr. appointments.  Millie visited with Ann. 

            Take care and we will see you again next month. 


(Lots of new photos in the gallery, take a look.  We couldn't link to all of them.)